The Slocan Ramblers serve up a twangy gem in ‘Coffee Creek’

Slocan‘Coffee Creek’
The Slocan Ramblers (self-released)
4 stars out of 5

From the bustling Canadian metropolis of Toronto comes bluegrass/roots outfit The Slocan Ramblers, a talented quartet putting their own stamp on traditional music. After opening eyes and ears with their “Shaking Down the Acorns” debut a couple years ago, the lads take things to the next level with sophomore offering “Coffee Creek.”

Slocan CDIt’s a rough-around-the-edges (in the best possible way) mix of original and traditional that showcase The Ramblers’ musicianship and chemistry.

“Toronto audiences don’t respond to a clean, polished Nashville sound,” says mandolinist Adrian Gross, who’s joined in the band by Frank Evans (guitar/vocals), Darryl Poulsen (guitar/vocals) and Alastair Whitehead (bass/vocals). “They dig a lot of energy in their music, a rowdy bar vibe. They’re hard to win over.”

But win them over they do on a rollicking 13-track release that’s sure to please fans of contemporary bluegrass music. From the set-opening instrumental title track clear through to closing cut “Mississippi Shore,” The Slocan Ramblers hit pretty much every note. Additional keepers include “Pastures of Plenty/Honey Babe,” “Groundhog,” “Elk River,” “The Back 40” and “April’s Waltz.” Well done, lads. (Jeffrey Sisk)


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