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Bluegrass Nights feat. Steep Canyon Rangers & Jim Lauderdale 

When: Thu., July 10, 7:30 p.m. 2014
It’s not quite a fact, but it’s pretty darn close that even without their association with Steve Martin, the Steep Canyon Rangers would have made their way into the top ranks of bluegrass. Mentored by the late Don Light (to whom lead singer Woody Platt penned a moving tribute), the group’s got it all, from serious songwriting skills to quiet discipline to crowd-pleasing showmanship (see: fiddler Nicky Sanders) to vocal variations that neatly frame Platt’s contributions — and, most recently, an unabashed and just-right drummer in Mike Ashworth. Their latest album Tell the Ones I Love was justifiably nominated for a Grammy — it took a certified legend (in Del McCoury) to slip past them for the title — and pairing them with the always engaging and almost always idiosyncratic Jim Lauderdale (who lately penned his own tribute to guitarists George Shuffler and James Alan Shelton) and a bevy of his bluegrass pals was a great call. JON WEISBERGER

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