If you’re heading out to Bluesfest, you’ve probably either have conflicts in your “I-must-see-them” schedule or don’t know who to see early on as you wait for the headliner. And that’s where we, at The Revue, step in, offering our suggestions on who to see that night. Now, we’re not listing any Ottawa-based bands because we don’t wish to highlight any one particular act and there is a separate post on the Ottawa-area performers.

So with that, let’s get started.

Gary Clark, Jr. – 9:30, River Stage

Grammy-award winning Gary Clark, Jr., the resident of Austin, Texas, is recognized as one of the preeminent guitarists around and one of the most recognized blues artists around. His rollicking blues style is mesmerizing and captivating. Having seen him once, I can say he’s a must-see artist for anyone and everyone. He’s a living guitar god, and he’s just 30 years old. If you’ve never heard of him, watch the video below of “Bright Lights”, and you’ll be won over.

The past year or two has been pure vindication for singer-songwriter Beth Hart, who over a decade ago battled through several challenges, including addiction and an undiagnosed bipolar disorder. She is now healthy and happy, and she’s coming off a successful US tour last year and a great Australian swing earlier this year. For many people, seeing Beth Hart will be a highlight of their Bluesfest experience, expecting to hear some classics, like “L.A. Song”, as well as tunes from her latest efforts – 2012’s My California and an EP, Introducing Beth Hart, the latter an homage to her loyal fanbase and a symbol of her determination and persistence.

Danny Brown – 6:00, Claridge Homes Stage

Danny Brown isn’t just another hip hop artist; he’s reinventing it with his witty lyricism and focus on real-life troubles as oppose to singing about the usual subjects. His take on hip hop is fun, fresh, and innovative. He’s integrated pop, rock, dance, and even dream-pop and synth into his music while retaining the headiness of hip hop. Expect a house party to break out when Danny Brown opens the Ottawa Bluesfest.

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