Steep Canyon Rangers

Hailing from both the Appalachian and Piedmont regions of North Carolina, the Rangers have long held traditional bluegrass paramount, while possessing an exceptional ability to bring it down the mountain, and to incorporate accessible influence from all walks of the region. With the band’s last few albums, they have gained recognition from well beyond the world of bluegrass, earning a reputation as some of the most influential songwriters in Americana today.

Newcomer to this ship, Aaron Burdett, brings a soul-stirring element to the Rangers’ mastery of mountain music. Burdett is an award-winning singer-songwriter, and a student of folk tradition. He provides a fresh, emotional context to the songbook, which “can reach out and touch your heart or slap you in the face,” to use the praise of drummer and multi-instrumentalist, Mike Ashworth.

Steep Canyon Rangers is made up of Graham Sharp on banjo and vocals, Mike Guggino on mandolin/mandola and vocals, Aaron Burdett on guitar and vocals, Nicky Sanders on fiddle and vocals, Mike Ashworth on drums and vocals, and Barrett Smith on bass, guitar, and vocals.

Over the band’s esteemed career, the three-time Grammy nominees have released 14 studio albums, three collaborative albums with actor and banjoist Steve Martin, been inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, and appeared on some of music’s biggest stages. In 2013, Nobody Knows You won the GRAMMY Award for Best Bluegrass Album, while 2012’s Rare Bird and 2020’s North Carolina Songbook garnered nominations in the same category.

Jimmy Webb – America’s Songwriter

Jimmy Webb, America’s Songwriter, has written songs that transcend generations and genres –think “Wichita Lineman,” “MacArthur Park,”  “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” and “Didn’t We.”  This Motown-trained composer writes all of his own lyrics and music and is the only hit maker to have scored songs on the Pop, Country, R&B, Rap, Disco and New Age charts. During this Evening with Jimmy Webb, audiences will hear this multi-Grammy Award winner’s songs and experience his insightful and often humorous stories about his work with Glen Campbell, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt (“Still Within the Sound of My Voice”), Art Garfunkel (“All I Know”), The Fifth Dimension (“Up, Up and Away”), The Highwaymen (“The Highwayman”), Kanye West (“Famous”  features Webb’s “Do What You Gotta Do”), and more.

Jimmy Webb is the author of the memoir, The Cake and the Rain, and the “bible” of songwriting, Tunesmith: The Art of Songwriting.  In 2019 Webb released a piano-only CD, SlipCover, featuring some of his favorite songs from his contemporaries; Billy Joel, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones and more.

“… A night with Jimmy at the keys is not unlike getting to hear George Gershwin or Cole Porter live. It’s hard to believe one guy could have written all these amazing songs…if you get a chance to see him live, grab it…”
– Paul Zolo, American Songwriter Magazine

Judy Collins

Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century.

The award-winning singer-songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” from her landmark 1967 album, Wildflowers, has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy’s dreamy and sweetly intimate version of “Send in the Clowns,” a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical A Little Night Music,won “Song of the Year” at the 1975 Grammy Awards. She’s garnered several top-ten hits gold- and platinum-selling albums. Recently, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the album Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins.

Judy began her impressive music career at 13 as a piano prodigy dazzling audiences performing Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos,” but the hardluck tales and rugged sensitivity of folk revival music by artists such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger seduced her away from a life as a concert pianist. Her path pointed to a lifelong love affair with the guitar and pursuit of emotional truth in lyrics. The focus and regimented practice of classical music, however, would be a source of strength to her inner core as she navigated the highs and lows of the music business.

In 1961, she released her masterful debut, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, which featured interpretative works of social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. This began a wonderfully fertile thirty-five year creative relationship with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Around this time Judy became a tastemaker within the thriving Greenwich Village folk community, and brought other singer-songwriters to a wider audience, including poet/musician Leonard Cohen – and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and up to the present, she has remained a vital artist, enriching her catalog with critically acclaimed albums while balancing a robust touring schedule.

