Music

The Slocan Ramblers' "Just to Know" Brings Gritty Bluegrass to the Table (premiere)

Photo courtesy of Hearth PR

Toronto-based bluegrass band the Slocan Ramblers aren't afraid to bring raw prowess to the forefront with their fiery original number "Just to Know".

As bluegrass continues to grow into an increasingly polished modern age art form, some bands aren't afraid to dig deep into the same dirt that their predecessors have. Rather than seek out a means for pristine production or picking perfection, Toronto's Slocan Ramblers know what it means to be a gritty bluegrass band. With their brand new album, Queen City Jubilee, out today, they are setting out to re-establish a blue-collar heart at the center of the contemporary bluegrass scene.

Their music video for their original song, "Just to Know", showcases the Slocan Ramblers' uninhibited take on bluegrass in top form. It's a simple video, showing the band in their element as they take on a live performance of the song in a dance hall. As such, it's perfectly exemplary of who the Slocan Ramblers are and what they do for a living, presenting powerful bluegrass with a wild heart to their Toronto scene and beyond.

"'Just to Know' is a song that came together when we were flying to Iqaluit for a summer festival," songwriter Frank Evans tells PopMatters. "The flight was so early there were only 30 passengers on a 200-seat plane. With the sun just coming up and a crystal clear view of some really beautiful parts of Canada it made for a very inspiring plane ride, which is not usually how I'd describe my experience of a 5:00 am flight."

"I had written the whole song by the end of the flight but had no melody. One of the ways I like to inspire myself to write melodies and break up my usual patterns is by using a new tuning on the banjo. It just so happened that while I was pondering what tuning to use to write the rest of the song, my banjo had already started by sitting in an unheated luggage cabin for a couple of hours. When I pulled it out of its case, it was pretty close to the tuning I ended up using on the album. Sometimes it seems like they have a mind of their own."

Queen City Jubilee is out now, as of 15 June.



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