Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bluesfest 2011, Day 11, Part I

I bopped around so much on Saturday, I'm going to split the post into two parts so as not to test Blogger's 200-character tag limit. This was a day that started strong with a couple of local acts, and featured a wide range of acts compelling enough to watch for a little while. It also featured some photogenic dross. As for the big headliners - meh.

I actually managed to get on my way to Bluesfest fairly early, which meant I was able to catch a chunk of New Teeth's set, despite a spate of string-snapping, it was a strong performance, and quite bracing for so early in the day (well, early if you frequently get up at noon like I do).

New Teeth at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
New Teeth at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2011

Then I hit up the National Bank Stage for a gander at Six Shooter recording artists The Beauties. I'm kind of kicking myself for not checking them out earlier, since they are a stellar roots rock combo. I notice they attracted a small but fascinated fence crowd who stopped on the bicycle path to have a listen.

The Beauties at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
The Beauties at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2011

Next I went to listen to The Brothers Chaffey. Even among the region's very strong roster of roots rockers The Brothers Chaffey stand out, thanks to ace guitarist Curtis Chaffey and super frontman Matthew Chaffey.

Brothers Chaffey at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
The Brothers Chaffey at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2011

One of the main reasons to go to Bluesfest is to check out bands you've never seen, or perhaps heard of, before. Final Flash had an interesting writeup, with references to folk and psych and Jace Lasek recording their debut. I enjoyed them a little, but felt my attention start to wander ... perhaps the ska band over on The Subway Stage would be more exciting? These photos aren't quite as close up as the others because, despite the early timeslot, a small horde of Nick Jonas fans had shown up to stake their claim.

Final Flash at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Final Flash at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2011

Or maybe not. I'll give Melbourne, Australia's The Resignators full marks for endurance (they drove all the way from Winnipeg) and enthusiasm, but musically I found them to be a bit on the blaring side. I liked their cowboy song, though.

The Resignators at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
The Resignators at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2011

The Twisters certainly win the prize for most sharply dressed band, with their dark suits. That may also win them the prize for most masochistic band, given the bright sun and heat, still, what a bunch of troopers. Their smart duds go hand-in-hand with their traditional but sharply played swinging blues sounds.

The Twisters at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
The Twisters at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2011

Then it was back to the Hard Rock Stage to see some of the Todd Wolfe Band's hard-hitting set. They're a hefty blues-rock power trio. Wolfe was Sheryl Crow's guitarist back in the mid-1990s (prior to that, he was the Troy in Troy The Tornadoes), but his music packs a harder edge. Plenty of instrumental workout action as well.

Todd Wolfe Band at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Todd Wolfe Band at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 16, 2011

But from there, it was on to terrible musical peril ....

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