Toronto’s Slocan Ramblers have been getting noticed increasingly this past few years for their fresh take on contemporary bluegrass. They were named Momentum Band of the Year by the IBMA in 2020, not long after receiving a Juno nomination the year before.
Over this past weekend, the band was named Ensemble of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards in Vancouver. The award was given with reference to their current album, Up the Hill and Through the Fog.
The Slocan Ramblers are Frank Evans on banjo, Adrian Gross on mandolin, and Darryl Poulsen on guitar. Former bassist Charles James also appears on the record.
Here’s a music video from last year featuring one of the songs from the album, A Mind With A Heart of Its Own, a Tom Petty song from 1989.
Also winning an award from the CFMA were Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves for Instrumental Group of the Year. The two acclaimed old time artists record and perform as a banjo/fiddle duet, and the award is based on their current album, Hurricane Clarice on Free Dirt Records. They also won for Traditional Album of the Year.
Here’s a live video of Allison and Tatiana playing a medley from the record, the title track, which was written by Hargreaves, combined with Brushy Fork of John’s Creek.
Many congratulations to Allison and Tatiana, to the Ramblers, and to all the nominees and winners!
A full list of recipients is available online.