Steep Canyon Rangers

Mr. Taylor's New Home

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    8
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The second album from this accomplished young group features a majority of strong original material, led by banjoist Graham Sharp, whose best contributions are the lovely harmony piece "Hibriten Mountain" and the humorous "Money Out of Sand." "Knob Creek" is a wonderfully forlorn instrumental piece built around Mike Guggino's mandolin, and bassist Charles Humphrey supplies the car-crash drama "Norma Jean." Perhaps the most striking thing about the Steep Canyon Rangers is their restraint -- they exude a naturalness in their playing that is remarkable for such a young group, and the fact that they play within their limits deserves extra applause. Each note is well placed, each song fully realized, and with five strong vocalists, their harmonies (especially on the beautiful "Good Old Country Baptizing") are among the warmest in bluegrass.

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