For a bunch of boys from Toronto, the Slocan Ramblers are turning out a piping hot brand of bluegrass that you just may think was cut fresh from a back porch in the Blue Ridge. But hey, aside from being proof of the sometimes strange truths that inspiration comes from everywhere and terrific music knows no geographical boundaries, it’s also just damn good music.
Take “Angeline,” one of the tracks off the Rambler’s latest album, Coffee Creek. It cuts to the core of the roots/bluegrass genre, with lightning fast picking that beautifully supports the whiskey-tinged vocals of lead singer Frank Evans. The track feels immediate, with all the excitement and raw energy of a live performance captured in the recording.
Alastair Whitehead, the group’s bassist, wrote several of the band’s original songs, including “Angeline.” Part of the group’s charm is their no-frills dedication to keeping a musical tradition alive, with “Angeline” being no exception. Whitehead says of the track, “‘Angeline’ is an old-timey lyric-driven number I wrote. It touches on many of the classic bluegrass topics: love lost, gambling, murder, and doin’ time. It pretty much covers all the bases. As they say with bluegrass,” Whitehead doesn’t forget to add, “if you want to be happy, listen to the music; if you want to be sad, listen to the lyrics.”
Give “Angeline ” a listen below, and keep on the lookout out for Coffee Creek, released in the US today, July 16th.