Wayside Ramblers

Wayside Ramblers


the wayside ramblers pull together all the tropes of their genre: blinding mandolin riffs, stone-heavy rolling bass lines, brassy articulated rhythm guitar and cathartic vocal harmonies. this is a bunch of genuinely talented guys who love what they do and do it without being a caricature.


After several years of wandering along various musical paths, four musicians came together in early 2006 to form a new band and forge a new sound, and the Wayside Ramblers were born. Coming from a wide range of musical backgrounds both musical and geographical, but united by a love for the sounds of Old-time, Folk and Bluegrass, they began developing their uniquely twisted blend of old and new.
Out of an assortment of rusty recollections, found sounds, and dusty mementos and vague ideas, something quickly evolved that might sound familiar at first listen, but there's more here than meets the ear. Blues, Jazz, Rock and Reggae all finf their way into this group's vocabulary, yet never dominate the conversation, or cause the music to stray from it's roots. Put simply, this is real music, played from the heart; as rustic as old barnboard yet as fresh as the morning sun. They call it Crabgrass.
The music ebbs and flows from song to song as the instruments change hands and the four members trade off vocal parts; whether singing lead or harmony, they all play a role in the distinct timbre that defines the Ramblers' sound as they take on songs from different genres and make them their own. Their repertoire features a diverse mix of covers and traditionals, as well as an increasing amount of original material, further expanding the range of what this band can do with what they all bring to the table individually.
Former Halifax busker and music teacher Jason Ives spent his formative years singing in church choirs, and his young adulthood touring in pop bands. He lends a strong vocal sensibility, and a keen ear for bass and rhythm guitar. Derrick "Doc" Rathwell was schooled in classical violin as a child, but growing up around old-time fiddlers in the Ottawa valley left a deep impression on him and by age 18 had picked up the guitar and never looked back. Struck twice by lightning, he is now also a competent banjo player with his own unique style. Hailing from London, Ontario, Brad van der Zanden is the only band member with a formal education in music. He provides a solid foundatio for the band on bass, guitar, or dobro, and has a knack for musical arrangements, as well as a near encyclopedic knowledge of music. Banjo picker/mandolinist Darin Yorston has had this music in his veins ever since being shown how to play "Tom Dooley" on the guitar by his father at a young age, despite being born and raised in Toronto. Also a visual artist, he has recently begun developing his songwriting abilities.
Live performance being their first love, it wasn't long after their inception that the band started playing regularly in and arounf their current home base of Toronto, and they soon began rambling around southern Ontario on various musical adventures, playing their first bluegrass festival in August 2007 at the Sand Road Sugar Camp, and subsequently at the Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards in Huntsville in November.
Their self-titled demo CD is only a sampling of what the Wayside Ramblers have to offer, and just a taste of what is yet to come. The full-length studio album "Back to the Farm" is due in fall 2008, featuring all-original material, and these boys are just getting started. Look for them at your local tavern or at their regular haunts in Toronto, but watch out...their music is not for the faint of heart.
And they can play.

Tony Stone


Wayside Ramblers - 10 track demo CD (2008)

tracks 1-5 recorded live off the kitchen floor
tracks 6-10 recorded live at The Local Pub

1 - Back to the Farm
2 - Lay My Burden Down
3 - Green Pastures
4 - Right the Sun
5 - Goodnight Irene
6 - Blue Moon of Kentucky
7 - The L&N
8 - Friend of the Devil
9 - I'm on Fire
10 - Ramblin' Man

Set List

typical set is 12-15 songs, 45 min. to one hour, one to three sets per show. mix of originals, traditionals, and wide range of covers from Gillian Welch to Feist to Prince to Billy Bragg/Wilco and more