• Blues, Rainbow Bistro, Festivals and More

    On Friday I  made it down to The Rainbow Bistro (despite the chilly temperatures) to see JW-Jones.  It’s been almost a full two years since I’ve seen one of his shows and he has made significant headway in the past year with the release of his latest album so I’ve been looking forward to seeing one of his shows.  He certainly did not disappoint and had a great mix of old and new songs with a good part of each featuring him rocking (bluesing?) out on the guitar.  He returns to the Rainbow on May 16 for if you’re interested.  Other notable acts I’m hoping to see at the Rainbow in the coming months include The Tony D Band on April 4, Monkeyjunk on May 29, Jack de Keyzer on June 6 and Paul DesLauriers on June 13.

    For those who like streaming live concerts, you should keep a watch on the Yahoo Live Nation stream.  Last night they had a great stream of Tedeschi Trucks Band, one of my all time favorite bands.  I liked it so much I streamed the replays 3 times today! I am hoping to catch Halestorm who will be streaming on April 23.

    Over the past few weeks there have been a number of Festival announcements, including Ottawa Bluesfest.  To be honest, after the past couple of fantastic lineups at both Bluesfest and Ottawa Jazz Festival, I was somewhat underwhelmed this year.  I’ve limited myself to a 3 day Bluesfest pass to see Ronnie Baker Brooks, Charles Bradley and River City Junction on July 9, Philip Sayce and Joe Gaspar Band on July 12 and Monkeyjunk and the 24th Street Wailers on July 19.  I still haven’t decided if I will go to any Jazz Festival shows (Huey Lewis and the News play June 24 and Pink Martini are playing on June 29).

    Next up for me are the Tony D Band at the Rainbow on April 4, Cat Empire at Algonquin Commons Theatre on April 14 and Molly Johnson at NAC Ontario Scene on May 1.  Happy concerts everyone!

     



  • Concert Wishlist

    Since I was so disappointed with the recent festival announcements I though it would be good to review some of the acts I would like to see over the next couple of years.  This is NOT a definitive or static list but does give me something to measure the year against.  First, though, here are the acts I’m hoping to see in the next couple of months (in some cases I already have tickets):

    Bands I plan to see

    Jesse Greene March 21 Atomic Rooster (possibly)
    JW-Jones March 27 Rainbow Bistro
    Cat Empire April 14 Algonqiun Commons Theatre
    Molly Johnson May 1 NAC Theatre
    Women Blues Revu May 8 NAC Theatre
    Thomas Clair with River City Junction, Steve Judd & The Underdogs, Terry Gillespie and Lynn Miles June 14 WestFest (free)
    Pink Martini June 29 Jazz Festival (possibly)
    The Heavyweights Brass Band July 1 Jazz Festival (free)
    AC/DC Sept 3 TD Place Stadium

    In addition to the above acts, I would love to see these artists/bands play live even though I’ve seen many of them before:

    AJ Ghent
    Alanis Morissette
    Andre Bisson
    Angel Forrest
    Annie Lennox
    Autumns Cannon
    Barstool Prophets
    Beth Hart
    Caravan Palace
    Cassie Taylor
    Cardboard Crowns
    Chris Antonik
    Colin James
    Crystal Bowersox
    Current Swell
    Dan Lawson Band
    Downchild Blues
    Electric Swing Circus
    Emilie-Claire Barlow
    Eric Clapton
    Firebelly
    Gary Clark Jr.
    Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
    Guy Belanger
    Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer
    Hot Sardines
    Iguanas
    Jack de Keyzer
    JJ Grey & Mofro
    Joanne Shaw Taylor
    Joe Bonamassa
    Keb’ Mo’
    Kelly Richey
    Kenny Wayne Shepherd
    King Hobo
    King King
    Marcia Ball
    Marshall Lawrence
    Matt Anderson
    Matt Mays
    Michael Kaeshammer
    Miss Emily
    Monkeyjunk
    Nikki Yanofsky
    No Sinner
    Oliver Jones
    Pat Benatar
    Paul Deslauriers
    Peptides
    Philip Sayce
    Pia Ashley
    Powder Blues
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Record Company
    Rocket Rached & Fat City 8
    Ronnie Baker Brooks
    Sabrina Weeks
    Sal Piamonte
    Sam Roberts Band
    Santana
    Selwyn Birchwood
    Shane Dwight
    Shawnee
    Sheepdogs
    Steve Azar
    Steve Hill
    Steve Strongman
    Tara Holloway
    Tedeschi Trucks
    Tia Brazda
    Treasa Levasseur
    Tympanic
    Walter Trout
    Wicket Mercy
    Wicked Grin

    It will be interesting to see how many I actually see this year and which ones I see who I missed on the list.



