Helmed by Graham Sharp’s banjo, “Sunny Days” is a gorgeous manifestation of several members’ virtuosity. “It’s got a driving pulse at the top of it, like a rock anthem, but it changes at the line, “What I wouldn’t give to be with you in the sunshine,” says Mike Guggino. “We knew the song had to change there, so we bring it down, and there’s a group solo with the banjo, fiddle, and mandolin all playing at once with each instrument occupying a different space. The music releases as the speaker releases that wish to be in the sunshine.”
Recorded over several days at the iconic Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, which marked the first time the band recorded outside NC, Arm in Arm was produced by the band with Brandon Bell (Zac Brown, John Prine). Featuring 11 original compositions, the album sees the band expanding their sound by paying homage to their early influences and the bluegrass tradition for which they’re known.
Previously released tracks from the forthcoming album include: “Honey On My Tongue,” “In The Next Life,” and the video for “Every River,” which received praise from Rolling Stone Country and Asheville Citizen-Times.
On October 3, the band will perform at this year’s IBMA Virtual World of Bluegrass lineup. Including many songs from the forthcoming album, performances for the two-day music festival can be accessed for free at worldofbluegrass.org.
For the release, the band partnered with Wicked Weed Brewing, an Asheville-based brewer who will contribute ten dollars per album (up to 2,000 albums) sold via the Yep Roc store to Haywood Street’s Downtown Welcome Table. This area organization provides a fine dining experience meant to counter the notion often held by those living on the streets that handouts, hand-me-downs, and leftovers are all I deserve.
Arm In Arm follows two 2019 releases that both debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart: North Carolina Songbook, an eight-song live album recorded at Merlefest featuring reinterpretations of songs from cross-generational NC icons; and Be Still Moses, an 11-song collaboration between the band and the Asheville Symphony, which featured a collaboration with Boyz II Men and the Asheville Symphony on the title track.
Over a 20-year career, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame inductees have released 12 solo albums and three collaborative albums with actor/banjoist Steve Martin. The Steep Canyon Rangers are Woody Platt, Graham Sharp, Mike Guggino, Nicky Sanders, Mike Ashworth, Barrett Smith.
The album is available for pre-order.
Arm In Arm Tracklisting:
1.One Drop of Rain
2. Sunny Days
3. Everything You Know
4. Every River
5. Honey On My Tongue
6. In the Next Life
7. Bullet in the Fire
8. Take My Mind (feat. Oliver Wood & Michael Bearden)
9. A Body Like Yours
11. Crystal Ship