Song Premiere: Steep Canyon Rangers, “Stand And Deliver”

2013 Steep Canyon Rangers
Coming off a Grammy-winning album that was released only a year ago, bluegrass favorites Steep Canyon Rangers have already recorded another dozen songs for their new album Tell The Ones I Love due September 10 on Rounder Records. The group opted to hire a new producer, enlisting Larry Campbell who is no stranger to Grammy wins.

It was a partnership that immediately jelled. Campbell wanted the music to sound organic, a perfect fit with the talented musicians in the band. Coincidentally, the album was recorded in a barn – Levon Helm’s studio, in fact – which mirrors precisely the open air feel of “Stand And Deliver.” A synergy persists throughout the track, even in the album’s opening while the band confirms with the booth that they are recording over Charles Humphrey’s bass plucking. While there is certainly a bluegrass backbone to the song, a crossover country appeal also persists.

Graham Sharp, whose banjo work really opens up the tune, recalls the backstory: “I wrote the chorus in a half-sleep the night of my anniversary and had to run downstairs to jot it down; at the time it had to do with politics and the sense that the future was slipping away. The verses I wrote the next day while driving the band RV to Maysville, KY. The barnyard animals temper the vibe of impending doom, I hope.”