Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hair apparent

It was pretty clear from the crowds streaming down Booth Street that Friday was going to be a big day for Bluesfest; not much of a surprise given the tremendous popularity of Great Big Sea. I also saw a bunch of folks decked out in best hip hop style to see Drake. I wasn't there to see either of those acts - Blonde Redhead was my raison d'etre.

First stop was a brief viewing of Chicha Libre at the Subway Stage. As it happens, "Chicha Libre" is Spanish for "The Flaps." Just kidding, but these guys from Brooklyn do strike me as a band who could slip onto a bill with the Ottawa combo, or The Empiricals. I gather I was not the only person last night who saw Mike Dubue (on the scene for Night Of The Living Dead later that evening) who pointed him in their direction - although instead of Asian spy flicks, they have a South American influence.

Chicha Libre at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Chicha Libre at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2010

After a few songs from them, I headed off for a spot of heavy rock with the chaps in Garaga.

Garaga at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Garaga at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2010

After watching them for a while, I had to go off and refill my water bottle, then plunk myself down in a good spot for Blonde Redhead, who played a perfect set. There was some audience griping about the vocals not being loud enough. I thought they were fine, but maybe I was just getting a better dose of them where I was - and dig that Teisco 6-string bass!

Blonde Redhead at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Blonde Redhead at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2010

After that fine set and a bite to eat, I thought I might listen to Marcia Ball & The Wetland All Stars, but when I got into the Black Sheep Tent they still had the chairs set up. I didn't really feel like enjoying music sitting down, so I headed over to the Hard Rock Stage to see some of Chicago bluesman Ronnie Baker Brooks.

Ronnie Baker Brooks at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Ronnie Baker Brooks at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2010

Brooks was in fine form, but I also thought I'd go and see some of Stars. They certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage, but I wasn't much in the mood for their melodramatic pop either and headed off home.

Stars at Ottawa Bluesfest 2010
Stars at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2010

And now we're in for the home stretch ... though Saturday is looking pretty weak compared to Sunday.
  • Show reminder: Snailhouse and Winchester Warm will no doubt be enchanting at Raw Sugar Cafe; Tiltwheel, Year Zero and Barrier rock Babylon; Keturah Johnson,  Patron Saint of Plagues and Thomas from The Mudplots are at Cafe Umi; Monkey Junk and Jumpin' Johnny Sansone play the Rainbow afterparty; rockabilly Ronnie Hayward hits the Elmdale House with Lefty McRighty and The Shameless Bastards; Brock Zeman rolls into Irene's.

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