Slocan Ramblers make their Opry debut

Toronto’s Slocan Ramblers had a big night in Nashville last fall when they were invited to make their debut performance on the Grand Ole Opry. The got the full treatment, with their own reserved parking sign, and a big buildup on the show.

Banjo player Frank Evans tells us that they had been looking forward to this opportunity for some time.

“They had reached out to us a while back, and we told them we would love to do it. After several months we thought it might not happen, but then they called and offered us a Friday slot for November 11.”

They made the trip down, and were able to bring some family along to savor the vibe.

Evans say that it was a bit surreal for him, as the Opry had been such a big part of his childhood dreams.

“I remember growing up, my dad had a compilation album of Opry stars, and it came with a little piece of the original curtain. I grew up idolizing the Opry, and never thought I would ever get to play there.”

But when showtime came around, it was all business for the Ramblers.

“We opened with I’ve Always Been A Rambler. There’s certain things about bluegrass that really brings people in, and by the end of the song, they started clapping and standing up. I think the band choreography really wakes an audience up. It’s been a part of bluegrass for so long.”

In addition to Evans, The Slocan Ramblers are Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on guitar, and Charles James on bass.

Franks tells us that it was a wonderful experience for all the guys, and that the level of excitement was off the charts.

“We were waiting in our dressing room until they called us out. After they called us, we were waiting side stage while Bill Anderson was singing. He did a couple of extra songs, which just built up our expectation and excitement.

The Opry people are so nice, they kept thanking us for being there.”

The Ramblers also shared some photos from the Opry.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.