Paste Magazine: MerleFest 2015

The latter two acts had drummers, of course, but so did the Steep Canyon Rangers, the Grammy-winning bluegrass band best known for collaborating with Steve Martin. For their Sunday afternoon set at the Hillside Stage (one of 13 stages scattered around the campus of Wilkes Community College), the Rangers added a percussionist to their usual five-man line-up of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar and acoustic bass. Michael Ashworth sat atop his Peruvian cajon, a hollow wooden box that he slapped to produce a sound that resemble a brush hitting a tom drum. He’s not the first person to use a cajon in a string band, but he demonstrated its useful ability to blend in with the other hollow, wooden instruments on stage. He was especially effective on the band’s railroad songs, providing a clickety-clack, Johnny Cash-like momentum that allowed virtuoso fiddler Nicky Sanders to wail like a train whistle.
— Geoffrey Himes