The Ottawa Bluesfest is well underway in Canada's capital. Some of tonight's (Wednesday) Canadian Artist 'Must Seee's' are; Half Moon Run, Kelly Prescott, Craig Cardiff & Samantha Martin. Soon we too will be playing a set along the banks of the Ottawa River, our show is Friday night, July 15th, 6:30pm "Monster Energy Stage" with Full (Frikkin' Amazing!!) Band -Brock Zeman, Blair Michael Hogan, Steve Foley and Chris Hopkins- I've been pulling myself up out of the Gatineau River and making my way to the city to celebrate all things Bluesfest where every step (wear good shoes!) has been worth it! I can not wait to see what Friday night will bring, The Red Hot Chili Peppers are headlining so it is sure to be a wild night!!!
On returning to the festival site over the last few days, a rush of memories have been flooding in, everything from the smell of Kettle Corn swirling through the air, to the feel of the grassy ground, soft underfoot and hearing the music soar outdoors, so much new music! Not to fotrget all those smiling faces, including us!!!
The first show I saw (most shows are staggered in a way that you are able to catch at least twenty minutes of every band -should you want?) First, was Joe Jackson. I wasn't sure I knew his music but being an 80's gal, I very happily recognized most of his tunes. What a voice! Man, that Joe can sing! Boy & Bear, The Head and the Heart and Peter Bjorn & John were all totally new to me and I was pleasantly surprised by each one! It always rattles me when people say things like "What a shitty line-up for this year, I don't know anyone!!" Isn't that a good point of a good music festival??? New music! Seeing old faves are also a big part, but for me, new music is the bomb! As a side note, Teddy Kumpel (Joe Jackson's guitar player) was jamming up a storm as part of the Open Mic up in Wakefield's Kaffe 1870 the night prior to his Bfest show, it was a pretty fantastical night :)
The second night of Blues was epic which included (for me) Ben Harper, The Tallest Man on Earth and John Németh. The Black Sheep Stage is featuring a HUGE amount of amazing Blues performers. John Németh kept me entranced. Ben Harper and I had a small but profound connection between performer and auduence member, which none of my friends noticed but it was still awesome. The view around the park (?) is also wrapped up in beauty, a perfect sunset every night (and fireflies!)
Saturday is always a great day at the fest featuring acts from early afternoon onwards.... My favourite act of the evening was Amanda Rheaume. I could be a little biased since we've been friends for awhile and her guitar player also plays with me (Blair Michael Hogan) but their perseverance in the pouring rain was inspiring!!! Yes, it was a very rainy day and we were all preetty soaked by the end of it. The Lumineers were an incredible 'Summer Vibey' band. The image I kept seeing in my mind (even in the downpour) was Summer camp fires, bbq's and guitars... What a great vision to behold and thus a pretty wonderful feeling inside. Their music is similar all the way through but in a 'chillaxed, Steve Miller' kind of way. The Cult was also tearing up the stage but they were never my taste, back then it was The Cure over The Cult every time.
Sunday was crazy great. No rain, smooth sailing!! I was able to fit in SO MUCH GOODNESS!! I went in on my own which proved to be easy & fun. I Love my peeps but NOT having to round up the troops made things pretty effortless. Steve Hill is a One Man Band from Memphis, who BLEW UP the Black Sheep Stage! Ginkgoa is playful with strong melodies. The Texas Horns were easy listening in the Barney Danson Theatre until Matthew Chaffey came on and sang like he might have sold his soul to the devil??? Gotta LOVE the local vibe to the Ottawa Bluesfest. John Fogerty is the same flawless Rock 'n Roller, Belly is a hip hop artist who was enchanting (Love the Bass!!) Thomas Rhett brough out all the teenies (which was a show in itself!) All in all there have been many unexpected little wonders during all of these music, friend, food filled hours and I am pretty happy to be singing next Friday night! Rehearsals have been humbling, inspiring and pretty darn great. See you Friday??