It’s country night at the Ottawa Bluesfest, and the variety of artists is a more limited tonight with fewer acts on the slate. The big headliner is Aussie heartthrob Keith Urban. But if you’re not in the mood for country, there are some other options to consider. Here are the RBC Bluesfest July 16th Gig Picks.

A few Ottawa artists will be performing tonight. They are listed below, and you can check out the Ottawa Soundmakers series for more info.

Paul OakenfoldPaul Oakenfold – 9:45 PM, Monster Energy Stage

Before there was Calvin Harris, Tiesto, or Skrillex – heck before they were even born – Paul Oakenfold was spinning records and mixing tracks. He was part of a group of producers and mixers that founded the house and club music scene and what is now EDM. Despite being old enough to be the father of many of today’s top producers and DJs, Oakenfold continues to show that an old dog can not only learn new tricks but teach them as well.


Mother MotherMother Mother – 9:30 PM, Canadian Stage

For several years, Mother Mother hovered under the radar of Canada’s independent music scene despite their knack for creating anthemic indie and disco pop. Through the years, they’ve been regulars at Bluesfest, going from early sets to graduating to be the headliners on the secondary stages. It’s been a remarkable journey for the Vancouver band and a treat for fans to watch.


Ottawa Musicians

One of the great things about Bluesfest is that the organizers are willing to take chances and introduce people to music that wouldn’t come close to be considered mainstream. Hull-based Fet.Nat (7:00 PM, Canadian Stage) is such a band, whose experimentalism can be complex and even utterly confusing, yet somehow it all works.

Ottawa favourites HILOTRONS (8:15, Canadian Stage) similarly push the envelope, but yet they dazzle by fusing their music into a neo-disco, neo-new wave sound. Their music is infectious, catchy, and gyrating. It’s going to be an hour-long dance party on the Canadian Stage.

Rory Gardiner (7:00 PM, Claridge Homes Stage), meanwhile, is following in the footsteps of fellow Ottawan Kira Isabella, carving out a niche for himself in the country music scene. But he’s not only making a name for himself in his hometown, but he’s gaining notoriety in US, such as in the country music capital of Nashville.

Ornaments (6:00 PM, Canadian Stage) will fill people’s needs for some garage blues-rock. Their sound is right out of the Midwest USA – gritty sound with thoughtful lyrics and the occasional guitar solo to satisfy the most ardent rock fan.

Or you’re craving some soul combined with some Motown-style rock ‘n roll, Bluestone & The Memphis Moonshine (6:00 PM, Monster Energy Stage) are your ticket. They have an old-school feel – smooth harmonies with a rock foundation.


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