Saturday, July 07, 2012

Ottawa Bluesfest 2012, Day 3

Thank goodness for cloud cover and low humidity, or else Friday at Bluesfest might have been unbearable. LeBreton Flats didn't seem very crowded when I arrived though -  I suspect the heat kept some folks away. The audience at the Freelance Whales show was certainly on the young side. The Whales sounded nice too, if a trifle precious.

Freelance Whales at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Freelance Whales at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 6, 2012

Then it was off to catch a few local acts. First up, Winchester Warm in quartet form on the Black Sheep Stage.

Winchester Warm at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Winchester Warm at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 6, 2012

And then Kalle Mattson on the River Stage. Really, I just stopped by to snap a few photos, but everyone sounded good.

Kalle Mattson at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Kalle Mattson at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 6, 2012

After that I just had time to zip back to the main stage to catch Conor Oberst. He has scads of fans, but I just found him to be a capable country rocker. His band was excellent though.

Conor Oberst at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Conor Oberst at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 6, 2012

I was far more intrigued by Lake Street Dive over at the Black Sheep Stage. I'm not sure what you'd call them ... jazzabilly? Singer Rachael Price has certainly got a certain cachet in the jazz world, but the rest of the band seems to be more in a hillbilly swing sort of place. It all sounded good, even the cover of George Michael's Faith.

Lake Street Dive at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Lake Street Dive at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 6, 2012

I then walked over the hill to catch !!! (a.k.a. Chk Chk Chk).  Frontman Nic Offer was running around in his Rolling Stones Some Girls boxers and generally voguing up a storm to the band's dancepunk tuneage. The group's hot sounds are somewhat undermined by the overwhelming normalcy of its members, but you can't fault Offer's non-stop attempts to get the crowd moving (which he accomplished with some success).

!!! at Ottawa Bluesfest
!!! at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 6, 2012

Then it was off to the River Stage for a different bunch of dancepunks, Sleigh Bells, who were heavy on the punk side and kept their rhythm section in a can. I preferred !!!'s drums sounds which were on occasion powered by three different people. Unfortunately Sleigh Bells smoke-n-strobe stageshow is hard to snap a photo of.

Sleigh Bells at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Sleigh Bells at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 6, 2012

Finally I stopped by the Black Sheep Stage again for another helping of the Screaming Eagle of Soul, Mr. Charles Bradley (and, of course, His Extraordinaires). I enjoyed it much more with the play-by-play from LFMAO fans. The crowd was certainly digging it too.

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires  at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 6, 2012

As I left I passed by Tommy Lee and DJ Aero on the Electro Stage. Big crowd for that as well. Sigh! Actually, it didn't sound half bad.
  • Show reminder: Lynn Drury brings the blues to the Rainbow; Danny Brooks adds some grit to Irene's; the Elmdale hosts Big Moan, Stateless Mind and Red Hill. Rogey Dorey and the In-Young Jazz Band perform at the Avant-Garde Bar.

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