The announcement of the Bluesfest line-up every year, is an exciting time for fans. For me I feel like a kid in a candy store as pour over and devour the list to see what spectacular shows are coming each year. Excitement mounted this week as fans waited with baited breath to see if their favorite act is coming to the one of the largest festivals inNorth America. This year, some of the big shows coming to Bluesfest include: Lady Gaga, The Killers, Collective Soul and Queen of the Stone Age.
Once again, Bluesfest did not disappoint! “There is something for everyone at this festival” says Mark Monahan, Bluesfest, Executive Director. “We looked to the youth to find out what they would like to see at the festival as well”. To that end, there are a number of shows catering to the Hip Hop crowd with shows like Snoop Dog, and Childish Gambino and Cypress Hill.
Country music fans have a fantastic selection of shows to choose from, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebelum, and The Band Perry are just the beginning.
Also, Bluesfest goes back in time and are featuring bands like, The Violent Femmes,STYX, Blondie and Foreigner.
Some, great Canadian acts include The Bare Naked Ladies, Tegan and Sarah, Moist, and the Sam Roberts band and plenty more.
Blues and R & B fans can look forward to seeing the likes of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue,Thornetta Davis and John Mayall.
“There were over 300 submissions from local bands this year” Mark Monahan said “and we will feature 80 of these bands during the festival.” More show announcements will follow in the near future. Details at http://ottawabluesfest.ca/
Tickets will be available on-line, to the general public on Thursday, March 27th at 10:00 a.m. Purchase tickets at: www.frontgatetickets.com.
Ten day passes cost $200.00. Bluesfest runs from July 3 to 13th at Lebreton Flats.
Rock’n’roll hall of famer PATTI SMITH was a most genial host while launching the 2013 edition of the Ottawa Folk Festival last night…and a pretty decent scratch golfer to boot (more on that later). “We’re going to start with a benediction” (to bless the fest opening), she began as her band (the set was billed as ‘Patti Smith & Her Band’) launched into a smouldering “Ghost Dance”. Songs dedicated to festival volunteers and the city of Ottawa followed, generously, without pandering. Towards the end of her 1.5 hour set, a primal scream therapy session through the title track of her latest album ‘Banga’ collectively declared “the festival open”.
Throughout the set, an odd but humorous discourse on the greatness of golfer Tom Watson (it was his Birthday) and his many epic battles on the course over the years, served as a recurring theme of Patti’s between-song banter. She eventually elaborated that watching this kind of level of excellence for any activity is “an amazing thing.” Almost as amazing, for instance, as the band’s slow burning “Southern Cross”, that began hypnotic and acoustic before building towards a testifying secular sermon of a crescendo, stage and audience arms punching the sky, proclaiming freedom.
As a mid-meal palate cleanser, guitarist Lenny Kaye (who has been at Patti’s side since her beginnings in the ‘70s) led the band through a medley of ‘60s garage rock nuggets while Smith took a breather. Selections included The Music Machine’s “Talk Talk”, Nazz’s “Open My Eyes” & The Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction” – all appropriate given that Lenny was the original compiler of the first garage rock bible, ‘Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968’.
In golf parlance, Patti continued to fire birdie after birdie, most decisively sinking all her puts on the closing sequence of “Pissing in a River” (reviving the shamanistic power of “Southern Cross”), the aforementioned “Banga” (band and audience howling in unison) and a rousing “People Have the Power”, before intoning her famous line “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine”, thus signalling that “Gloria” from her 1977 debut album ‘Horses’ would close out the proceedings.
Patti’s only mishit of the whole evening was an inexplicably perfunctory run through one of her best-known songs, the Bruce-Springsteen co-penned “Because the Night”. After dedicating the song to her late husband Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, one was primed for passion. ..instead, the delivery suffered from a serious lack of wattage and commitment.It was Patti’s only bogey of the night that kept the set from scoring a hole in one. Still, one shot short of perfection is an enviable scorecard to turn in by anyone’s standards…even Tom Watson’s.
Look for reviews, commentary & photos from throughout the Folkfest, Sept. 4 -8, at Roch Parisien’s Rocon Communications music chat page.
See the full Ottawa Folk Festival lineup at:http://ottawafolk.com/
(All photos by Roch Parisien, copyright Roch Photos)