Produced by Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry
"Bluegrass non-traditionalists Steep Canyon Rangers recently released this, the group's 12th album, without part time 'front man' Steve Martin but with producer Joe Henry helming an exquisitely conceived and executed set of modern originals (plus one Bob Dylan cover) that preserves the traditional bluegrass sound while moving the genre into the contemporary musical world. ... Subject matter ranges from regret to escape to personal liberation to the passage of time and not being able to go back or unsee what's been seen. ... The mix is coherent , the tonal balance warm almost to a fault and the overall sonic effect is 'turn it up as loud as you dare' inviting." — Music = 8/11; Sound = 8/11 - Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com. Read the whole review here.
"There is a dark beauty to this album despite the upbeat shared vocal parts, but at the same time it's toe tapping and melodic, with riffs from the mountain hollows and a sort of mellow insistence that drives each song. ... The record was pressed at Chad Kassem's QRP in Kansas. ... This record is extremely well made and quiet, which cannot be taken for granted in today's vinyl market." Read the entire review here. — The Vinyl Press, Jan. 8, 2018
"It's full of emotion, heart, and soul, and for an album of songs that seem to circle around themes of loss, regret, and wishes for second chances, there's an underlying air of hope, a promise that....'mistakes of a past history' won't be repeated." — Elena See, Folk Alley
Since forming in 2000, the North Carolina-based sextet the Steep Canyon Rangers have been expanding the parameters of bluegrass as well as developing a remarkable catalog of original music, wedding the genre to elements of pop, country, folk, rock and more! Their new album, Out In The Open is perhaps the Rangers' bravest excursion thus far, transcending bluegrass while getting closer to the genre's true form thanks to producer Joe Henry's very traditional approach to recording.
Perhaps best known generally for their two full-length collaborations with actor/banjoist Steve Martin, SCR has released nine solo albums and has twice been Grammy nominated, winning Best Bluegrass Album in 2012 for Nobody Knows You.
In July 2017, Steep Canyon Rangers arrived at Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville, N.C., an intimate studio facility built, owned, and operated by legendary producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Let's Active). There they learned Henry intended to recorrd all six members singing and playing in a room with no overdubs.
Though Steep Canyon Rangers had some trepidation, they promptly rose to the challenge.
Out In The Open is an undeniable milestone on Steep Canyon Rangers' ongoing creative journey, its spirited, eclectic approach recasting the myriad sounds of string-based American music in their own unique image.
As they fast approach their second decade, Steep Canyon Rangers are still moving forward, as ever searching for new horizons and musical vistas.
|1. Farmers And Pharaohs|
|2. Let Me Out Of This Town|
|3. Out In The Open|
|4. Can’t Get Home|
|5. Going Midwest|
|6. When She Was Mine|
|7. Love Harder|
|8. Shenandoah Valley|
|9. Best Of Me|
|10. Roadside Anthems|
|11. Let Me Die In My Footsteps|
|12. The Speed We’re Traveling|