pbs

Steep Canyon Rangers Join Steve Martin At America’s Biggest 4th of July Party

The Steep Canyon Rangers brought America's music to America's Day, teaming with entertainment icon Steve Martin to bring serious bluegrass with a comedic twist to the Fourth of July Celebration at The National Mall in Washington DC. Their high-energy performance, part of a star-studded Independence Day event, marks the year's highest profile and most-watched bluegrass concert, the latest milestone for The Steep Canyon Rangers in a year that has included two Presidential concerts!

Performing for almost half a million people gathered on The Mall, as well as millions more at home tuned onto PBS' annual presentation of A Capitol Fourth, Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers debuted their new MP3 single, "Me and Paul Revere." The original song, based on Martin's historical research, sets the record straight amid all the recent confusion and controversy. Sung by Steep Canyon Ranger guitarist Woody Platt, "Me and Paul Revere" tells the story of that famous ride from the point of view of Revere's horse, Brown Beauty. The song has become the official show closer of Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers' 50-plus date national tour in support of their recent celebrated CD, Rare Bird Alert (Rounder), featuring guest appearances by Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks.

Part of a patriotic evening that ranged from first-generation rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard to Glee star Matthew Morrison, Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers turned Independence Day into Jubilation Day. Their hard-driving set had folks dancing all over mall, all captured by PBS' cameras. Along with his trademark comical emcee work, Martin displayed his versatility on the banjo, performing both Scruggs style and clawhammer pieces. The Steep Canyon Rangers took the spotlight for the finale, showcasing Nicky Sanders' explosive improvisations on the fiddlers' national anthem, "The Orange Blossom Special."

The Steep Canyon Rangers' appearance on A Capitol Fourth is the latest episode in a remarkable year of working with Martin to bring bluegrass to new audiences at such high-profile, non-traditional venues as Carnegie Hall and headlining Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazzfest, The Newport Folk Festival and Merlefest. SCR also just signed with Rounder Records, the premier bluegrass record label. Their partnership further establishes Steep Canyon Rangers as an extraordinary presence on the bluegrass and roots music scene, joining the likes of other Rounder artists such as Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Robert Plant. SCR will release a new album with Rounder in 2012.

Sept. 9-10, The Steep Canyon Rangers will present their annual Mountain Song Festival at the world-renowned Brevard Music Center in Brevard, NC. With previous headliners like Doc Watson, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, David Holt, David Grisman Quintet and Steve Martin, the festival has raised over $190,000 for the Transylvania County Boys & Girls Club.

"Me and Paul Revere" is available at www.steepcanyon.com, where you can also find Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers' "Jubilation Day" video and a complete SCR tour schedule. For Mountain Song Festival tickets and information: www.mountainsongfestival.com. The archive of the PBS broadcast is located here: http://video.pbs.org/video/2042635078.

MIKE + RUTHY'S FOLK CITY Tonight At Cornelia Street Café

Mike + Ruthy's Folk City is the new 4th-Wednesday series at Cornelia Street Cafe. This month Mike + Ruthy will be inviting the family on stage for a heart-warming evening of American roots music! Jay Ungar and Molly Mason achieved international acclaim when their performance of Jay's composition, Ashokan Farewell, became the musical hallmark of Ken Burns' The Civil War on PBS. When the whole family band gets together, they'll have your toes tapping with everything from cajun to celtic fiddle tunes and favorites from the golden age of country and swing. reservations strongly reccommend.

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Wed  Oct 27th 8:30PM      
MIKE + RUTHY'S FOLK CITY, (JAY UNGAR & MOLLY MASON FAMILY BAND)
(Jay Ungar, violin, mandolin; Molly Mason, guitar, piano; Ruthy Ungar, violin, guitar; Mike Merenda, banjo, percussion)

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CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ
29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York    212-989-9319
http://www.corneliastreetcafe.com

PBS featuring Page McConnell + PORTER, BATISTE, STOLTZ

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Page McConnell will join George Porter Jr., Russell Batiste Jr., and Brian Stoltz (PBS) for a handful of dates starting this Wednesday.  Page and Russell have a musical history - playing together in Vida Blue, a band that Page formed in 2001. Most recently, Page performed with PBS at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

PORTER, BATISTE, STOLTZ featuring PAGE MCCONNELL

September 24 Revolution Hall Troy, NY
September 25 Lupo's Providence, RI
September 26 BB Kings New York, NY
September 27 Higher Ground Burlington, VT

Tickets are on sale now for all shows. Click here for more information.