It’s the night of the two heavyweights going toe-to-toe. Who will win the battle of the co-headliners – Red Hot Chili Peppers or ZEDS DEAD (is this not their third straight year at Bluesfest?)? If you’re not that concerned with the main ticket and are more interested in the undercard, there are a handful of electronic acts, a couple of blues artists to see, and several local bands to check out on Day 7 of RBC Bluesfest. The picks below focus on the blues artists.
Jeff Lang – Barney Danson Theatre, 7:30 PM
Australian Jeff Lang isn’t new to these parts, although he’s not quite the shining star as he is back in his native Australia. He’s a frequent participant at the world-renowned Byron Bay Blues Festival, and he’s developed a reputation as one of Australia’s marquee blues-rock / roots-rock artists and guitarists. The intimate Barney Danson Theatre provides a great venue to watch a master at work.
Jack de Keyzer – Black Sheep Stage, 7:00 PM
It would be incorrect to call Jack de Keyzer a Canadian. The bluesman is a citizen of the world, constantly criss-crossing the planet and sharing his classic, B.B. King-inspired blues. If you’re a blues enthusiast, then this gig likely is high on your must-see list. If you are not a fan of the blues, de Keyzer will change your mind.
The Yips – Claridge Homes Stage, 6:00 PM
Frenetic. It’s the only way to describe The Yips, whose music and live shows are absolutely wild. The post-punk, no-holds-bar quartet lie somewhere between Japandroids, METZ, and Savages. This band needs to be discovered and discovered soon.
Training Season – Black Sheep Stage, 6:00 PM
Hip-hop collective Training Season are a throwback. Their infusion of soul and R&B combined with hard-hitting lyrics recall recalls the ’80s and ’90s when rap was just starting to gain traction. While not to say they are like the great bands of that era, they share similarities to acts like N.W.A., Public Enemy, and Digital Underground.
The Chocolate Hot Pockets – Barney Danson Theatre, 6:00 PM
Funk, jazz, and neosoul. The Chocolate Hot Pockets play it all. They are, as such, a throwback to an era when music entertained and moved us and when gifted musicians were recognized and rewarded. The trio probably should be playing in the jazz clubs of New Orleans or the underground funk bars of New York City. Instead, Ottawa gets to enjoy this little sweet gem of a band.
Lindsay Ferguson – Monster Energy Stage, 6:30 PM
She’s been compared to Adele, Joss Stone, and Jason Mraz, but Lindsay Ferguson has always reminded me of Lucinda Williams. Her honest songwriting and her laid-back but intimate style all are akin to the traits of the alt-country legend. And what makes Ferguson so great is that she does not need any extra production to make her songs sing; she allows the raw emotion to come out naturally.
Steve Adamyk Band – City Stage, 7:00 PM
Just a good old-fashion, garage-rock band is Steve Adamyk Band, who are legends in and around the Ottawa region. While most bands within this genre probably would be best placed on a smaller stage, Steve Adamyk Band’s infectious sound and anthemic approach should carry well out on to the field and have the thousands of people in the area just rocking out. And don’t be surprised if a mosh pit or a little party breaks out at the front of the stage.
The Red Rails – Claridge Homes Stage, 8:00 PM
The Red Rails, meanwhile, are just a classic rock band. The trio have quietly established a legion of fans that extends from the Atlantic Provinces to Manitoba. Like Steve Adamyk Band, they have the sound and ability to make thousands of people waiting for RHCP into lifelong fans. Good luck guys!
All-Star Blues Revue Hosted By MonkeyJunk – Barney Danson Theatre, 9:00 PM
MonkeyJunk are back for a second night hosting the All-Star Blues Revue. Can they top last night’s outing? With Jack De Keyzer, Jeff Lang, Sue Foley, Paul Reddick, and The Texas Horns in the building, an argument could be made that they have. Now this is a blues event! Heck, this might be THE blues event of the festival.
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