Sorry for the long gap, but I’ve been busy lately and haven’t had much opportunity or energy for going out to a live show even though festival season is in full swing in Ottawa. I did see great shows by Molly Johnson and Women Blues Revue in May as part of the Ontario Scene at the NAC. I’ll be getting out more in July as I have tickets to see The Abba Show at Shenkman on July 14 and will be attending 3 days of Bluesfest on July 9, 12 & 19 and will be closing out the month on the 25th at the Kemptville Live Music Festival. My picks for the 3 days at Bluesfest are River City Junction, Rick Vito, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Charles Bradley on the 9th, Joe Gaspar Band, Kinsey Report, Philip Sayce, Willie Nile and Blue Rodeo on the 12th, and Bruce Katz, 24th Street Wailers, David Maxwell Tribute, Randy Bachman, Monkeyjunk and Bone on the 19th.
I had a great time seeing The Tony D band playing Rainbow Bistro last night. It’s hard to believe it’s been 9 years since I’ve seen them play. Every time I see him, he makes playing the guitar seem so effortless as his fingers dance over the strings. I also really enjoyed seeing him trade funky riffs with Rob “Pappyland” Pappas. As always, he puts on a great show that;’s worth seeing whenever you can.
Next up is Adam Karch playing the new Rainbow Bistro Thursday Early series (8pm-10pm) on April 9.
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!
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:
Dan Lawson Band
Electric Swing Circus
Gary Clark Jr.
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer
Jack de Keyzer
JJ Grey & Mofro
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Rocket Rached & Fat City 8
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Sam Roberts Band
It will be interesting to see how many I actually see this year and which ones I see who I missed on the list.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!