Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Ottawa Where's the Blues Bluesfest

Each year the capital city of Canada has a Blues-fest. It is a massive international music event that brings attention to the city and hopes to bring in music lovers from all four corners of the globe. It is an excellent way to bring in tourists and entertain the local populace. The only problem I have with it is, I wonder if it is time to change the name of the festival.

Iggy Azalea - Rapper

Seeing the advertisements for this shindig does not bring blues to mind. They are touting that Australian Rapper Iggy Azalea is headlining the event.  Even when you look at the other big names that are mentioned it makes you wonder where is the blues in this event? Keith Urban, De La Soul, and Marianas Trench do not come to mind when I think of blues.

Myers Brothers Band - Blues

There are a few actual Blues bands on the list such as Bella Cat, Blues and Company, Joe Gaspar Band, and the Myers Brothers Band. They even have several rock groups that could be said to have a bluesy sound, but what is missing is the acts that would make this a world class Blues event.

Where is Joe Bonamassa, Jimmie Vaughan, Keb' Mo', The Robert Cray band or Blues Traveler? Where are our still classic living blues-masters such as Buddy Guy, and Pat Thomas? What about our up and coming Canadian blues bands like The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, or Double Fuzz? I am thinking that they did not even try to make this an actual Blues-fest.

Keith Urban - Country

Now, according to the RBC Blues-fest Facebook page they are saying that the show will be "one of the  most well-rounded music experiences of the summer." It looks like that is exactly what they have put together. There are many different styles to choose from: indie; pop; Funk; Rock; hip hop; Space age Rock and Roll; singer/songwriter; country; Punk; Rap; electronic; psychedelic; comedy; and more.

By no means would I tell anyone not to go check out the vast amount of quality acts that they have brought together. If you would like to go out and have a night of good music check out the festival, but if you are looking for a night of Blues double check the band online to see if you are getting what you want; Otherwise you may end up wanting Buddy Guy and seeing a hip hop artist instead.


As I made mention to above, there are some excellent artists that will be at this years bash in Ottawa. Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Tragically Hip, Deep Purple, and The Glorious Sons to mention a few.

The one act that is a must see if you are thinking of attending is the one and only Weird Al Yankovic. Yes that king of parodies is going to grace the Canadian capital with his Mandatory World Tour.

Is it ironic that, out of all the acts at the whole Blues-fest that I just chewed out because it is not really a Blues-fest, I really want to see a musical comedian?

I can not help it, Weird Al has been a favorite of mine since I was young and heard Another One Rides The Bus. He has single handedly kept polka in the popular music era, and managed to make a lucrative career out of making fun of other peoples music.

Today it is a great honor for an artist to have Weird Al do a parody of their work. He has become an icon in both the music and comedy worlds, and has outlasted many of the artists that he has parodied.

As much as I would love to see The Hip, Deep Purple, or the Dropkick Murphys if I have a chance Weird Al Yankovic will be my choice.


Speaking of great bands to check out at the festival, here is The Glorious Sons. They are a blue collar straight forward Rock and Roll band out of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. If you have not heard these local boys you are missing out. 

I love their song Heavy it is a great song with a rocking groove that just proves how good these canucks are. They are not a one trick pony destined to be a one hit wonder, and they have proved it with follow up rockers such as Lightning, and Mama. 

These Glorious Sons have a perfect southern rock sound. So if you like your Rock and Roll with a cold beer out on the back deck by a bonfire, than you will want to get their self titled album.

Hell, they are even taking to the high seas. ShipRocked Cruise has added the boys onto an already incredible lineup that includes the amazing Five Finger Death Punch, the iconic Nonpoint, and the kick ass Halestorm.


Thanks for reading and keep the Blues pure.

Kevin Sweeney

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