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Interview: Steep Canyon Rangers singer-guitarist Aaron Burdett

Steep Canyon Rangers (Courtesy Steep Canyon Rangers)
Steep Canyon Rangers (Courtesy Steep Canyon Rangers)

The Steep Canyon Rangers, a North Carolina-based bluegrass group, will be performing at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

According to their website, the Steep Canyon Rangers have three Grammy nominations and were awarded a Grammy in 2013 for Best Bluegrass Album for "Nobody Knows You." In addition, they’re been inducted into North Carolina’s Music Hall of Fame.

One of the Steep Canyon Rangers’ claims to fame is collaborating with American musician, actor and comedian Steve Martin.

Aaron Burdett, the group's singer and guitarist, said the collaboration started when Martin's then-girlfriend and now wife, who the band knew from Western North Carolina many moons ago, told the band she knew Martin.

"I think they were in New York visiting, and she said 'I've started dating Steve Martin.' And they all were like 'Steve Martin? Like the Steve Martin?' And she said yes," recalled Burdett.

Burdett said one thing led to another, and they've been collaborating for 15 years.

The Steep Canyon Rangers released their 14th new album, "Morning Shift," this year. Joining the sextet bluegrass group a year ago, Burdett has been in "Rangerland" ever since he recorded his first album with the band.

"Having not recorded with them but having done a lot of recording, the place you are in the studio where you record can have a lot to do with the attitude and the product you’re making,” Burdett said.

Burdett says he hasn’t played in Gainesville with the band but is excited.

Elliot is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing