18 March 2022

The Slocan Ramblers (CAN): new single, forthcoming album

The Slocan Ramblers from Toronto toured Ireland as a quartet in October 2017 and again in October 2019. They appear above as a trio, as their website now lists the members as Frank Evans (banjo, vocals), Adrian Gross (mandolin), and Darryl Poulsen (guitar, vocals), adding 'With' Charles James (bass, vocals).

On Wednesday last (16 Mar.) the Ramblers released their latest single, the Tom Petty song 'A mind with a heart of its own', the only track which is not a Ramblers original among the twelve comprising their forthcoming album Up the hill and through the fog (scheduled for release on 10 June). The official video pf the single is on YouTube, and the song can also be heard on Soundcloud.

The Hearth Music press release writes that bluegrass has 'always been music made by people in pain, and it’s made to uplift and move beyond that hurt, not to wallow'; the band's website says 'This is roots music without pretension, art powerful enough to cut through the fog of the past two years and chart a more hopeful course forward.'

The BIB described the Ramblers on their earlier tours as a 'hot young traditional bluegrass band'; they've lost none of that, but there are whiffs here of acoustic folk-rock and other flavours from outside the hard core. The Osborne Brothers are among their influences, and a listener may be reminded of some of the material the Osbornes recorded when they were winning Country Music Association awards. The album can be pre-ordered on the band's website. See also John Lawless's feature on Bluegrass Today.

© Richard Hawkins

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