For three-part harmonies and fast solos in a high energy show, grab your tickets now for the upcoming performance by the Slocan Ramblers.
The Slocan Ramblers are becoming a well-known Canadian name, with a Juno nomination this year for traditional roots album of the year for Queen City Jubilee.
“We put so much work into Queen City Jubilee that it’s nice to know someone enjoys the album other than our mothers,” jokes band member Frank Evans.
Longtime fans of the Slocan Ramblers will recognize Queen City Jubilee, released in the summer of 2018, as a continuation of the band’s album Coffee Creek.
“Our good friend, Andrew Collins, helped us record it the same way Coffee Creek which was all live off the floor,” says Mr. Evans. “We find you can always get a better feel from each song if you’re all standing next to each other in the same room rather than in separate rooms with headphones.”
The Canadian bluegrass scene is strong right now and the Slocan Ramblers have found their niche in the market with a kickback to the music’s roots.
“One of the things that we have always focused on as a band is to incorporate a strong Old Time influence which is an older form of bluegrass. It focuses more on the melody of the song and less on individual solos or players,” Mr. Evans describes.
Alongside Mr. Evans on banjo, the Slocan Ramblers include Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on guitar, and Alastair Whitehead on bass. Mr. Evans explains how the band got together: the other three members were finishing up degrees at a music college in Toronto, studying jazz. They discovered bluegrass and started playing together. Eventually, Mr. Evans was invited to one of their jam sessions, banjo in hand.
“I remember having so much fun at that first session that I had to work really hard on suppressing my laughter. After a couple of regular jam sessions opportunities quickly started to present themselves. Pretty soon we had a weekly gig at a bar in downtown Toronto and were working on recording our first album.”
On the band’s first gig, the MC asked for the name of their band. They had not discussed that minor detail yet.
“Alastair spent a lot of his summers growing up in that part of the world. He used to hike up an old abandoned mine near Sandon called The Slocan Rambler,” Mr. Evans shares. “On our first gig the MC asked us for our name which we hadn’t even thought of at the point. Alastair quickly spoke up with “The Slocan Ramblers” and the rest is history.”
The Slocan Ramblers play at Pynelogs Cultural Centre Thursday, March 28th. Opening act will be The Parsons duo of Clayton and Joelle Parsons. Opening act is 6 p.m., with the main show at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. For tickets or more info, visit www.columbiavalleyarts.com.