Prolific as ever, Judy recorded a DVD special Judy Collins: A Love Letter To Stephen Sondheim, in her hometown of Denver, CO. Along with the Greely Philharmonic Orchestra, Judy dazzled the audience with Sondheim’s beautiful songs and her lovely, radiant voice. DVD and CD companion will be released in early 2017. Judy also released a collaborative album in June 2016, Silver Skies Blue, with writing partner, Ari Hest. Silver Skies Blue has been GRAMMY nominated for BEST FOLK ALBUM in 2017, this is the first GRAMMY nomination for Collins in over 40 years.

On September 18, 2015, Judy released Strangers Again. She invited a cast of icons and young talents to sing with her on this fresh collection, from Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne and Jeff Bridges to Glen Hansard, Ari Hest and Bhi Bhiman. Judy delicately soars over a revitalized “Send In The Clowns” and breathes new

life into “Hallelujah.” She puts her indelible touch on songs by Leonard Bernstein, Randy Newman, James Taylor and more.

In 2012, she released the CD/DVD Judy Collins Live At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art which aired on PBS. This special television program was nominated for a New York Emmy and won a Bronze Medal at the 2013 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards. Based on it’s success, in 2014 she filmed another spectacular show in Ireland at Dromoland Castle. Live In Ireland was released in 2014. This program also won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards and the program will broadcast on PBS in 2014 and 2015.

Judy has also authored several books, including the powerful and inspiring, Sanity & Grace and her extraordinary memoir, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music. For her most recent title to be released in 2017, Cravings, she provides a no-holds barred account of her harrowing struggle with compulsive overeating, and the journey that led her to a solution. Alternating between chapters on her life and those of the many diet gurus she has encountered along the way (Atkins, Jean Nidtech of Weight Watchers, Andrew Weil, to name a few), Cravings is the culmination of Judy’s genuine desire to share what she’s learned—so that no one has follow her heart-rending path to recovery.

In addition, she remains a social activist, representing UNICEF and numerous other causes. She is the director (along with Jill Godmillow) of an Academy Award-nominated film about Antonia Brico – PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, the first woman to conduct major symphonies around the world–and Judy’s classical piano teacher when she was young.

Judy Collins, now 77, is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, touring worldwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.

The Jayhawks

The incredible harmonies and distinctive arrangements of The Jayhawks set them apart from the rest of the Minneapolis music scene that emerged in the 1980s. Over the course of almost 4 decades, 11 albums, countless memorable live shows and enough personal drama to fill a couple of Behind the Music episodes, this beloved band soared to heights few ever achieve while winning the hearts and minds of numerous critics, fans and peers in the process.

After releasing 2 Indie albums in the 80s, The Jayhawks had  become a driving force and inspiration behind the growing Americana movement in the early 1990s. Combining the talents of singer-songwriters Gary Louris and Mark Olson, The Jayhawks released their major label debut, the acclaimed Hollywood Town Hall (1992) on the Def American label. This was followed by Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995), which produced the alternative radio hit single “Blue.”

When Olson left to pursue a solo career, Louris singularly took over the songwriting role in The Jayhawks creating the band’s enduring sound on some of their best selling and well-received albums including Sound of Lies (1997), Smile (2000) and Rainy Day Music (2003).

Louris continues to write and tour with the longtime core group of Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg, and Tim O’Reagan. While the touring line-up has changed over the years and Olson briefly reappeared in 2010 to record and tour, this classic lineup maintains a commitment to excellence and forward motion in their shows and in their recordings. Paging Mr. Proust (2016), was produced in Portland with Peter Buck and Tucker Martine and found the band moving in several new exciting directions. The band’s 10th studio album, Back Roads And Abandoned Motels, was released in the summer of 2018, featuring Jayhawks versions of songs Gary Louris had previously written with other artists plus 2 new compositions. In July  2020 The Jayhawks released their latest album, XOXO, that features songwriting and lead vocal contributions from all 4 core members.

The Jayhawks have made music in 4 different decades and are as vital now as they were in 1985. They definitely have earned their reputation as a true American treasure.

