Big Slyde
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Big Slyde

Saranac Lake, New York, United States | SELF

Saranac Lake, New York, United States | SELF
Band Americana Acoustic

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
13
Big Slyde @ Otis Mountain Get Down

Elizabethtown, New York, USA

Elizabethtown, New York, USA

Sep
11
Big Slyde @ Doan Birthday Bash

Keene, New York, USA

Keene, New York, USA

Aug
16
Big Slyde @ Fledging Crow Vegetables

Keeseville, New York, USA

Keeseville, New York, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Fire up Big Slyde’s album Slythia and there are a few things you know right away: 1) That guitar picker has some kind of Latin in him (He’s Portuguese to the hilt, in fact). 2) That’s a cello, not a bass, you hear way down there. 3) The banjo player and dobro player are really, really good. Wait, they’re the same guy? Oh. Well, now you know that too. 4) In a world of whiners and wailers, the lead vocalist sings with strength, honesty and just a glimpse of vulnerability. While her bandmates groove, pluck and slide and around her, Hannah Doan is as sure-footed and responsive as a wrangler’s horse.

This is a band full of virtuosic playing. Guitarist Mikey Portal is lightning quick and a stranger to no part of the guitar neck. Lucinda Williams has a song in which she sings about a guitar player and “the worn down places in the wood, the ones that made you feel so good.” Portal plays as if every fret on that board makes him feel good. If there’s a happier player out there, I haven’t heard him.

John Doan plays banjo and dobro with casual precision. There’s whimsy and curiosity in his fingers and ears, but he never ventures so far afield as to confuse the listener. You’ll spot shades of everyone’s favorite far-out banjo and dobro players, Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas, respectively, in his playing, but Doan’s not standing in his their long shadows. He’s his own man. Listen to his restraint on “’Do Tell’ Bagatelle.” With the whole band churning and surging, his banjo is calm and balanced, like the coolest log-roller you ever saw. And when he sings, which he does on occasion on this album, it’s with a refreshing twang that seems to say, “Despite all the grooves, this band knows country, too.”

Slythia has a healthy dose of unbridled, all-out playing. It’s lousy with riffs (in a good way) and rank with funk (also in a good way). At times it feels it could all spin out of control. That it doesn’t is, I reckon, largely thanks to Hannah Doan’s rhythm guitar and bouzouki playing—which is assertive and robust—and Chris Grant and her cello. Grant doesn’t play with a lot of flash; she plays with presence. One of my favorite tracks is the album’s last: “The Old Forest.” It’s Grant’s part I find myself humming. And in the title track, which brings to mind a recent visit to the squirrel monkey pen at the Bronx Zoo—everything jumping and flipping and flying in all directions—it’s the cello and rhythm guitar that provide the bounce.

With this album (and their live shows) Big Slyde has sprung free from standard notions of what mountain string band can be. They are a mountain string band to be sure—New York’s Adirondack Mountains are their base—but if they’re bound to anything, it isn’t to the way things have always been done.

BY NED P. RAUCH, FRANKENPINE - Brooklyncountry.com


"Banjo, guitar, bouzouki, and cello - if Slyde and the Family Doan don't push your buttons, you'd better check your buttons!" - Peter Crowley and Ned P. Rauch


"Big Slyde has a fresh, good natured approach to acoustic music. Their textures are delicious and their compositions are inviting. Speaking of which, I invite you to check them out."
- of the Double Bluegrass Extravaganza


"Big Slyde has a fresh, good natured approach to acoustic music. Their textures are delicious and their compositions are inviting. Speaking of which, I invite you to check them out."
- of the Double Bluegrass Extravaganza


Discography

"Honey Gold" June 2012
"Slytha" July 2010

Photos

Bio

Genre: Americana/Acoustic
Origin: Lake Placid

*"Honey Gold", the new album by Big Slyde, was released June 30th, 2012*

Big Slyde is a boisterous blend of wild rootstock American music, grafted with ever evolving sonic explorations - creating harmonic soul-bluegrass, dissonant Americana-rock, and raucous funk-folk. Although Big Slyde's ever reaching branches may be genre defying, their roots are well established in acoustic traditions, producing musical fruit refreshingly complex in its depth and textures, yet sweetly familiar in its melodies and grooves.

Big Slydes new CD, Honey Gold, explores both gnarly roots and freshly unfurled leaves of sound. Honey Gold takes its name from a variety of American apple that is crisp and hardy, with just a kiss of honey. The album explores audible themes that are bright, punchy, and vigorously driving, along with those that are lustily melancholy and powerfully dark. Upon listening, there is a resonating sense of wistful sweetness and unrestrained joy, with a tinge of gritty sensuousness.

'Some Old Side Road' hums with the determination of a jilted lover, infusing luscious, soul vocals into country and bluegrass. Motown gets remixed and rowdy with blue-eyed soul group vocals, a robust low end, and gleeful, rockin', call and response solos from the mandolin and guitar on 'Want You Back'. 'Whirlybug' is a neo-traditional instrumental reminiscent of Old World folk music combining a bubbly and reverberating accordion melody with banjo, cello, and guitar chops and grooves. 'Burning Bed' delves into darkness with haunting vocal harmonies, a driving cello riff, and a hint of North African spice from the banjo and mandolin. 'Flying Porcupine' dips and dives with tumultuous cello harmonics and rapturously gliding dobro. 'Walking On Down the Road' is Americana on tilt, with dissonant guitar and funky percussion.

For a more genuine taste of this ripe fruit, one must take a stroll through the musical orchard of Big Slyde - via "Honey Gold", or better yet, a live show.

Band Members