  • Festival Announcements

    This post was supposed to be a review of what I hear was a great show by Philip Sayce and Steve Hill last Thursday, but it was not to be. I had not realized (and only found out after the fact) that there was a very limited number of tickets available at the door and as a result I missed the show entirely. I can only hope I don’t have to wait another 5 years for Philip Sayce to make a return visit to Ottawa.

    On another note, two festival lineups were announced on Thursday – Westfest and Jazz Festival.  I have to be honest, I’ve become accustomed to some great artists headlining Jazz Festival over the past few years, but this year was a huge disappointment to me.  None of the artists I had been hoping for are in the lineup and the only headliner that interests me is Pink Martini.  Aside from that, the only other show that interests me is the Free Canada Day concert by The Heavyweights Brass Band.  At least the Sunday Westfest lineup has some interesting acts that I’m looking forward to see, including Thomas Clair with River City Junction, Steve Judd & The Underdogs, Terry Gillespie and Lynn Miles & Friends.  It looks like it’s going to be a lean year for festival concerts. I can only hope Bluesfest and Folk Festival have a more interesting mix.



  • #Ottawa @24thStreetWail @RainbowBistro

    If you like 50’s style rockin’ blues with a twist, then you HAVE to see 24th Street Wailers live.  Last night they played a rocking CD Release/Juno Nomination party at The Rainbopoiw Bistro and it was a fantastic high energy party.   How could you go wrong with but Jon Wong wailing on the Sax almost every song, Jesse Whiteley pounding out Boogie Woogie piano, Lindsay Beaver belting out the songs and keeping the beat going, Mike Archer strumming the old school Upright Bass and newest band member Elliot Sowell rawkin on the Guitar?  Their Juno Nomination is well deserved and they are definitely a band to watch as they continue to grow – one that I look forward to seeing again at future gigs.  Another great night at The Rainbow Bistro!

    Don’t forget, Ottawa Jazz Festival and WestFest will be announcing their festival lineups on the morning of March 12!

    Next up is the Philip Sayce CD Release Party with Steve Hill at The Rainbow Bistro on Thursday March 12.



  • #Ottawa Concert Weekend @JackdeKeyzer @BarstulProphets

    At long last I finally managed to venture out of the house into the cold of winter.  It’s been two and a half months since I saw some live music and I was way overdue.  Thankfully the weather cooperated and was a more reasonable -15c, which means I had no excuse for staying home and there was a great choice of acts to see this weekend.

    First up was Juno Award winning Jack de Keyzer at The Rainbow Bistro on Friday.  I’ve been anticipating this show ever since I first heard his cover of All Along The Watchtower on DawgFM and he did not disappoint.  If you like rockin blues with a mix of funk and boggie woogie, you can’t miss seeing him live and you certainly should pick up a copy of his latest album Voodoo Boogie.  I danced to every single song and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  I certainly look forward to seeing him again at a future show.

    Saturday was the Barstool Prophets playing a sold out show at Shenkman Arts Centre in celebration of  the 20th anniversary of their successful album Crank (which I’ve been listening to all morning).  Yes, it’s been 20 years, but they’ve still got it and were clearly having fun playing the show.  I love the power rock chords with the two guitars, bass and drums and the extra depth from percussion, keys and cello on key songs made it an even better experience.  I am very glad I was able to take part in this fantastic experience and I sure hope the hint they dropped at the end of the show about some upcoming festival dates will include a stop in Ottawa.

    Next up will be Juno Nominated 24th Street Wailers on Saturday at The Rainbow Bistro.



  • Yay for Live Music!

    It’s time to end my winter slumber and head out to see some of the great acts that are playing over the coming weeks.  Before that, I have to note how saddened I was to hear of David Maxwell’s passing.  He’s been a fixture in the Blues scene and a performer at Ottawa Blues Fest for what seems like forever.  He will truly be missed.

    Here is my plan to end the Winter Blahs (subject to change as always):

    Friday Feb 27 – Jack de Keyzer at the Rainbow Bistro

    Saturday Feb 28 – Barstool Prophets at the Shenkman Arts Centre

    Saturday March 7 – Juno Nominated 24th Street Wailers at the Rainbow Bistro

    Thursday March 12 – Phiilip Sayce CD Release at the Rainbow Bistro

    Saturday Aprul 4 – Mokeyjunk at the Rainbow Bistro

    Tuesday, April 13 – The Cat Empire at Algonquin Commons Theatre

    Saturday May 16 – JW-Jones at the Rainbow Bistro.

