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Steep Canyon Rangers play the Blue Ridge Music Center August 29

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Steep Canyon RangersGalax, VA – The Steep Canyon Rangers bring their original bluegrass sound to the Blue Ridge Music Center on Saturday, August 29, at 7 p.m., as the North Carolina band’s ninth studio album, Radio, makes its debut. The same day, the Blue Ridge Parkway is looking ahead to its yearlong celebration of the National Park Service’s 2016 centennial anniversary with kick-off festivities at the Music Center.

The Steep Canyon Rangers effortlessly walk the line between festival favorites and sophisticated string orchestra. It’s that mix of serious chops and good-natured fun that earned the Steep Canyon Rangers the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2013 (Nobody Knows You). Last winter, band members Woody Platt (guitar), Graham Sharp (banjo), Charles R. Humphrey III (bass), Mike Guggino (mandolin), Nicky Sanders (fiddle), and Mike Ashworth (box kit) stepped into the studio with 14-time Grammy winner and producer Jerry Douglas (John Oates, Alison Krauss, Del McCoury Band) to record Radio at Echo Mountain Recording Studio in Asheville, NC.

Mountain Park Old Time Band, one of the most popular old-time music dance bands in the region, opens the show. The friends and talented musicians that make up the group are Nancy Gentry (bass), Johnny Gentry (multi-instrumentalist), C.T. Janney (washboard and dancing), Roger Stamper (fiddle), and Mark Handy (banjo, vocals, dancing). The band performs regularly at the Alleghany Jubilee in Sparta, NC, and is an audience favorite at the Rex Theatre in Galax and The Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, VA

Visitors can arrive early to kick off the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary celebration, which will be marked with events along the Parkway throughout 2016. Starting at 1 p.m., visitors can talk with the multiple groups that support the mission of the Blue Ridge Parkway through volunteer efforts, fund-raising, cultural enrichment, land protection, and additional contributions. Participating partners are the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Blue Ridge Parkway Association, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, Eastern National, and Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There will also be live music by members of The Wolfe Brothers String Band from noon to 4 p.m. on the breezeway.

At 5 p.m., the Blue Ridge Music Center will host a ticketed Taste of the Mountains reception at the Luthier Shop, featuring bites from local restaurants Bogey’s, Scoots, and The Galax Smokehouse, beer from Creek Bottom Brews, and wine.

Steep Canyon Rangers + Centennial Celebration takes place Saturday, August 29th at noon in the Blue Ridge Music Center, 700 Foothills Road, Galax, Virginia - just off Milepost 213 - Blue Ridge Parkway.

Noon to 4 p.m.: Midday Mountain Music (free)
1 to 7 p.m.: Centennial Celebration Partner Showcase (free)
5 to 7 p.m.: Taste of the Mountains Reception (ticketed)
7 p.m.: Concert with the Steep Canyon Rangers and Mountain Park Old Time Band (ticketed)

The Midday Mountain Music performance and Centennial Partner Showcase are free. Tickets for the Taste of the Mountains reception are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event, $10 for Music Center members. Tickets for the Steep Canyon Rangers concert are $20. For tickets, call (866) 308-2773, ext. 245, or visit Reception tickets are limited and only available by phone in advance or at the gate the day of the event while supplies last.

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