Craig Bakay | Jan 30, 2019
The Slocan Ramblers play bluegrass. And they kinda rock it.
The first time they played The Crossing Pub in Sharbot Lake, they didn’t have any albums out.
Last Saturday night, their fourth Crossing gig, they have three albums and the latest, Queen City Jubilee, promises to be the one that takes them to the next level.
“It’s also on vinyl, the longest, most circular format that you can listen to music on,” said mandolin player Adrian Gross.
“With your first album, it’s pretty much what you have ready,” he said. “With the second, it’s refining and working on things.
“But the third, that’s your statement.
“We feel we’ve grown as songwriters and we feel we’re in a good place.”
Things have been going fairly well for the Slocans. They’re touring, selling merchandise and seem to be having a good time.
“We’re finding lots of places to play,” he said. “And definitely touring is the only way to make a living at this.
“But, our audience isn’t necessarily just bluegrass and so we try to play a range of music in general.
“And, in Canada, there are not that many bluegrass venues so we just play what we like.”
He said they’ll be “hitting the road hard this year” but expect to find time to fit in another Sharbot Lake gig this summer or fall.
“This is a great venue plus the audience here has evolved.”
By the way, the “Slocan” part is from an abandoned silver mine in central B.C. near where bass player Alastair Whitehead is from.
The Slocan Ramblers also played Inverary on Friday night at the Storrington Lion’s Hall
(Editors note – A couple of days after their Frontenac gigs, Queen City Jubilee was nominated for a Juno award in the traditional roots category.)
Next up at The Crossing Feb. 1 is Open Road, country and classic rock featuring Sharbot Lake’s own Dennis Larocque. ($10 cover, show starts at 8pm). And speaking of local boys, Shawn McCullough will be joined on stage Feb. 16 by fiddler extraordinaire Wade Foster ($15 cover, 8pm). Turpin’s Rail is back March 14 ($20 cover, 8pm) followed by The O’Pears March 23 ($25, 8pm), Dave Gunning April 6 (dinner and concert, $55, 6pm) and on Aug. 15, the master of anything with strings on it — J.P. Cormier (dinner and concert, $55, 6pm)..