Bluegrass and country music fans should be familiar with the Steep Canyon Rangers. The band regularly tours with legendary actor/banjoist Steve Martin and have recorded three albums with him. Additionally, the band has pressed 13 albums since its formation in 2000. Back in June, they announced that lead vocalist and founding member Woody Platt was leaving the band. The Rangers released a final single with the original lineup and planned to finish their 2022 tour dates together. This week, the band announced a new addition to the lineup.
It would be all but impossible to replace Woody Platt. In fact, a statement released by the Steep Canyon Rangers back in June said that the band wouldn’t be where they are without him. However, his absence from the lineup left a hole in their harmonies that needed to be patched. As a result, they brought in North Carolina-based singer-songwriter Aaron Burdett to fill the spot.
More About the New Steep Canyon Ranger
Before Joining the Steep Canyon Rangers, Aaron Burdett had a promising solo career. He has released eight albums in the last seventeen years. Additionally, Burdett has won several songwriting awards over the years. WNC Magazine lists him as one of the most important musicians from Western North Carolina. That puts him in the same space as Doc Watson, the Avett Brothers, and the band he just joined.
His songwriting is honest, poetic, and witty and his musical style is a blend of country, blues, Americana, and bluegrass. In short, he’s a great fit for the Steep Canyon Rangers. “I got the call out of the blue from SCR on a Monday morning,” Burdett said in a statement. “Although I’d never imagined collaborating with them, the closer I looked at it, the better fit it seemed to be. As we’ve tested the waters and played gigs and traveled and hung out together, that feeling has only grown and solidified. It’s a dream come true to have an opportunity to play with musicians of this caliber and at this level. We already sound really good together and I can’t wait to see where we are a year from now.”
The Steep Canyon Rangers released a joint statement about their new member. “Aaron showed up on our radar late in the audition process and we were all struck with the honesty and power of his music. He arrives as an exceptional North Carolina artist in his own right, and our connection feels fresh and familiar at the same time. His talent as a singer and songwriter is already pushing the band to new heights.”
According to a press release, The Steep Canyon Rangers are currently working on a new album. The new record will showcase Burdett’s songwriting and singing alongside the rest of the band. It will be the beginning of a new chapter for the Rangers.