Bluegrass band The Slocan Ramblers has just released new album, Up the Hill and Through the Fog, which sets out to push against the boundaries of the tradition and “speak to the past years of grief and trouble that we’ve all had to endure”. They’ve approached the album as a form of catharsis.

The Canadian roots ensemble faced some personal challenges throughout the pandemic. Over the course of one year, bandmates Adrian Gross and Darryl Poulsen both lost close family members and their bassist decided to step back to spend more time at home. They channeled these changes into some of their most honest compositions yet.

Aside from the one Tom Petty cover, “A Mind With A Heart of Its Own,” every song and instrumental composition on the album is original and the band turned to producer Chris Stringer (Timber Timbre, New Country Rehab) to move their sound from a live-in-the-studio approach to more complex arrangements.

As Adrian Gross says:

Stringer has a great ear for getting big sounds and great performances, and his bizarre sense of humor was perfectly suited to keeping it light and creative in the studio.