January 24 to 26, 2017
Grades 1 and 2
Pre-show Information for Teachers
The Slocan Ramblers will inspire young audiences with their bold, dynamic bluegrass sound and impeccable musicianship. An ensemble of outstanding players, The Slocan Ramblers stay true to the roots of bluegrass music, presenting energetic live shows that engage and get audiences moving.
The Slocan Ramblers are a relatively new bluegrass band based out of Toronto that is shaking up the Canadian music scene! They won the 2015 Emerging Artist Award at the Edmonton Folk Fest and their album Coffee Creek was nominated for Traditional Album of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The Slocan Ramblers are:
Frank Evans: Banjo
Adrian Gross: Mandolin
Darryl Poulsen: Guitar
Alastair Whitehead: Bass
Questions/ Suggested Discussion Points
What are the differences between country, bluegrass and folk music?
Country music is a style of music, with its origins in rural traditional music from the US south and the Appalachian Mountains. It is characterized by fiddles, steel guitar, guitar, autoharp, and mandolin, which may be acoustic and/or electric. Country music may be performed by individuals or groups.
Bluegrass music is related to country music with roots in the Appalachian Mountains (Kentucky is the “Bluegrass State”, likely the source of the name of this genre of music). Bluegrass also has influences from traditional Irish and Scottish ballads and jazz (most notably an element called a “breakdown”, when one instrument takes the lead and the others provide backup). Bluegrass is performed using stringed acoustic instruments, primarily fiddle and banjo (no electric guitars or drums!). Bluegrass is usually performed by a group of musicians.
Folk music has roots similar to country music, but this genre typically focused on telling a story or message using a song. Often folk music is performed by one or two singers, and instruments may be traditional or improvised (washboards, bottles, etc.). More emphasis is placed on communicating an idea, rather than the musicality of the performance.
All of the instruments used by The Slocan Ramblers are stringed instruments: banjo, mandolin, guitar and bass. These instruments produce sound by the vibration of stretched strings, which is amplified by a resonating chamber (the body of the instrument). Notice how the different shapes and sizes of the instruments produce different sounds. Larger instruments produce lower notes, while smaller ones create higher notes.
Notice the beats that the different instruments play.
Compared with some of the other types of music discussed above (country and folk), bluegrass music is characterized by a fast tempo. This is why this style of music is often described as “toe-tapping” and “hand-clapping” and is often associated with dancing!
School Program Coordinator
519- 837-5662 extension 2291
This presentation is made possible in part by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s Ontario Touring program.