Monday, July 18, 2011

Bluesfest 2011: Day 12

By now you may have heard that this year's Ottawa Bluesfest ended a little suddenly. I was just taking my leave after Cheap Trick's set was cut short when the MBNA Stage suddenly collapsed after a sudden gust of wind. Fortunately, it seems that no one was seriously hurt. Apart from that, I saw several strong acts on the festival's closing day.

Amanda Rheaume was performing as I walked in the gates. "I'm glad there's no rain," she said, recalling her last Bluesfest opening gig, which was a bit on the wet side.

Amanda Rheaume at Ottawa Bluesfest
Amanda Rheaume at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

I didn't stay long bcause I wanted to get a few photos of bands on other stages, starting with The Dube Brothers. The trio of youngsters have been doing a bang up job of fundraising  outside the gates, and got on the Subway Stage this year.

Dube Brothers
Dube Brothers at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

I got to the Hard Rock Stage just as Ben Cooper was playing the final two songs of his set. He 's one of the founding members of local rockers Stone Melodies.

Ben Cooper Band
Ben Cooper Band at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

After that Ireturned to see the end of Amanda Rheaume's set, and to catch a bit of Australian Mama Kin's jazzy minimalist soul music. She gets by with just a keyboardist and percussionist.

Mama Kin at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Mama Kin at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

It was so damn hot I didn't stick around though, and went off to the most reliably shady stage, the Hard Rock Stage, to see some of Bluesfest institution Dave Maxwell. He was plunking up a storm on the ivories with some help from the Texas Horns.

David Maxwell at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
David Maxwell at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011, July 17, 2011

For my next trick, I tried to get a good picture of Tragic and Rockwell of local rappers Philly Moves as they bounded about the stage.

Philly Moves at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Philly Moves at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

My next stop was the not-long-for-this-world MBNA Stage to see The Court Yard Hounds. The Hounds are the two sisters in The Dixie Chicks, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison who put on a very sharp show.

Court Yard Hounds at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Court Yard Hounds at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

They were joined by Robin Zander from Cheap Trick for a duet spot filled by Jakob Dylan on See You in the Spring; he read the lyrics off some sheets taped to the stage.

Court Yard Hounds at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Court Yard Hounds with Robin Zander at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

My penultimate stop of the day was the Subway Stage to see Nashville's Tristen. Her writeup was filled with references to acts I like, and I wasn't really in the mood for Lupe Fiasco (who apparently put on a super show), so I picked a spot on the barrier with the dozen or so folks who showed up in advance of her set. She really put on a swell performance with her band The Ringers. She has an appealing mix of toughness and adorability.

Tristen at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Tristen at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

My final show of the festival - the final show period, thanks to a sudden rush of inclement weather - was for Cheap Trick, one of my favourite bands. Judging from subsequent Facebook posts and Twitter updates, a lot of local rockers were also in the crowd. 

Cheap Trick at Ottawa Bluesfest 2011
Cheap Trick at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 17, 2011

It was a fine 20 minutes of solid hits until the sky fell on our heads. Fortunately it seems there was nothing fatal, emergency crews were on the scene fast and major tragedy was avoided.
  • Show reminder: The Moonshine Ramblers perform at Zaphod's; Currents, Dead Weights, The Ghostwrite and Robots Everywhere! play at 452 Gladstone. Take Down Frosty plays The Rainbow.

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