The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the national anthem and the flag that inspired it with two major initiatives: a live Flag Day event in Washington, D.C., and an anthem website with specially commissioned music videos. Steep Canyon Rangers, Jonathan Batiste, Sam Bush, Phish, Train, Della Mae and many others are helping the Smithsonian celebrate the flag’s bicentennial by recording their own unique renditions of the anthem or by participating in public service announcements.
They have created special videos and audio tracks for an interactive timeline on the website where they will be featured alongside traditional versions from the archives of the Star-Spangled Music Foundation and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. The videos are available on YouTube and below.
The Steep Canyon Rangers also recently participated in a promotional shoot at the Graveyard Fields trail on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway near their home in Brevard, NC. This video is designed to help bring awareness to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and their on-going fundraising to maintain and improve the Parkway.
Currently, renovations are being done at the trailhead and parking area for the Graveyard Fields trail. Mandolinist Mike Guggino’s song “Graveyard Fields” was inspired by this special place, that song led the Foundation to the approach the band and local filmmaker Paul Bonesteel of Bonesteel Films to capture some a performance of the song and footage at this special location. You might be wondering where bassist Charles Humphrey III is. On a foggy and rainy morning, he took a wrong turn and by the time he arrived, it was too stormy to continue shooting. He's there in spirit though, and you can hear the bass on the track.