Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ottawa Bluesfest 2012, Day 7

My plan yesterday was to get to LeBreton Flats in time to catch all of Zeus's 6 p.m. set, instead of wandering ina half-hour late. For once, chronic disorganization is not to blame for my late arrival. The fact I got there in time for any of it is due to the speedy service at Foster's. When I got down to my bicycle, I discovered someone had made off with the line for my rear brake. Who the heck steals a five-year-old brakeline?!? It was certainly a fascinating oddity for bicycle mechanics and Foster's customers alike. I guess I should be glad they left me with the front line. Anyway, on to Zeus, who put on an electrifying performance of heavy pop. They made me think a bit of Sparks, actually.

Zeus at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Zeus at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

I then popped over the hill for a brief look and listen to Damon Fowler, who was wrapping up his set with an extended lap steel workout. From the sounds of things, it would have been time well spent if I hadn't been spending my time well elsewhere.

Damon Fowler at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Damon Fowler at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

Then I headed off to the main stage for a brief gander at A$AP Rocky, one of the hot young things of hip hop at the moment. I believe some mention was made of drugs.

A$AP Rocky at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
A$AP Rocky at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

On to Carolyn Wonderland. I saw her in 2010 and said I doubted it would be her last Ottawa Bluesfest. I wouldn't have said so had I known of the changes the festival would go through in the following two years, but my prediction turned out to be accurate nonetheless. Here she is again, performing in much the same circumstances: River stage, sun going down, enthused audience. This time she came prepared with sunglasses, though.

Carolyn Wonderland at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Carolyn Wonderland at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

Over to the electro stage for one of my favourite performances of the fest so far: Chali 2na.  He's a veteran of the hip hop scene. How veteran? He comes from the Jurassic era ... or at least, he was a member of Jurassic 5 and revisited a couple of his old groups tunes during his entirely fab set. Props also to his keyboardist, Anthony Brewster, who can bust out a fine Michael Jackson impression when required.

Chali 2na at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Chali 2na at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

That done I made another short stop at the Black Sheep Stage to watch a bit of Nathan & The Zydeco Cha-Chas. Good, but I wasn't in a zydeco mood.

Nathan & The Zydeco Cha-Chas at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Nathan & The Zydeco Cha-Chas at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012

After that I zipped about a bit but wasn't gripped by much. Ms. Lauryn Hill sounded like she was doing a good job over at the Claridge Stage, though.

Ms. Lauryn Hill at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Ms. Lauryn Hill at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

I also stopped by to listen to the Tedeschi-Trucks Band and eat an organic sausage (much tastier than the inorganic kind). I definitely enjoyed their opening tune, a cover of Fred Neil's Everybody's Talkin'.Great singing and guitar playing from this husband-and-wife team - and of course their talented backing band and singers.

Tedeschi-Trucks Band at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Tedeschi-Trucks Band at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

I then went back top the Black Sheep Stage for a bit of Oliver Mtukudzi. He was a bit too mellow for my tastes.

Oliver Mtukudzi at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Oliver Mtukudzi at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

Finally I went back to the Electro Stage to see Deltron 3030. Del, Kid Koala and Dan The Automator are undoubtedly a talented trio, and the followup to their debut has been a long time coming (I gather it lands some time in September). They also had a big horn and strings section to give their music some added oomph. But honestly, I wasn't feeling it, unlike the large and enthusiastic crowd.

Deltron 3030 at Ottawa Bluesfest 2012
Deltron 3030 at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 10, 2012

Well, there's always today (and the rest of the festival).

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