Following their well-received debut UK visit last year, Canada’s bluegrass band to watch The Slocan Ramblers have announced their eagerly anticipated return for a 19 date tour, running October 25 to November 17, including Selby Town Hall on Friday October 26, in support of their widely praised, recently released third album Queen City Jubilee.
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 their music, revealing their collective influences and the new 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.
The band perform at Selby Town Hall on October 26th, The Greystones in Sheffield on October 28th, and Saltburn Arts Centre on November 9th.