Steep Canyon Rangers don't always get the attention that more aggressively (and narrowly) tradition-minded young bluegrass bands get, but that doesnt mean they dont deserve it. The IBMA's voters recognized this when the North Carolina quintet's latest effort Lovin' Pretty Women scored an Album Of The Year nomination in 2008. Back in town to record a follow-up with Ronnie Bowman, the same genial yet perceptive producer from their last effort, theyll likely be in a mood to shake off the intensity of recording with a relaxed yet lively set. And while guitarist Woody Platt handles most of the lead singing with an affably straightforward voice, the Rangers are truly a team effort, with every member pulling his weight almost effortlessly. With multiple songwriters in the group, an unusually stable lineup and a calendar that stays crowded season after season, this is one tight bunch that's always right on the money.
Thu., March 5, 9 p.m., 2009