Steep Canyon Rangers

REVIEW: Steep Canyon Rangers “Morning Shift”


Steep Canyon Rangers – Morning Shift

It’s rather fitting that Steep Canyon Rangers relocated to Bat Cave, North Carolina, near the crossroads of Southern Appalachia, to record their latest, Morning Shift. The North Carolina Bluegrass band leans into their Appalachian musical instincts heavily on this, their 14th studio album.

The record opens on “Hominy Valley,” which tells the story about a Revolutionary War general who poisoned a local river after being convinced he was being tracked by Cherokees – a song that perfectly sets up the mood for the rest of the record mixing in a brilliant musical soundtrack to wildly creative lyrics. Elsewhere, the raucous “Deep End” – one of the early stand out tracks on the record – is about throwing caution to the wind and just going for it, while “Above My Burdens,” has a strong throwback feel to it and a more traditional Appalachian sound.

The band worked with producer Darrell Scott on Morning Shift, with everyone moving into the Inn Bat Cave, eating and sleeping together when they weren’t in the studio recording the album. “We’re a product of who the band was in the past as well as who we want to be in the present and future,” says Graham Sharp, the band’s lead vocalist and banjo player. “This recording session felt really good, because there was no pressure to be anything but ourselves in that moment. It was important that we came in without any preordained expectations about what kind of record this would be, and Darrell Scott was the perfect producer to provide guidance from an open perspective.”

This record also marks the first one with new band member Aaron Burdett on guitar and vocals.

The album closes on “Recommend Me,” a beautiful song about heartache and love that ends with a bit of optimism. A perfect cap to a musically eclectic album and one that will not only thrill longtime fans of the band but is likely to bring in even more.

Investigate for more information and tour dates here:

1 thought on “REVIEW: Steep Canyon Rangers “Morning Shift”

Leave a Reply!