Now, here’s a song that will have you up and dancing, tapping your feet and sharing in the joy that The Slocan Ramblers bring to their performances. This is modern bluegrass at its best: fast-paced, precise and delivering an infectious, sing-along melody. ‘Bury My Troubles’ is full of fearless momentum and effervescent energy, bubbling with tunefulness. Despite the song’s upbeat nature and adventurous spirit, the song’s theme is somewhat darker, as Adrian Gross explains: “Guitar in hand, notebook in my lap, sitting on the sandy bank of the river near my house, and just sad as all hell about losing my father – that’s when I wrote this tune. They say you write about what you know, and the summer of 2020 found me knowing a lot about loss. The idea that you can bury your troubles and walk away is as enticing as it is unrealistic, but that summer saw me full of worry and grief, and this song’s chorus just wrote itself.”
‘Bury My Troubles’ is taken from the Canadian group’s forthcoming album ‘Up the Hill and Through the Fog’, which is due out on 10th June. All but one of the songs on the album are original compositions as the band worked hard to continue to sound fresh and new. Critics have praised The Slocan Ramblers’ previous work, with 2019’s ‘Queen City Jubilee’ nominated for a Juno Award and then the band received the Momentum Band of the Year Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2020. Of course, the pandemic then gripped the world and touring schedules were abandoned. The new collection of songs is like a response to those strange, uncertain times; band members Adrian Gross and Darryl Poulsen both lost close family members but, despite this (or, perhaps, because of this), the album manages to be a joyous experience that makes you want to smile and think positively about the future. The sometimes startling contrast between the dynamic musicality, the genuinely uplifting sounds, and the sombre lyrics of loss are at the heart of bluegrass. It attempts to rise up from life’s challenges and offer hope and The Slocan Ramblers pull this off very successfully. Gross , who lost his father, says of the song-writing process: “Every day, I would take a folding chair down to the riverside, sit with my feet in the water and play and write music, all along trying to accept what had happened. Looking back at these lyrics, I was wrestling with the change that’s always constant: the flowing of the river, the seasons turning, people passing.” Indeed, it’s a fast-flowing river and The Slocan Ramblers navigate it well. Check it out.
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