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).
Mandolin master and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins had already achieved greatness as an in-demand session player and part of Toronto’s famed Foggy Hogtown Boys and Creaking Tree String Quartet before setting out with his own Andrew Collins Trio, to create something very special indeed for their second effort “And It Was Good”… a concept album that uses as its theme, the biblical seven days of creation story, referenced by the eight individual tracks, that merrily criss-cross musical borders. The Andrew Collins Trio – Andrew Collins on mandolin, mandocello, mandolin and little fiddle, accompanied by Mike Mezzatesta (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) and James McEleney (bass, mandocello) with support from the Phantasmagoria String Quartet (John Showman and Trent Freeman on violins, Ben Plotnick on viola and Eric Wright on cello) serve up music that takes in classical baroque, jazz, bluegrass, folk and celtic influences with a nod to the crossover work of the late great Oliver Schroer, in a format that, because of the prominent strings, has been described as chambergrass. And It Was Good is a fantastic album – sublime, even – and an album that deserves to be listened through from beginning to end. The Andrew Collins Trio have received a well-deserved nomination for Instrumental Group of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards and Andrew Collins along with David Travers-Smith is also in the running for Producer of the Year. The Andrew Collins Trio will be bringing the new album to Hugh’s Room in Toronto on Friday October 21 at 8:30 p.m. For more information and to get tickets, visit hughsroom.com or call (416) 531-6604. Music: Andrew Collins Trio “Light From The Darkness”, “Firmaments” and “And It Was Good” from “And It Was Good” (2016, Self)
This episode features an interview with Chris Coole from bluegrass – old time band, The Foggy Hogtown Boys who will be bringing their show based on the music of The Carter Family and Johnny Cash to Toronto, Peterborough and Guelph. And as the holiday season is just about upon us, we’re including songs to welcome in the Winter Solstice, and some seasonal music that’s a little bit different from the usual fare.
Barnstorming bluegrass and old time band, the legendary Foggy Hogtown Boys are heading out on tour in January as they celebrate the music of The Carter Family and Johnny Cash. They’ll be making stops in Toronto and Peterborough before arriving in Guelph for a show at the ANAF Club 344, 32 Gordon St on January 9 at 8 p.m. Advance tickets for the Guelph show are $20 and available online HERE. The Foggy Hogtown Boys are a Canadian bluegrass and roots music institution that’s been together for over 17 years – since the start of their famed “Lonesome Wednesdays” residency at the Silver Dollar Room in Toronto, with a membership that reads like a who’s who of Canadian roots music. Chris Coole (banjo/acoustic guitar), John Showman (fiddle), Andrew Collins (mandolin/fiddle), Chris Quinn (banjo, rhythm guitar) have all been with the band from the start while Max Heineman (bass) joined the band eight years ago. Discovered in 1927 at the legendary “Bristol Sessions” in Bristol TN, the music of The Carter Family has been a huge influence on the development of American music, in particular, in the bluegrass, country, folk and Gospel genres. Johnny Cash, of course, needs no introduction – and when he tied the knot with June Carter in 1968, he married into this “First Family of Country Music”. The rest, as they say is history. To learn more about the Foggys mini-tour we caught up with Chris Coole at home in Toronto. Photo: Mark Somerfeld. Music: The Foggy Hogtown Boys “Kitten & The Cat” and “John Henry” from “Animals Insects & People” (2014, Self).