    If that’s not enough there are a lot of other great acts coming to town, so check out the latest listings which include Viree Blues shows at le Petit Chicago every second Wednesday and lots more great shows in the Ottawa area.



  • #Ottawa Concert News

    Happy (belated) new year everyone!  We’re now at that special time of year where it’s too cold out for me to motivate myself into a night of live music so my posts will be mainly focused on recent event announcements.  This time there is some bad news and some good news.

    The bad news is Nikki Yanofsky has cancelled a number of her tour dates, including her January stop in Ottawa.  I sure hope she can reschedule soon as I was really looking forward to see her again.

    The good news includes the recent announcement of the 27th Annual Ottawa Rythm & Blues festival at Irenes on Jan 30 & 31. The excellent lineup includes performances by The Maria Hawkins Band, The Jesse Greene Band, a Honkin Blues Jam including Rocket Rached & The Fat City 8, Tony D, Drew Nelson and many more.

    On another event note, the newly created Neat in the Woods that is being held in Burnstown on Sep 25-27th is starting to release their lineup.  So far Bright Light Social Hour have been confirmed on Friday, September 25th at 7pm,  Monkeyjunk is playing on Saturday Sept 26th at 7pm and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings are playing Sunday Sept 27th at 8pm.  I also noticed they will be running shuttles to/from Ottawa so you can attend the shows without fighting traffic and searching for parking.



  • 2014 Concert Wrapup

    2014 was quite the eventful year where I managed to see a record 85 concert sets and 10 festivals. While the list of great shows is far too long to review, I can certainly highlight some of the performances in different categories:

    – Living Legends: Aretha Franklin, John Mayall and Charlie Musselwhite.

    – Blues Favorites Beth Hart, Buddy Guy, Colin James, Gary Clark Jr., JJ Grey & Mofro, Matt Anderson, Tedeschi Trucks, and Monkeyjunk.

    – Classic Rock Bucket List: Blondie, Blues Traveler, Fleetwood Mac, Powder Blues, Procol Harum and Randy Bachman.

    – Jazz Favorites: Hot Sardines, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Michael Kaeshammer and Oliver Jones.

    – Local Favorites: Cardboard Crowns, Tympanic, Peptides, Wicked Grin, Les Mosquitoes and Jesse Greene

    – Other notables: Jarvis Church, Joss Stone, Jully Black, Lee Fields, Marie-Mai, Vintage Trouble

    I’m sure 2015 will be just as interesting as I’m planning on attending many festivals and concerts and am already looking forward to seeing Nikky Yanofski, Barstool Prophets and Jack de Keyzer.

    Happy New Year everyone!



  • Hot Sardines Review @shenkmanarts

    There’s nothing like some hot dirty jazz on a snowy winter evening and The Hot Sardines certainly delivered!   I love the energetic Jazz of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s  era. Stride Piano, check.  Lively horns, check. Sultry songstress who sings in French and English, double check.  Musical arrangements that fuse musical influences from New York, Paris, and New Orleans, CHECK. Ukulele playing tap dancer, wait what?  Oh, yes, the taps through each song add another great dimension to the ensemble and bring back the feel of the roaring 20’s, check. All together they make a great ensemble and their fantastic set was over far too soon.  Would I see them again?  ABSOLUTELY.  I sure hope they return to town soon!



  • Jarvis Church Review @JarvisChurch @shenkmanarts #Ottawa

    Last night Jarvis Church was in town to put some soul into the Shenkman Arts Centre, and he certainly delivered.  I have said this before and will repeat it often, I love it when a performer puts their heart and soul into a show, and Jarvis is no exception as he pours his entire being into each and every song with assistance from a fantastic band and excellent backup vocals.  The first 40 minutes of the show focused on his most recent album, The Soul Station, Songs of Sam Cooke and was a very fitting tribute to The King of Soul. After the break, Jarvis and the band played good a mix of Jarvis Church and Philosopher Kings songs to keep his long time fans happy.  He also gave us a taste of the next album that will be a tribute to Curtis Mayfield (I can’t wait for the album) as well as a rendition of Smokey Robinson’s Tracks of My Tears (perhaps that will be a future tribute album).  Alas, the end came far too soon, and it was time for the encore party which finished with half the audience dancing on the stage. A great show and one I would highly recommend .