November 15, 2017
“Bluegrass hardly defines it – scintillating!! (R2 Magazine)
Wednesday 15th November 2017
The Square Tower
Doors Open 7.15pm. Show Starts 7.45pm.
Tickets £12 each (£14 on the door if not sold out!).
Tickets available securely online at: www.wegottickets.com/event/397155
Alternatively, physical tickets can be purchased in store at Pie & Vinyl in Castle Road, Southsea or Southsea Gallery in Albert Road, Southsea. You can also send a cheque for the required amount of tickets (made payable to Ken Brown), along with a SAE, to our address (which you’ll find on the side bar here). If in doubt then please phone the box office on 02392 382888.
“This Canadian quartet captures the breadth and depth of bluegrass that bands in the chilly North aspire to. If you’ve grown tired of the same old sounds, here’s a band who reinvents a genre that’s growing through many changes of late!” (Bluegrass Unlimited)
Oh yes! Canadian Bluegrass served up by one of the most exciting young bands on the scene at the moment, and we’re absolutely thrilled that they’re going to be bringing their exciting live show to the historic and beautiful Square Tower!
They served their time the bare-knuckles way! Taming the rowdy bars of Toronto and teaching the masses that bluegrass, well played, was something to be loved and savoured! This is a city where audiences don’t respond to the clean-cut Nashville sound – the music has got to have dirt caked on its boots and more spit than polish. The Toronto crowd is a tough one to impress, but once you have captured their attention, they get firmly behind you!
The Slocan Ramblers tapped into the rough and rowdy heart of the music, blending lightning fast and devilishly intricate instrumentals with sawdust-thick vocals! In no time, they had developed a healthy following as a must-see act!
Their 2015 “Coffee Creek” album won the band respect and broadened out interest on this side of the Atlantic too. As their reputation grew, they won invitations to appear at prestigious US events such as Rockygrass and Merlefest, re-affirming the real, full-depth seal of approval from their peers and the diehards, as well as roots music fans who simply enjoy great music regardless of any labels.
“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)
Coffee Creek was produced by the band’s friend and mentor Chris Coole (The Foggy Hogtown Boys), a well-known banjo player and community leader in Toronto’s bluegrass and old-time scenes. Like Coole, The Slocan Ramblers bring the live, collaboratory aspects of the music to the fore, and they understand that if you polish up the music too much, you lose the raw excitement that makes it so vibrant. In the liner notes, Coole breaks it down: “What really impressed me while we were working on this album, was that, while they can pull off the precision and virtuosity that is at the backbone of bluegrass, they understand the power of the fragile moment in music. The fragile moment used to be a big part of what made an album cool – Monroe singing just beyond the edge of his voice, the moment right before you realize Vassar isn’t lost – the moment on and beyond the edge.” Listen to Evans’ worn vocals and you’ll hear some of the edge that great singers like Keith Whitley brought to the music. Or try Gross’ powerfully discordant and innovative mandolin solo on “Groundhog,” or Darryl Poulsen’s counterpoint Lester-Flatt-runs towards the end of the title track, or the rumbling beats of Alastair Whitehead’s acoustic bass on “Call Me Long Gone” (or Whitehead’s beautiful, world-weary original songs like “Elk River” or “Angeline”) to get a feel for how The Slocan Ramblers are pushing the envelope.
This is roots music without pretension, music intended to make you feel something, music to get you moving in a crowded bar. The Slocan Ramblers recorded Coffee Creek the same way they perform on stage: standing up, leaning into the music, and pushing harder and harder for that edge just beyond.
Traditional Album Of The Year Nominee – Canadian Folk Music Awards 2016
Emerging Artist Award – Edmonton Folk Festival
More Praise For The Slocan Ramblers….
“I Love it! Smokin’ bluegrass!” (BBC Radio)
“The Slocan Ramblers put on one of the most vibrant shows of acoustic music I’ve seen in some time. It’s rare for Canadians (especially young Canadians) to play this music with such authority, passion and yet ability for experimentation. Chops galore, and a handsome bunch of fellas!” (Tom Power, CBC)
“If the Slocan Ramblers’ first album, Shaking Down the Acorns, was an impressive debut, this second offering (Coffee Creek) is pure gold. Recorded live off the floor, and co-produced by Chris Coole (The Foggy Hogtown Boys), Coffee Creek strikes that perfect modern bluegrass balance of a deep respect for tradition and an itch for exploration. With this album, the Slocan Ramblers are living up to their reputation as the Canadian bluegrass band to watch, and then some!” (Exclaim Magazine)
“Though the Slocan Ramblers might sound like they hail from the rolling hills of Tennessee, they actually come from the West End of Toronto!” (The Bluegrass Situation)
You Tube Videos