Nashville, Tenn.— Setting a goal and achieving it is a wondrous thing, especially when the goal is to be the best. Bluegrass band Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers realized that goal in 2011 when they were awarded the prestigious Entertainer of the Year trophy at the 22nd Annual International Bluegrass Music Association Awards at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. At 5 p.m. on Aug. 15, Martin and SCR were once again recognized for their excellence and received the 2012 IBMA nomination in that same coveted category.
In a genre that prizes musicianship above all else, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers have stormed to national prominence imbuing their stage show and recordings with raw talent, respect for the traditions of bluegrass and a willingness to push the envelope. They continue to perform bluegrass to a larger audience than any other group in the genre, introducing more and more listeners to roots music instrumentation and bluegrass music’s rich history.
Earlier this year, SCR recorded their Rounder Records debutNobody Knows You with producer Gary Paczosa. The album, released April 10, 2012, has enjoyed critical acclaim from mainstream outlets, such as The New York Times and Paste Magazine, who recognize the scope of the band’s audience has grown beyond genre boundaries thanks in part to their collaborations with entertainment icon Martin. Nobody Knows You remains on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart more than four months after release.
The album is noted for its beauty both in its recorded and packaged form. Graphic design by Bedrock MFG received a 2012 IBMA nomination for “Best Graphic Design” for their contribution.
The Steep Canyon Rangers will continue touring with Steve Martin this fall in celebration of last year’s Rare Bird Alert, while fitting in dates independently to support Nobody Knows You. The Mountain Song Festival, the band’s annual benefit for the Transylvania Boys and Girls Club, is enjoying both land and sea versions this year. The band’s previous efforts have gifted the Club with over a quarter of a million dollars and thanks to the band’s continued efforts to grow the festival, the Club will receive more annualcontributions and ongoing support.
Recognition in successive years from theIBMA for the Steep Canyon Rangers come as no surprise to anyone who’s spent time with this well-grounded ensemble. These nominations validate the hard work and creativity of this unique band of “brothers.” The Steep Canyon Rangers are heralding a new era of bluegrass with both their artistic contributions and their service-minded approach to investing themselves holistically in their performances.
Winners for Entertainer of the Year will be announced during the 23rd Annual IBMA Awards, hosted by Del McCoury and Laurie Lewis, on Sept. 27, 2012 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.