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band / The Tillers

The Tillers have been thumping their own distinctive sound of string band style folk music for a decade, riding it all over the country and across the sea. Four studio albums and one live record have won them praise as modern folk storytellers of the national soundscape. They have shared the stage with a broad swath of national acts, from folk legends like Doc Watson, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Guy Clark, Country Joe McDonald, Jerry Douglas, Iris Dement, Pokey LaFarge, and The Carolina Chocolate Drops to rock daredevils like the Legendary Shack Shakers. The band came into being while busking for nickels and dimes in the gaslight district of Cincinnati. Now far removed from those humble beginnings, the band has won over Cincinnati’s bar and festival scene and launched international tours with tireless momentum. They resurrect songs of America’s past, craft originals all their own while touching on themes both historical and timeless. They are Cincinnati’s traveling minstrels. Expect to hear from them soon.


The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band consists of outstanding musicians with over 100 years of combined recording and performance experience. Joining guitarist Peter Rowan are Chris Henry, mandolin and vocals, Max Wareham, banjo and vocals, Julian Pinelli, fiddle and Eric Thorin, bass. The ensemble has graced the stages of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Grey Fox, Merlefest, Rothbury Australia’s National Folk Festival, and numerous other festivals domestically and abroad, entertaining audiences with original and traditional songs executed in vibrant harmony.

In April 2013 Peter Rowan released The Old School, a magnificent blending of old school sounds and players (Del McCoury, Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne and Buddy Picher) with some of the bright young talent such as Chris Henry, Ronnie & Robbie McCoury performing memorable new songs such as “Doc Watson Morning”, “Drop The Bone” and “Keepin’ It Between The Lines (Old School)”. The Old School followed the group’s debut album for Nashville’s Compass Records- Legacy; the recording, featuring traditional and original compositions, was produced by Compass owner/recording artist Alison Brown and includes Ricky Skaggs, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and Del McCoury. Legacy received a Grammy nomination in 2010. Rebel Records was the home for Peter’s next bluegrass masterpiece, Carter Stanley’s Eyes, and 2022 will see Peter’s second Rebel release, featuring members of the latest incarnation of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band

Peter Rowan – Guitar, Vocals
GRAMMY-award winner and six-time GRAMMY nominee, Peter Rowan is a bluegrass singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe, Peter’s stint in Old & In the Way with Jerry Garcia and his subsequent breakout as both a solo performer and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through his continuous stream of original recordings, collaborative projects, and constant touring.

Chris Henry- Mandolin, Vocals
Chris Henry, son of bluegrass musicians Red and Murphy Henry, grew up around the old school sound. After intense study in his formative years, the International Bluegrass Music Association, referring to his mandolin picking, has called him “the premiere Monroe stylist of his generation.” Moving to Nashville about ten years ago, Chris was fortunate to develop his singing with great performers like Shawn Camp and Verlon Thompson among many others. He received an IBMA nomination for Song of the Year in 2011 for writing “Walking West to Memphis.” Chris also enjoys working as a musical educator, teaching workshops at colleges and camps across the country as well as giving private lessons, and producing recordings from his studio in Nashville.

Max Wareham: Banjo, Vocals
Max is the son of Peter’s second cousin, John; bluegrass is one of Max’s many musical lives. Hailing from New England, he studied jazz guitar at The New School in New York before moving to Western Massachusetts and falling in love with the banjo. Years with a psych-pop band called Sun Parade and a classic rock band called Cousin Moon, Max’s own influences include English folk music, early country music and astronauts.

Julian Pinelli: Fiddle
Julian Pinelli’s masterful fiddling fits perfectly with a modern approach to bluegrass and new acoustic music. Awarded the 2016 Fresh Grass Fiddle Award and winner of the 2017 RockyGrass fiddle competition, Julian spent his childhood surrounded by many iconic acoustic musicians in Asheville NC including fiddler Bobby Hicks – whose smooth and lush sound has had a big impact on Julian’s playing. Now residing in Boston and a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music, Julian has been honored with the 2016 Fletcher Bright Award and Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival’s 2015 Bill Vernon Memorial Scholarship.

Eric Thorin: Acoustic Double Bass
A highly regarded musician/bassist living on the front range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Eric can be found on stage in in The Matt Flinner Trio with Ross Martin, Danny Barnes and various touring luminaries such as Darol Anger, Bonnie Paine, Tony Furtado and more. Teaching is a big part of his presence including The Crested Butte Music Festival, Spanish Peaks Celtic Festival, Grand Targhee Music Camp as well as serving as adjunct faculty in the newly formed Folk and Bluegrass program at the University of Northern Colorado.