STEEP CANYON RANGERS WIN GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM, New Music Educator Grammy Award Announced
Nobody Knows You (Rounder) from The Steep Canyon Rangers was named Best Bluegrass Album at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.
This is the band’s first GRAMMY win and their second nomination. They were nominated in the same category at the 2012 ceremony for their album Rare Bird Alert, a collaboration with banjo player/actor and comedian Steve Martin.
The band’s GRAMMY win comes less than a week after they disembarked from their inaugural floating bluegrass festival, Mountain Song at Sea. Featuring performances from groups such as Punch Brothers, The Del McCoury Band and David Grisman Sextet, the Mountain Song at Sea Bluegrass cruise brings the group’s annual Mountain Song Festival to the high seas.
Coming off their GRAMMY win the band will continue touring extensively, including stops at MerleFest and Telluride Bluegrass Festival. They will also be performing multiple shows with Steve Martin, joined on select dates by singer/songwriter Edie Brickell, including appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman (April 23), The View (April 24) and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (May 6).
SCR will begin recording their next album at Levon Helm Studios in late February with Larry Campbell producing. Campbell is a three-time GRAMMY award-winning producer and currently serves as musical director for the Levon Helm Midnight Ramble concerts. He has produced for artists such as Helm, Bob Dylan, B.B. King and Sheryl Crow, as well as toured as a multi-instrumentalist with Helm, Dylan and Buddy Miller.
The Steep Canyon Rangers are Mike Guggino (mandolin), Charles Humphrey III (bass), Woody Platt (guitar), Nicky Sanders (fiddle) and Graham Sharp (banjo). The group first formed during their college days at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ten years later, the band has only deepened their commitment to roots music performing with fierce instrumental prowess, but also providing deeply moving songwriting and harmonies, infusing traditional bluegrass with contemporary themes and arrangements.
Congratulations to Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Yo Yo Ma, who took home Grammy Awards for Best Folk Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for their recording, The Goat Rodeo Sessions (Sony Classical).
Kudos also for our banjo-playing friends, the folk rock band Mumford and Sons, who claimed Grammys for Album of the Year and Best Long Form Music Video for Babel (Glassnote) and “Big Easy Express.”
NEW AWARD ANNOUNCED:
Neil Portnow of The Recording Academy has announced a new Grammy Award for 2014, the Music Educator Award. “This new award is an opportunity for us all to recognize that behind many performers stands a music teacher who provided the inspiration and motivation to pursue the passionate call of music,” Portnow says. “These teachers, who are responsible for so much of the great work being done by musicians today, operate behind the scenes, sometimes against tremendous financial and political odds, to ensure that everyone who wants the opportunity to learn to play or sing or compose, gets that chance.”
Academy members are invited to go to www.grammymusicteacher.com  to submit an application. The bluegrass world has a number of wonderful educators doing good work. Here’s our chance to shine the spotlight on them and our genre.