About the band
Slide Road takes the versatility of the quartet and runs with it. The dobro-guitar-mandolin interplay contrasts Jim’s gutsy dobro sound with Avram’s spirited guitar and Matt’s lively mandolin energy, all anchored by the driving pulse of Louise’s upright bass.
The band’s material draws from the deep well of traditional bluegrass and beyond. You’ll hear songs and tunes from the great music of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, to the good ol’ duet sounds of the Louvin Brothers, to the occasional solid-gold country number, to the band’s own originals.
Their rambunctious musicianship, great singing and relaxed stage presence make this band a crowd-pleaser.
Jim Mintun: Dobro
Six-time winner of Dobro Player of the Year honors from the Northern California Bluegrass Society, Jim has long been known in the bluegrass world for his glass-shattering high tenor and his big-scoop-o’-sound dobro playing in that good old style. Not surprisingly, Jim counts Josh Graves among his dobro influences, along with Mike Aldridge and Leroy Mack, and Slide Road gets much of its rocking bluegrass flair from his strong attack and inventive approach. Jim’s go-for-broke vocals are the personification of ‘high and lonesome,’ and he sings ballads and barn-burners with equal emotion and energy. Raised in Fremont, CA, Jim cut his musical teeth in a Junior High rock and roll garage band, before discovering bluegrass and coming to his senses.
Avram Frankel: Guitar
In demand for his lightning-fast flat-picking, Avram’s lush approach to the guitar lends fullness and warmth to the Slide Road sound. Avram is also a talented singer, and listening to his high, pure tone you can tell that he counts Keith Whitley as one of his vocal influences. Avram proudly hails from Pacifica, CA, is an avid barbecuer, and is the only guy we know who can flat-pick a killer ‘Cherokee Shuffle’ while seasoning a smoked pork shoulder.
Louise Mintun: Bass
Nailing it all to the floor on the upright bass is Louise Mintun, voted Bluegrass Bass Player of the Year by the Northern California Bluegrass Society. A long-time player in the Northern California music scene, Louise’s sweet voice adds a feminine top-note to the manly mix of Slide Road, while the thumping drive of her bass playing lays the groundwork for the quartet’s jump-out-of-your-seat, energetic sound.
Part-timers Ed Cirimele & Henry Warde: Mandolin
Ed and Henry are tag-teaming, very generously filling in for the on-leave Matt Kendall (see below). Those are some big shoes to fill, but these two fellers are up to the task.
Ed first became interested in music after hearing the Grateful Dead play Dark Star at the age of 7 months. Wise beyond his months, the young Cirimele recognized early on that a solid body electric guitar was just too heavy and began to gravitate towards his Uncle Eddie’s Stradivarius violin. In a desperate attempt to preserve his violin, uncle Eddie introduced his talented young nephew to the music of Bill Monroe and the rest is history. Listen for the triplets!
Born and raised in the hills of Northern California, Henry took his first baby steps while playing a Jimmy Martin song, and his singing on ‘Down in the Willow Garden’ can make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Add in some smooth-as-silk mandolin playing and boy howdy.
Matt Kendall: Mandolin (on long-term leave)
Matt is in Stockholm for a little while, making the world safe for VOIP video and voice calling, but when he’s here in town he’s known from the US to Canada to Sweden for his fiery mandolin work and hearty Monroe-style chop. Always appropriate and bang-on-the-money with those fills, Matt is fearless on his mandolin, laying down solid bluegrass rhythm one moment, soaring off into a shower of notes the next. Hailing from some teeny tiny little town in Canada, and living in foreign climes for a bit, Matt also knows every song in the book and can sing all the parts. Hurry home, Matt!