Charles R. Humphrey III was born under the sign of Capricorn on Christmas Day 1976 in Greenville, North Carolina. He has been playing upright bass since middle school and also studied classically at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where the Steep Canyon Rangers was formed. Charles has released two side projects of original compositions, “Songs from the Road Band” and “Songs from the Road Band: As The Crow Flies.” Twice selected by the IBMA as a showcase songwriter, his songs have been recorded by the Steep Canyon Rangers, Steve Martin, Town Mountain, Mark Schimick, Jed Fisher, Sav Sankaran, The Canucky Bluegrass Boys, and Songs from the Road Band. He's proud to call Asheville, North Carolina home.
ABOUT THE BAND
"True bluegrass, when done well, is a thing of art and the Steep Canyon Rangers are the genre's current Rembrandt."
The past year has taken the Steep Canyon Rangers to new heights. In March 2011, the band released its first collaborative record with Steve Martin, ”Rare Bird Alert” which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and at #43 on the Billboard Top 200. In 2010, the latest solo record from Steep Canyon Rangers, ”Deep In The Shade”, remained in the Bluegrass Top 10 on Billboard for 18 weeks. While headlining festivals like MerleFest and Bonnaroo alongside Steve Martin for part each year, the Rangers continue to perform alone as a quintet on stages such as Telluride, RockyGrass, and ”A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. Recent television appearances by Steve Martin with Steep Canyon Rangers include ”Late Night With David Letterman”, ”The Colbert Report” & ”Austin City Limits.” With smooth vocals, smart songwriting, ferocious instrumentals and jaw-dropping harmony, the Rangers are bringing Bluegrass to music lovers across the USA and around the world. Steep Canyon Rangers are:
Originally from California, Nicky Sanders began training as a classical violinist at age 5. After serving as concertmaster of the Young People's Symphony Orchestra, he moved to Boston, MA to attend Berklee College of Music where he studied Jazz, Bluegrass and Composition. In 2004, Nicky moved to North Carolina to join Steep Canyon Rangers, first appearing on the album "One Dime at a Time" and three more records since. In 2010, the IBMA nominated the Rangers' recording of Nicky's fiddle tune "Mourning Dove" as Instrumental Performance of the Year. The song appears on the band's latest CD "Deep in the Shade". Nicky also enjoys solving New York Times crossword puzzles and drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Mike Guggino grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina, where he learned to play piano, saxophone and guitar. He didn’t encounter bluegrass until college, though, when friends from Kentucky introduced him to the sounds of Hot Rize, the Seldom Scene, Tony Rice, New Grass Revival, and John Hartford. From there, he found his way to the music of Bill Monroe, and the mandolin, an instrument that also harkened back to his Italian great-grandparents. Mike immediately began to immerse himself in the bluegrass tradition and write original songs of his own. Over the past decade, his unique compositions have become signature Rangers tunes. Mike is proud to play Kimble mandolins and mandolas.
Graham Sharp began playing banjo in college and almost immediately fell into playing with Charles and Woody. Originally introduced to bluegrass by his high school Latin teacher, Graham was drawn to the sounds of John Hartford and Norman Blake. Through the years he has penned more than thirty Steep Canyon Rangers songs. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina and most enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, Wade and Rosalie.
Woody Platt‘s musical career began in the third grade, when he sang in the Brevard, North Carolina Boys Choir. He played trumpet and baritone in his middle school band, then became interested in bluegrass and guitar as a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He, Charles Humphrey, and Graham Sharp started playing together as students, eventually forming the Rangers. Woody founded the Mountain Song Festival as a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County in 2006, and continues to co-produce it. He lives in Brevard, North Carolina with his wife, the singer and songwriter Shannon Whitworth, and spends much of his time off the road in a trout stream.