Toronto bluegrass band The Slocan Ramblers have a reputation for producing some of the best live acoustic music out there – a refreshingly youthful and fiddle-free take on bluegrass featuring Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on guitar, Alastair Whitehead on bass and Frank Evans on three-finger and clawhammer banjo. They released their second album “Coffee Creek”, the follow up to their very well received 2012 debut “Shaking Down The Acorns”, in 2015. An album that explores the outer reaches of bluegrass while respecting its traditions, Coffee Creek was recorded live off the floor with Chris Coole (from the Foggy Hogtown Boys) at the controls and features a healthy dose of their own original material. The Slocan Ramblers will be appearing at the River Run Centre in Guelph on January 27, The Old Town Hall in Newmarket on March 25, The Registry Theatre in Kitchener on April 7, the Aurora Cultural Centre on May 12 and the Regent Theatre in Picton on May 20 alongside dates in Western Canada, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. We caught up with banjo player Frank Evans in Toronto, to chat about their music. For more information visit slocanramblers.com. Music: The Slocan Ramblers “Pastures of Plenty / Honey Babe”, “Elk River”, “Coffee Creek” and “Call Me Long Gone” from “Coffee Creek” (2015, Self).
Zachary Lucky is just about to release “Everywhere A Man Can Be”, the follow-up to 2013’s “The Ballad Of Losing You”. And where The Ballad of Losing you was introspective and reflective – focusing on some very personal themes, the new album is outward looking, expansive and optimistic featuring nine new songs written on the road, that name check people and places he visited while touring his last effort. The album features stellar support from pedal steel virtuoso Aaron Goldstein, who also produced, and a band that includes Taylor Knox on drums, Dan Edmonds (Harlan Pepper) on piano, Darcy Yates (Flash Lightnin’, Bahamas) on bass, Rosalyn Dennett on fiddle, and Slocan Ramblers‘ Frank Evans on banjo. Nichol Robertson also guests on guitar, alongside vocalist Julie Fader, and pianist Jay Swinnerton. With a laid-back style that’s all his own, “Everywhere A Man Can Be” is clearly a step towards solidifying Zachary’s place in the vanguard of Canadian country music. We caught up with Zachary at home in Orillia to chat about the new album. The album release takes place at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto on October 7. For more information visit zacharylucky.com. Music: Zachary Lucky “Can’t Say Why”, “Everywhere A Man Can Be” and “Lost My Way (Now & Then)” from “Everywhere A Man Can Be” (2016, Self).
The Shoeless are back in tour in Ontario with upcoming shows in Hamilton and Kitchener. The Shoeless are Frank Evans (Slocan Ramblers) on banjo, Eli Bender (Hale and Hearty) on cello and Emilyn Stam (Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Beneath the Ice, Eh?!, Té) on fiddle. Their music is a blend of traditional and original tunes/songs, with influences from klezmer, celtic, old time, french, bluegrass and more… they describe it as Bela Fleck meets Bela Bartok in Appalachia! They are lots of fun live, and definitely worth checking out if you get the chance. For more information, visit www.theshoeless.com.
“The Shoeless” are Frank Evans (Slocan Ramblers) on banjo, Eli Bender (Hale and Hearty) on cello and Emilyn Stam (Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Beneath the Ice, Eh?!, Té) on fiddle. They’ll be in Guelph on Thursday November 13 for a show at Magnolia Café at 8 p.m. Their music is a blend of traditional and original tunes/songs, with influences from klezmer, celtic, old time, french, bluegrass and more … they describe it as Bela Fleck meets Bela Bartok in Appalachia! The show starts at 8 p.m. The cover is $10. Magnolia Café is a licensed cafe and restaurant that also doubles as one of the area’s most intimate listening venues. Because of the size of the venue, reservations are highly recommendeded especially if you’d like to enjoy a meal before the show! For more information, visit www.theshoeless.com.