Bluesfest 2017: The good, the bad, and the bluesy

The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest was back at Lebreton Flats from July 6 to 16 with a series of fantastic and memorable performances from world-class headliners and smaller-scale performers alike. Overall, the festival was a positive experience for most people. However, weather, security issues, and health problems cast a shadow over a few of the acts. BLUESFEST’S TOP 10 ACTS 10. High Valley: From the small Northern Alberta town of La Crete, brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel brought their fresh style to the Claridge Homes Stage in what was perhaps the most outstanding country performance of the festival. 9. Death From Above 1979: For a two-person band, Death From Above 1979 showed they can produce a big and full sound. The […]

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Bluesfest Day One: Toby Keith, Tribe Royal, and Sam Roberts Band

Ottawa’s largest annual music festival kicked its 24th edition on July 6 at LeBreton Flats with a diverse and interesting lineup. For everyone from country lovers to local indie enthusiasts, the first night of the 2017 RBC Ottawa Bluesfest had a lot to offer. Opening the festival on the Claridge Homes stage was Tribe Royal. The long-haired Ottawa-based indie rock group performed a variety of songs from their two studio albums, ranging from energetic and upbeat to calm and laid back. In particular, the country-inspired “Sippin’ On Whiskey” projected a delightful feeling over the joyful audience. The bass lines by Bram Al-Najjar and the drum fills by Mike Giamberardino, along with the guitar riffs and harmonized vocals by Chris Kerwin and […]

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Sam Roberts jams in support of CUPE

Nov. 14 marked the eighth annual Rock for Public Services charity fundraising concert, featuring headliner Sam Roberts Band and opening acts Matt Mays and Amanda Rheaume. Rock for Public Services, presented by CUPE Local 503 (Canadian Union of Public Employees) and CUPE Ontario, has hosted such artists as Tom Cochrane and Randy Bachman in past years of the fundraiser. This year, Rock for Public Services was raising money for Sisters in Spirit, an organization that raises awareness for missing and abused Aboriginal women, a cause that was highly discussed during the recent election campaign. The event’s performers each brought something unique and interesting to the stage, and the variety of artists made for a fantastic evening of Canadian music for a great […]

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Festival blog: USS, Sam Roberts, and Collective Soul

The final day of Bluesfest arrived after an afternoon of rain that cleared up just in time for the performances. USS USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) was up first on the River Stage. Primarily recognized as an electronic act, they are known for blending derivatives such as dubstep, drum and bass, and two-step with rock and pop musics. The Toronto duo of guitarist/vocalist Ash Buchholz and turntablist/hype man Jason “Human Kebab” Parsons  have strong ties to the Ottawa area, with local FM station Live 88.5 having given them consistent radio play for the past six years. The term “hype man” is perhaps an understatement for Parsons, with his infectious energy and party hard attitude working well to keep the audience entertained […]

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