Sunday, July 13, 2008

Every day I get the blues

It's possible to go to the Ottawa Bluesfest and not see a lot of the blues, but for much of yesterday that seemed to be the main offering. Sure, when I got there the first band I watched was The Hi Lo Trons: Not all that bluesy. They did have J.J. Hardill of The Fiftymen reprising his guest appearance on their latest disc, Happymatic.

Hi Lo Trons, Ottawa Bluesfest, July 12, 2008

I listened to them for a half-dozen tunes then went off to see what wackiness Hamell On Trial would pull at the end of his set on the Black Sheep Stage.

Hamell On Trial, Ottawa Bluesfest, July 12, 2008

I remember his last Bluesfest set as being much more amusing, but maybe I just missed the best bits. He was still pretty energetic and funny. You may be asking "but where is this blues of which you speak?" Well, after the end of Hamell's set I went off to the Giant Telecommunications Company Stage to see Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials.

Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials, Ottawa Bluesfest, July 12, 2008

Lil' Ed and company dish out electric Chicago blues, and appear to have a very good time doing so. Ed was smiling a lot and plainly enjoying the audience's attention as he worked through both his own tunes - a surprising number of which seem to involve his woman leaving him - and classics like I Got My Mojo Working. He had a big assist from the Texas Horns, and horn-in-chief Kaz Kazanoff also contributed some harmonica.

Shakura S'aida, Ottawa Bluesfest, July 12, 2008

This was followed by more blues on the River Stage with Shakura S'aida, who apparently has as much trouble with the menfolk as Lil' Ed has with the gals. I predict disaster if they ever hook up. All kidding aside, she's a capable R&B singer with an ace backing band - I do believe that's Jean-Sebastien Chouinard who some may recall wielding a Les Paul with Guitar Explosion at last year's Bluesfest.

Redd Volkaert with Cindy Cashdollar, Ottawa Bluesfest, July 12, 2008

Next I went to the Black Sheep Stage where Redd Volkaert was performing, along with steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar. It was a cool set with charged covers of George Jones, Santo and Johnny's Sleepwalk and The Boxtops' My Baby Sent Me A Letter. They'll be repeating their performance today on the River Stage at 7 p.m.

The Sauce Boss, Ottawa Bluesfest, July 12, 2008

I was tempted to wander off but a number of people told me it would be worth my time to stick around for The Sauce Boss. The Sauce Boss really, really likes gumbo (he's big on okra, too). He mixed up a pot while rocking out a few numbers, one of which brought him down into the audience, resonator in hand. I enjoyed some of the resulting gumbo and it was pretty tasty. He'll be serving up more gumbo and music today on the River Stage at 1:15.

Mofro, Ottawa Bluesfest, July 12, 2008

Of course I stuck around for Mofro's set. I've been a big fan since a reviewing gig fortuitously landed their sophomore CD Lochloosa in my hands, and have been fortunate enough to catch three of their Bluesfest sets. They're always great and the hour flew by. Once again the Texas Horns provided a hand.
  • Show reminder: If Bluesfest's final day doesn't fascinate, you cam always check out Boris, Torche and Nachtmystium at Babylon - it's an earlier than usual show to accommodate the DJs.


starlagurl said...

Uhhhhhhhh, no the Sauce Boss was obviously a marketing gimmick for his hot sauce line...*eyeroll*

A.C. said...

He was kind of silly, but you have to admire his dedication to okra.