Rooted in tradition, fearlessly creative and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, with a reputation for energetic live shows and impeccable musicianship, The Slocans have been winning over audiences from RockyGrass to Merlefest and everywhere in between.
Influenced by artists such as The Stanley Brothers, Norman Blake and Steve Earle, the band instil both the old and the modern into their music and on Queen City Jubilee, The Slocans’ showcase their unique blend of bluegrass, old-time and folk with deep song-writing, lightning fast instrumentals and sawdust-thick vocals.
Produced by Chris Coole, one of Canada’s pre-eminent folk musicians, Queen City Jubilee marks a profound step in the band’s growth both as songwriters and interpreters, the Slocans’ old time and folk influences shining through on originals like ‘Makin’ Home’, ‘Mighty Hard Road’ and ‘First Train in the Morning’, while their passion for rippin’ bluegrass and interpreting traditional music is showcased on ‘Mississippi Heavy Water Blues’, ‘Sun’s Gonna Shine in my Back Door Someday’ and ‘Riley the Furniture Man’. The three dedicated instrumentals on the album, ‘Down in the Sugarbush’, ‘New Morning’ and ‘Shut the Door’, reveal their collective influences and the direction taken on Queen City Jubilee.
The Slocan Ramblers came out of Toronto’s gritty bluegrass scene, playing late-night bars to boisterous crowds in a city once called Hogtown for its industrial pig meat industry. The dusty grit in banjo player Frank Evans’ voice fits perfectly into an older world of bluegrass that still remembers its roots in working class communities. Perhaps that is why they’re more Louvin Brothers than they are Ricky Skaggs. Some of this comes from their long-term interest in and respect for old-time Appalachian traditions. Evans moves back and forth between clawhammer and Scruggs-style banjo, while mandolinist Adrian Gross has the speed and aggression of Big Mon himself in his playing. Thundering bassist Alastair Whitehead has a softer voice than Evans, but with a hint of world-weary wistfulness. Guitarist Darryl Poulsen’s as steady as a rolling train, shovelling coal into the red-hot furnace of racing bluegrass tempos.
Praise for The Slocan Ramblers
“If you’ve grown tired of the same old sounds, here’s a band who reinvents a genre.” Bluegrass Unlimited
“…dazzling instrumentals and well-harmonised songs…phenomenal technical ability” Country Music People
“For a bunch of boys from Toronto, the Slocan Ramblers are turning out a piping hot brand of bluegrass that you just may think was cut fresh from a back porch in the Blue Ridge.” Elmore Magazine
“…the Slocan Ramblers are living up to their reputation as the Canadian bluegrass band to watch, and then some.” Exclaim! (9/10)
“…a real flair for inventive arrangements” fRoots
“Playing a feisty mix of traditional and self-penned tunes, the group is in formidable form…a brilliant preview of what to expect when the band tours the UK in October and November.” RNR (4 stars)
“This music exists in the same realm as The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, and the Louvin Brothers, which is to say it’s as good as contemporary bluegrass gets.” Songlines (4 stars)
THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS · OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 UK TOUR
Thu 25 Maidenhead Norden Farm Centre for the Arts
Fri 26 Selby, N. Yorks. Selby Town Hall
Sat 27 Padfield, nr. Glossop Cellar Bar Sessions, the Laughing Badger Gallery
Sun 28 Sheffield The Greystones
Tue 30 Hexham, NorthumberlandQueen’s Hall Arts Centre
Wed 31 Birmingham Kitchen Garden Cafe
Thu 1 Bradford-on-Avon West Barn
Fri 2 Swansea Taliesin Arts Centre
Sat 3 St Davids, Pembs. Roots at the RAFA,St Davids and Solva RAFA Club
Tue 6 Kingkerswell, DevonKingkerswell Parish Church
Wed 7 London Green Note
Thu 8 Norwich The Louis Marchesi
Fri 9 Saltburn-by-the-Sea, N. Yorks.Saltburn Arts Centre
Sat 10 Coldingham, Scottish Borders Coldingham Village Hall
Sun 11 Moniaive, Dumfries & Galloway The Craigdarroch Arms
Tue 13 Helsby, nr. FrodshamHelsby Bluegrass Club, Helsby Community Sports Club
Thu 15 Lewes Cajun Barn at the Con Club
Fri 16 Farnham, Surrey Sands Room Sessions
Sat 17 Worth Matravers, nr. Swanage The Square and Compass
For full details please check: http://www.truenorthmusic.co.uk/upcoming-tours/the-slocan-ramblers/