Thursday, 17 September 2015

Limestone Blues Festival

The month of August ended with a huge blues blast in Kingston, Ontario. Unlike the befuddled Ottawa event, the Limestone City did it right with actual blues musicians. It was an amazing ensemble of top notch talent that filled the downtown streets with great music and merriment. 

Unfortunately I was not able to catch all the acts that played the festival, and there were quite a few acts that played at the event. Just picture three days full of live blues music from early morning to late into the night. The following are the highlights that I was able to witness.

Thursday Aug 27th 2015

The weekend long festival began on Thursday night with non other than this years Juno nominee for Blues Album of the Year, JW Jones. JW proved right from the first time he strummed the first notes from his golden axe that he is able to play any damn thing that you could possible think of and make it sound great.

I was fortunate enough to attend the the VIP Party that he preformed at to kick off the event. On that night the Tir Nan Og Irish Pub downtown was the place to be. JW played some of the hits from his Juno nominated album, and several blues classics. His band was perfectly in the groove and he wailed away on the guitar like a man possessed. It was a night to remember.

Let's just say he is an act that seeing just once was not enough, so later that night I made sure not to miss both his outdoor gig at Confederation Park, in-front of the iconic city hall, and his late night show back at the NOG.

He has a knack for energizing his audience and amazing them with his exceptional playing. If you ever get the chance to see this Canadian Bluesman and his impressive band don't miss it!

To get you in the mood I attached a video below of JW Jones playing with the great Buddy Guy earlier this year...

Friday August 28th 2015

 Friday night the blues festival shut down the upper part of Princess avenue in Kingston and lit up the street with even more exceptional blues.

The lovely and talented Canadian blues front-woman Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar enchanted the crowded street. They played and sang their hearts out to the delight of the crowd. It was a wonderful mix of gospel tinged blues with fantastic back up singing.

Samantha's voice has been compared to the classic rock goddess Janis Joplin. You can hear it when she kicks out a smoking single like "I Won't Justify."

It was a beautifully clear day for an open air concert and Samantha and Delta Sugar made the most of it, kept the crowd excited, and played until the sun when down

As the full moon shone bright and full, Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials brought the sweet classic sounds of Southern Blues. Lil' Ed's got that deep iconic Bluesman voice and his band was on fire.

There is nothing like walking a city street at night that is filled with the sweetly sorrowful sounds of a damn good blues band.

People were dancing in the street and swaying along to the groove. It was a magical night that could not have been any better if they tried.

If you ever want to see the best Blues North of New Orleans make sure to visit the Limestone City in late August during the Blues festival. Unlike our Ottawa neighbors we will treat you with some real blues.


As I mentioned above these are just a few of the great acts that graced the stages during the Limestone Blues Festival. You easily could fill your days from dawn to dusk with good music and good local cuisine at the event. I also have to say that the few acts that I met in person were very personable and appreciative of their fans.

A big thank you to JW Jones for allowing me to create some artwork for him, and  for the amazing access to him and his band. Not to mention, the copy of his great Juno nominated album Belmont Boulevard.

Also a big thank you to Samantha Martin for taking precious time from her extremely busy schedule to meet with me. Thank you also to Delta sugar who signed my copy of  the print of the artwork that I had done for them.

More thanks to Bagot leather Goods in Kingston for the passes for the festival. 

Well that is it for now. Thank you for reading.
Kevin Sweeney

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