Sycamore Slough String Band

Sycamore Slough String Band

4/26/2012 webcast live from TRI Studios (In HD!)

New Speedway Boogie
Mr. Charlie
It Must Have Been the Roses
River and Drown
Ship of Fools
Bird Song>

The first thing that caught my attention as the feed went live (this being my first TRI broadcast) was the absolutely phenomenal quality of the live feed! Bobby has really outdone himself, TRI is an outstanding idea, and the execution absolutely could not be better!

This is also my first real experience with Sycamore Slough String Band, and as such I have no proverbial yardstick, so please bear with me, and feel free to add your two cents via the comments section of this post!

New Speedway Boogie opens up Sycamore Slough’s set, and it’s smooth as butter. The band sounds great together and their interaction and dynamic is amazing. Gans sounds great!

Mr. Charlie: HELL YEAH! In the parlance of our times, this is my jam… and they’re having so much fun playing it that you just can’t help but enjoy it. This one is absolutely contagious!

Candyman follows Mr. Charlie, and while it sounds good, it’s more or less unremarkable in comparison.

At this point they bring in Robin Sylvester (best known as the bassist of RatDog) on the standup bass for Cassidy, and the groove here isn’t as tight as a result, but it’s good to see that Robin is feeling up to playing with them, and it’s a blessing to hear him play whenever he gets up on stage. The jam breaks down into a freeform jam before being steered into Must Have Been The Roses.

Sylvester bows out after the Must Have Been The Roses jam, and Sycamore Slough’s bassist rejoins the band for River and Drown. River and Drown is an original tune that, according to Gans, is about going to music festivals. The tune takes place at a river, but it was written in the desert- how’s that for irony? You can definitely hear a stylistic difference between this original and the Dead tunes they’ve been playing up to this point, but that’s by no means a bad thing… I quite like their sound. You can buy a David Gans solo version of this tune here, or swing by David’s website to check out the lyrics here.

On Ship Of Fools David Thom (mandolin & vocals) steps up to the mic to take the lead. Ship Of Fools is short, sweet and to the point.

After Ship Of Fools there’s a few moments of noodling while the band does some tuning, and a rough rendition of the Jeopardy Think Music before they launch into Birdsong. This tune is especially well suited to a string band, and their rendition is lovely… hauntingly so. The violin and guitars are absolutely the highlights of the Birdsong jam, which is authentic in the Sartrean sense of the word!

Birdsong’s jam leads up to a tidy and seamless transition into Loser- another tune that beautifully suits the string band. There’s some phenomenal vocal harmonies here, and Gans sounds great on the lead vocal. There’s some really great melodic guitar work by Gans here too! This rendition of Loser rounds out their set, and in a short (hour) set, I’m hooked!

Considering that this is all the info available at this time (and I have an immense amount of school-related writing to do over the next week), this post will remain brief for now… I’ll be sure to update as information flows in via the usual channels, so stay tuned and check back for updates!

Thanks for reading my thoughts on what was a stellar (if far too short) set by Sycamore Slough String Band… Swing by their website for more info, and as always feel free to drop me a line ( or leave a comment with any updated information, thoughts, concerns, suggestions or opinions you may have!

Have a safe and prosperous weekend… Until Next Time – Stay Grateful, My Friends! (~);}

7 thoughts on “Sycamore Slough String Band

  1. Well played yet again my friend. Oh and welcome to the TRI revolution. I agree these guys sounded great! I also have no gauge to compare this performance but I have had the pleasure of seeing David Gans perform solo ( or in duet situations) several times. I will say it was more than apparent Gans was having the time of his life!! Great music! Thank you TRI for another great webcast and thanks again Cosmic Charlie for the poetic words of a true review master!

  2. My first experience with s3b. Absolutely love the fiddle player who brings great energy to this quartet. Love the harmonies. A really great performance over all. Will be looking forward to more original material that this group writes together

  3. My wife thoroughly enjoyed laying in bed and watching a live show.
    The sound quality was excellent and the dynamics of the band are spot on in my humble opinion

  4. Thanks for reading & for the encouraging comments, guys! I’ve just received an email from David Gans, he’s provided me with some info and the lyrics to the original tune played (labelled “Down To The River (??)” in my setlist). The tune is titled “River and Drown”, and a solo Gans version is available on iTunes. I’ll update my post later this evening or tomorrow to include the info I got from David!

  5. thanks so much for the info, (and for reading!), Jamie! I’ve been swamped with school related writing in the past few days, but I’ll be sure to update this post to include that info. (~);}

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