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Following their well-received debut UK visit last year, Canada’s bluegrass band to watch The Slocan Ramblers announce their eagerly anticipated return for a 19 date tour, running October 25-November 17, including The Louis Marchesi, Norwich on Thursday November 8, 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 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.
THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS – OCT/NOV 2018 UK TOUR:
Thu 25 – Maidenhead, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts
Fri 26 – Selby, Town Hall
Sat 27 – Padfield, Cellar Bar Sessions, the Laughing Badger Gallery
Sun 28 – Sheffield, The Greystones
Tue 30 – Hexham, Queen’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, Roots at the RAFA (St Davids and Solva RAFA Club)
Tue 6 – Kingskerswell, Parish Church
Wed 7 – London, Green Note
- Thu 8 – Norwich, The Louis Marchesi
Fri 9 – Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Saltburn Arts Centre
Sat 10 – Coldingham, Village Hall
Sun 11 – Moniaive, The Craigdarroch Arms
Tue 13 – Frodsham, Helsby Bluegrass Club (Frodsham Conservative Club)
Thu 15 – Lewes, Cajun Barn at the Con Club
Fri 16 – Farnham, Sands Room Sessions
Sat 17 – Worth Matravers, The Square and Compass