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Nobody Knows You

by: Steep Canyon Rangers

Album Artwork

(Rounder)

Nobody Knows You counts as the Steep County Rangers' fifth studio album. The group earned a Grammy nomination for their 2011 bluegrass collaboration with Steve Martin titled Rare Bird Alert. The Rangers played The View, The David Letterman Show, The Colbert Report, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Austin City Limits and Later with Jules Holland that allowed this North Carolina band to gain national exposure.

The group consists of Mike Guggino (mandolin/vocals), Charles Humphrey III (bass/vocals), Woody Platt (guitar/lead vocals), Nicky Sanders (fiddle/vocals) and Graham Sharp (banjo/vocals). It's refreshing to see a contemporary band play pure original bluegrass music. They are deft pickers who write formidable tunes. Larry Nager (writer.co-producer of Bill Monroe: Father of Bluegrass Music) wrote this about the group in the Nobody Loves You liner notes:

"When they went into the studio the idea was to avoid the old 'deja bluegrass' dead end, to avoid formulas at all costs. They prefer their own path, following their own intuition and the guidance of Nashville icon Don Light, 'Separate yourself from the pack', Light told them. Nobody Knows You does just that, as they cut their path both steep and wide."

Recorded in Asheville, Nobody Knows You begins with the title track. Real Appalachian waveforms grip this listener during this sonic story. "Rescue Me" evokes an old country ballad we hear here for the first time. "Easy To Love" allows the chariot to swing low...

"Between Midnight and the Dawn" conjures a struggle between light and dark in everyone's life. "As I Go" flows like a silver river of a streamlined bluegrass sound. "Ungrateful One" would surely make Jerry Garcia and his Old And In the Way band tap a toe. "Open Country" is one of the best compositions on this release. "Knob Creek" emerges as a timeless instrumental. The group renders Tim Hardin's "Reputation" closer to the version Gram Parsons once employed.

The final track,  "Long Shot", ends the album with an upbeat country footstomper that proves why the Steep Canyon Rangers earned IBMA's Entertainers of the Year Award. Nobody Knows You hits the streets on April 10.

James Calemine

related tags

Music,
Lore,
North Carolina,
Nashville,
Mystery and Manners,

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