ASHEVILLE — Asheville-based, Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers will release a collaborative album with the Asheville Symphony that celebrates the city's thriving hometown music community.
The 11-song album "Be Still Moses" arrives March 6 on Yep Roc Records.
The album expands on the 2019 cross-genre collaboration among the band, the Asheville Symphony and Philadelphia soul legends Boyz II Men on a record of the same name, "Be Still Moses."
With an unconventional lineup, the track "Be Still Moses" was praised for its “sublime harmonies and soulful ad-libs” by Rolling Stone. It featured a blend of Steep Canyon Rangers' vocalist Woody Platt's baritone with the string arrangements of the Asheville Symphony and the vocal harmonies of Boyz II Men.
Now that has expanded into an 11-track album. Featuring reworks of hits and rarities from Steep Canyon Rangers’ career, the collaborators share a fresh take on “Radio,” the IBMA Song of The Year-nominated title track from the band’s 2015 No. 1 bluegrass album.
Listen to “Radio” and pre-order "Be Still Moses" here: https://lnk.to/bestillmosesalbum.
The track list features:
1. "Easy To Love" ("Nobody Knows You," 2012)
2. "Radio" ("Radio," 2015)
3. "Be Still Moses" ("Lovin’ Pretty Women," 2007 - remastered w. Boyz II Men, 2019)
4. "Call the Captain" ("Lovin’ Pretty Women," 2007)
5. "Let Me Out of This Town" ("Out In The Open," 2018)
6. "Blow Me Away" ("Radio," 2015)
7. "Between Midnight and the Dawn" ("Nobody Knows You," 2012)
8. "Las Vegas" ("Tell The Ones I Love," 2013)
9. "Farmers and Pharaohs" ("Out In The Open," 2018)
10. "The Mountain’s Gonna Sing" ("Deep In The Shade," 2009)
11. "Auden’s Train" ("Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers feat. Edie Brickell Live," 2014)
Steep Canyon Rangers, which includes Greensboro native Graham Sharp, frequently collaborates with banjoist and comedian Steve Martin and comedian and actor Martin Short.
The band will start a tour today that will take them around the country and to Europe. Martin and Short will join the band on the European dates. The closest concerts will be Feb. 15 in York, S.C. and May 8 in Asheville.
According to a news release announcing the album, the roots of "Be Still Moses" stem back half a decade to a conversation between Asheville-based music producer Michael Selverne, Jessica Tomasin (of Echo Mountain recording studio) and David Whitehill, the executive director of the Asheville Symphony.
The trio had an idea to break down the barrier between the orchestra and Asheville’s world-class roots music scene, bringing the musicians together for one-of-a-kind collaborations while forging even closer bonds within the city’s tight-knit artistic community.
With Selverne producing, the collaborators re-imagined work throughout the duration of Steep Canyon Rangers' chart-topping, award-winning career – from 2007’s “Call The Captain” through 2018’s “Let Me Out of This Town.”
“It was such a cool yet unusual experience to work as a band on a collection of songs we’ve recorded over the years and have performed live hundreds of times, by adding the Asheville Symphony and producer Michael Selverne,” Platt said in the news release. “This brought the songs to a new place with an entirely new life and sound. We also recorded with the band in a truly live setting to capture the energy of the performance.”
“In 2015, I met David Whitehill, ED of the Asheville Symphony, who wanted to integrate the symphony with the larger Asheville music community by creating recording project for the symphony involving local musicians outside the classical community,” Selverne said in the news release. “We approached Woody at Mountain Song Festival that year and he and the guys were on board and eager.
"Woody and I spent a lot of time going back and forth about arrangements, arrangers and repertoire. The ease with which the Rangers deliver their music is deceptive because the guys are deeply talented and uniquely so. Messing with that is a daunting task but I still believed that the band could speak differently and still retain their character.”