Bluegrass and country music fans might know Steep Canyon Rangers as the band that supports Steve Martin. They regularly tour with the iconic actor/banjoist and have cut two studio albums with him. However, they have a deep catalog of their own. The Rangers have been making music together since 2000 and have released 13 albums. After 22 years, the Rangers’ lineup is changing. Founding member and lead vocalist Woody Platt is stepping down.
Platt will finish this year’s tour dates with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Additionally, Platt and the rest of the Rangers stepped into the studio to record one last song together. The band released the single, “Sweet Spot” today. It’s a fitting farewell for Platt and a glimpse into what fans can expect from the Rangers in the future.
Steep Canyon Rangers Find a “Sweet Spot”
About “Sweet Spot,” Steep Canyon Rangers banjo player and vocalist Graham Sharp said, “Everybody’s got that place or state of mind that is the sweet spot. It’s not always easy to get there but when it’s just right, you know it. This song seemed like the perfect place to let a bunch of voices sing about that sweet spot, wherever they can find it.”
Barret Smith (guitar/vocals), Mike Ashworth (bass/vocals), Woody Platt (vocals), and Sharp co-penned the song. Each of them wrote a verse about their “sweet spot” and handled vocals for their respective verses in the song.
Platt Steps Down
Recently, Woody Platt announced that he was leaving the Steep Canyon Rangers. Platt’s decision comes from a desire to stay closer to home. I guess you could say that Platt is looking for his sweet spot, even if it does come with a major sacrifice. In a release, Platt commented on his time in the band and made it clear that he’s leaving on good terms. . “Being a Steep Canyon Ranger has been the highlight of my life! … It’s been an honor and absolute joy to be a member of this band — I’m incredibly excited to see what gold lies ahead for my brothers in music.”
The same release included a statement from the band. In it, they reinforce the fact that Platt and the Rangers are splitting on friendly terms. They’re also looking forward to the road ahead. “Obviously, Steep Canyon Rangers wouldn’t be where we are without Woody,” the statement read. “We’ll miss him and we wish him all the success in the world in his next chapter. Right now we’ve got a renewed energy around the change. It’s given us a chance to unlock everyone’s talent and has made room for us to step into some new roles. We truly think our fans are going to love where we’re heading right now and can’t wait to get it on stage and in the studio.”