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The Slocan Ramblers putting their own modern take on bluegrass music on new CD

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Bluegrass is alive and well according to Toronto bluegrass quartet the Slocan Ramblers, who visit Lethbridge,  when they play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 18.

The Slocan Ramblers return to Lethbridge, Nov. 18. Photo by Richard Amery
“It will be our fourth  or fifth time playing out west,” observed, Slocan Ramblers mandolinist Adrian Gross, packing his bags for the  tour, which began Nov. 12 in Saskatchewan.

 “We’re flying in this time. We couldn’t drive because we had obligations, but it is nice to be able to fly in and just play,” he said.

“We really do love it out west. It’s like a second home to us,” he said of band mates Alastair Whitehead, Darryl Poulsen and Frank Evans.
 They have had an enjoyable year as they played a lot of high profile festivals, touring in support of their latest CD “Coffee Creek.”

“We have a good audience out there. They listen and they’re getting to know us really well,” he said.
“People are really supportive. They‘re nice and supportive and we always get treated well,” he said.
He noted Toronto has an excellent roots, country and bluegrass scene.
“We‘re definitely part of that scene,” he said.

“Bluegrass music has a different feel. We all played in other bands laying different  kinds of music.
 “I was playing other kinds of country music. But the first time I heard bluegrass music, I knew I wanted to play it,” he said, noting he  likes newer bluegrass band like the Punch Brothers as classic bluegrass pickers like  Kelly Rice and Norm Blake.


 They are pleased with the new CD, which they recorded in four days in Canadian roots icon Ken Whiteley’s studio with the Foggy Hogtown boys banjo player Chris Coole producing.
”He’s a great friend of ours and the roots scene here,” he said, adding the band wanted to capture the effect of their bombastic live show on the CD.

“So we recorded the CD live with all of us around a single microphone with no headphones or click track. We went into the studio with a bunch of songs we wanted to record and we recorded each song three or four times and picked our favourite track,” he explained, adding they were considering   having special guests on the CD but instead focused on the band themselves.

“We had a list of guests we wanted and Ken Whiteley  and Chris were at the top of it,” but a big part of this CD was really having that live feeling. That’s what people want to hear from us,” he said.
In addition to earning a lot of Canadian fans, they are also making  waves in the united states in North Carolina and Virginia, which is well known for producing excellent bluegrass musicians.

They will be going to North Carolina to play Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina in April with the likes of John Prine, David Rawlings Machine, the Wood Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers an many others.

“People really seem to like our take on bluegrass music,” he sad noting they have played  Virginia and North and South Carolina four or five times.

“It’s hard to say what it is. We’re pretty traditional,” he said adding the band also incorporates a few more modern influences.

“We like to rearrange songs. We’ll turn around classic bluegrass songs,” he said.
 The last time they played Lethbridge was  at the Geomatic Attic, July 29.
 They are excited to come to the Owl Acoustic Lounge this time.

“It’s going to be fun. It depends on the audience though. It could be more subdued or it could be more of a rock and roll show. We feed off the energy of the audience,” he said.
 The Slocan Ramblers play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 18 at 9 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Monday, 16 November 2015 16:33 )  
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