Steep Canyon Rangers set for Feb. 8, presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Center

Bluegrass chart-toppers and festival headliners Steep Canyon Rangers, heralds of the Carolina sound, are frequent collaborators with renowned banjoist, actor and comedian Steve Martin.

Grammy Award winners Steep Canyon Rangers will perform Thursday, Feb. 8, presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center

Steep Canyon Rangers, of Asheville, North Carolina, are perennial Billboard chart-toppers and frequent collaborators with renowned banjoist, actor and comedian Steve Martin. Heralds of the Carolina sound for more than two decades, over the years Steep Canyon Rangers have risen to the top of the bluegrass genre, headlining major festivals such as Merlefest and Grey Fox Bluegrass. With the band’s last few albums, they have gained recognition from well beyond the world of bluegrass, earning a reputation as some of the most influential songwriters in Americana today, according to the band’s bio.

Reserved seating tickets are $20, $30 and $40. Purchase tickets at, call 205-975-2787, or visit the Alys Stephens Center Box Office at 1200 10th Ave. South, Birmingham. A limited supply of UAB employee and student ticket discounts are available.

Hailing from both the Appalachian and Piedmont regions of North Carolina, members of Steep Canyon Rangers are Graham Sharp on banjo and vocals; Mike Guggino on mandolin, mandola and vocals; Aaron Burdett on guitar and vocals; Nicky Sanders on fiddle and vocals; Mike Ashworth on drums and vocals; and Barrett Smith on bass, guitar and vocals. 

Over the band’s esteemed career, the three-time Grammy nominees have released 14 studio albums plus three collaborative albums with actor and banjoist Martin, been inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, and appeared on some of music’s biggest stages. In 2013, “Nobody Knows You” won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, while 2012’s “Rare Bird” and 2020’s “North Carolina Songbook” garnered nominations in the same category. “North Carolina Songbook” is a recording of their live 2019 performance at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, where they performed songs by North Carolina songwriters Ola Belle Reed, Doc Watson, James Taylor, Ben E. King and others. 

For “Be Still Moses” they teamed with Philadelphia soul legends Boyz II Men and their hometown Asheville Symphony to completely overhaul their original “Be Still Moses,” first recorded on their 2007 breakout album, “Lovin’ Pretty Women.” The album includes re-imagined versions of Steep Canyon’s previously released original songs performed with an orchestra.

Steep Canyon Rangers find themselves in a unique seat at the table for their new release, “Morning Shift,” released Sept. 8, 2023. On this record, the Grammy-winners tell stories that both honor their roots and expand upon the living art of bluegrass music. It was recorded in Bat Cave, North Carolina, at the Hickory Nut Gap Inn, a historical refuge settled near a long-forgotten crossroads of Southern Appalachia.