By CLTure News
November 24, 2020
On April 28, 2019, North Carolina bluegrass outfit Steep Canyon Rangers surprised attendees at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC with a special set paying tribute to legendary musicians from the state. Featuring songs by Thelonious Monk, Doc Watson, James Taylor, Ben E. King, Elizabeth Cotten, and Ola Belle Reed, the band released a live album titled, North Carolina Songbook, with recordings from the festival earlier this year. The album was nominated for Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd Grammy Awards that will take place in January.
“We all tried to come to the table with songs that we thought might work for the set. We knew we needed not only good songs, but also songs that worked well together to make the set flow. We needed the set to have some diversity, some highs and lows dynamically,” mandolin player Mike Guggino told The Bluegrass Situation.
The eight-song live album features the Ben E. King classic “Stand By Me,” a bluegrass version of Thelonius Monk’s “Blue Monk,” and Elizabeth Cotten’s “Shake Sugaree.” In addition to the live album, the band has been busy this year releasing two more projects, Be Still Moses back in March and Arm In Arm in October on North Carolina record label, Yep Roc.