Saturday, April 17, 2021, 7:30 PM EDT
Streamed from the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre
$10 individual tickets
Free for Virginia Tech students
Included in Spring Fan(fare) Pass
A recording will remain available to ticket holders for seven days following the live event.
“A remarkable respite...one that continues to underscore the exceptional reputation they’ve managed to accrue over the space of the past 20 years...Quite frankly, there’s no better band equipped to connect past with present while blurring whatever divide remains in-between.” —Bluegrass Today
“Her razor-sharp guitar picking alone guarantees her a place among masters, but it’s her deep-hued voice that can change on a dime from brushed steel to melted toffee that commands attention.” —The New York Times, about Amythyst Kiah
Experience the diverse sounds of today’s Appalachia when some of our region’s leading musicians take the Fife stage for an exclusive livestream. Asheville, North Carolina-based Grammy winner Steep Canyon Rangers, known for its innovative spirit and virtuosic playing, headlines this evening, which includes opener Amythyst Kiah, a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter from Johnson City, Tennessee, who amazes audiences with her raw and powerful vocals.
Steep Canyon Rangers has been on a journey that is uniquely its own. The band started while members attended college at UNC-Chapel Hill, diving head first into bluegrass in its most traditional form. Over the years the band has risen to the top of the bluegrass genre, headlining top festivals such as Merlefest and Grey Fox Bluegrass, only to be discovered by actor and banjo player Steve Martin. Martin has taken the group on a nearly decade-long tour, introducing it to hundreds of thousands of new fans and helping it become the most recognizable modern name in bluegrass music.
Featuring Woody Platt on guitar and vocals, Graham Sharp on banjo and vocals, Mike Guggino on mandolin/mandola and vocals, Nicky Sanders on fiddle and vocals, Mike Ashworth on drums and vocals, and Barrett Smith on bass and vocals, the band is often compared to predecessors The Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the modern Zac Brown Band.
Steep Canyon Rangers released three albums in 2020, all on Yep Roc Records. The Grammy-nominated North Carolina Songbook is a recording of its live 2019 performance at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in which the band performed a selection of songs by North Carolina songwriters (Ola Belle Reed, Doc Watson, James Taylor, Ben E. King, and others). Be Still Moses features the band’s collaboration with Philadelphia soul legends Boyz II Men and its hometown Asheville Symphony, while its most recent release of all original music, Arm in Arm, came out in October.
Born in Chattanooga and based in Johnson City, Kiah finds inspiration in old time music, alternative rock, folk, country, and blues. Provocative and fierce with a commanding stage presence, Kiah’s ability to cross boundaries is groundbreaking and simply unforgettable.
Our Native Daughters, her recent collaboration with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla (presented in the Moss HomeStage Series last September), and Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago), has delivered the album Songs of Our Native Daughters. NPR described the opening track, Black Myself, written by Kiah, as “the simmering defiance of self-respect in the face of racism.” The song was nominated for a Grammy for Best American Roots Song.
Her stylistic range will be on full display in her next full-length album expected on Rounder Records soon. Kiah regularly tours the United Kingdom and has performed at Celtic Connections, Southern Fried Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, and SummerTyne Americana Festival. She is a crowd favorite at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and has shined at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, and Winnipeg Folk Festival. Kiah has opened for artists such as the Indigo Girls, Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons, Old Crow Medicine Show, First Aid Kit, Darrell Scott, and Tim O’Brien.
The Moss Arts Center brings the stage to your home—or wherever you want to experience great performances. We're partnering with artists and other performing arts presenters from across the country, tapping into our collective creativity to bring you inspirational performances and unparalleled access to artists. Get up close and personal with the artists during performances and conversations and learn more about them and their work through moderated discussions and questions and answers from the audience—all from the comfort of your own home. Grab your favorite snack, kick back, and settle in. You're guaranteed to have a front row seat.