Monday, July 15, 2013

Ottawa Bluesfest 2013: Day 10

The final day of Bluesfest was a real scorcher - fortunately this time I managed my sun exposure a little better and didn't end up feeling baked. Shaving a couple of hours off the time I was there probably helped. Getting all the way to Wellington St. before realizing I'd left my camera at home did not help quite as much.

First stop: The Claridge Homes stage for a few minutes of JW Jones who was really ripping it up. I was tempted to stay but as a local I have to figure they'll be other chances to catch him live. He's hitting a few festivals this summer, but will be at the Black Sheep Sept. 8 and the Rainbow Sept. 21.

JW-Jones at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
JW-Jones at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

My next destination was the River Stage; a former colleague and fellow music fan, Alan Kors, was singing the praises of King King after watching them Saturday. They had been on my go-see list but I ended up at Austra instead. The kilt-clad Glaswegians had a jolly time with some super-heavy blues-rock (a bit like Nazareth, I'd say) while boiling away in the sun.

King King at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
King King at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

Back when I was in university and getting into the whole grunge thing, I picked up a copy of Alice In Chain's Facelift at Record Runner (I think? Might have been the place on the corner of Bank and Laurier whose name escapes me ...). I'm alarmed to think that 23 years have passed since then.

Alice In Chains at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
Alice In Chains at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

Following the sad death of frontman Layne Staley I wouldn't have thought the band could be brought back to life, but they pulled an AC/DC and got a very creditable howler in William DuVall.

Alice In Chains at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
Alice In Chains at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

Alejandro Escovedo was one of my must-sees. I've seen him at a couple of Bluesfests with a different lineup. Last time he had a cellist and violinist. This time around it was a two-guitars deal. They played a great cover of Neil Young's Like A Hurricane, and most of his set was very rocking.

Alejandro Escovedo at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
Alejandro Escovedo at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

In normal times my next step would have been to wait around for Los Lonely Boys (who I last saw playing Barrymore's some time pre-blog; Tony D was the opener). To avoid sun-scorching I retreated to a shady place and had a bit of a lie-down. Unfortunately by the time I got up it was time to run off and see B.B. King. There were so many people I ended up closer to the Bell Stage than the Claridge Homes Stage he was actually performing on. Here's some photographic evidence of the distance involved ....

B.B. King at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
B.B. King at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

Before heading off to the festival I was wondering what kind of sad bastard would be showing up to watch boogie rock also-rans Cactus. That would be me, I guess, though I actually only took in a couple of songs before returning to watch B.B. King from leagues away.

Catcus at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
Cactus at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

Last time I had a chance to see Los Lobos, I blew them off for a chance to see Alejandro Escovedo. Since they shared a stage with him this time around, no problems there. They started things off with Will The Wolf Survive and were generally great.

Los Lobos at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
Los Lobos at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

I confess, I did pop over to the Bell Stage to see what Skrillex's new outfit, Dog Blood, was all about. 

Dog Blood at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
Dog Blood at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

My final stop was to see a bit of Detroit legend Mitch Ryder, who was looking reasonably lively for a performer of his vintage.

Mitch Ryder at Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
Mitch Ryder at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2013

Now all I have to do is figure out my entertainment plans for the rest of summer ...

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