#Ottawa Bluesfest Day 2 (with a side trip to The Rainbow)

Wow, two days into the festival and I’m already feeling the strain, although I’m certain that yesterday’s amazing performances that had me dancing through the night have something to do with it.

Melissa Etheridge kicked things into the stratosphere with what I consider the best concert I’ve seen this year.  Not only did she tick off one of my bucket list items, she left me wanting so much more.  She played a great mix of her hits plus many of the songs off her Memphis Rock and Soul album which is a wonderful collection of covers from hit songs that came out of Stax label in the late Sixties.  It was also a treat to compare her version of Respect Yourself (Staple Sisters) with Mavis Staples’ version, which I experienced less than two weeks ago.   Talk about a tough act to follow!

Next up was Matt Andersen who continues to amaze me even after seeing him live seven times over the past eight years.  I still have fond memories from the first time I saw him play at Bluesfest – just Matt and his acoustic guitar and powerful vocals tearing up the stage.  This time he brought his Bona Fides band with him who played their hearts out while he belted out the tunes to a packed tent full of believers.  Yet another great show from Matt and his band!

At this point I was starting to feel a little weary after dancing throughout both concerts, but just because Bluesfest shows were over, it didn’t mean this was the end of my day.  The Rainbow Bistro had a special treat that I couldn’t resist – Revelator Hill was in town and I really wanted to see them play live.  Yes, there was more dancing, more clapping and more yelling, but it was certainly worth the extra effort and late night out.  I’m glad I didn’t miss this show and hope they can return to Ottawa in the near future.


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