After two days off, RBC Bluesfest is back on with another eclectic schedule. Expect to see a lot of a ten-gallon hats, boots, and huge belt buckles as country-music star Brad Paisley headlines the night while thousands of teenagers and college kids will descend to the festival grounds early to see rising star Alessia Cara. There are, however, other acts to see. Here are our picks for today plus details about three, immensely talented, local women you should definitely take the time to see.
The Decemberists – Claridge Homes Stage, 8:00 PM
One of the most fun, clever, and eclectic outfits in all of music, The Decemberists finally make their way to Bluesfest. Yes, frontman Colin Meloy has played in Ottawa before, but the band as a whole have not graced their presence in these parts. If this is the first time seeing the Portland-based collective, be prepared to experience one of the most amusing and entertaining sets you will ever see. Here’s hoping the band plays “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” and brought along the props.
Jack Broadbent – Monster Energy Stage, 6:00 PM
Jack Broadbent may not be a household name, but he’s one of the most gifted guitarists of his generation and arguably its greatest slide guitarists. He’s also a terrific singer-songwriter in the John Prince and John Paul White mould, crafting songs that are personal and introspective. So whether through the guitar strings or his tantalizing stories, Broadbent will draw you into his world.
Pierre Kwenders – Black Sheep Stage, 6:00 PM
Originally from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pierre Kwenders has become Montreal’s favourite adopted son. Kwenders’ sound also represents his dual citizenship – world and Afro-beat music infused with Montreal’s electronic experimentalism. His music is otherworldly and his performance will surely leave a lasting impression on anyone who opts to take a chance on this emerging talent.
Kelly Prescott – Claridge Homes Stage, 6:00 PM
Kelly Prescott has a smile that could light up a room. Her music, though, could break the heart of even the most hardened individual. While she comes from two musical families, the country-folk artist has earned her stripes with her emotionally-charged music, winning fans not just in Ottawa but across Canada and the US. As she gets set to release her fifth album, Hillbilly, Prescott could be on the verge of a massive breakthrough.
Danielle Allard – Barney Danson Theatre, 6:00 PM
One of the region’s hidden gems is Danielle Allard. Her tender voice combined with her fusion of jazz, folk, pop, and blues makes Allard Ottawa’s version of Norah Jones. Like the popular Jones, Allard will leave you pleasantly astounded.
Her Harbour – Barney Danson Theatre, 7:30 PM
I remember seeing Her Harbour, the project of Gabrielle Giguere, the first time. It was at The Black Sheep in Wakefield as part of gig showcasing local talent. Her deep, sultry vocals and haunting, eclectic sound left a mark. It was like observing a young Julianna Barwick at work. Giguere has that much potential, and if she was living and performing in New York City thousands of people would know her name. Now here is your opportunity to know who Her Harbour is.
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