Three days are in the books for RBC Bluesfest 2018, and, other than a few hiccups, things gone relatively smoothly (especially the weather!).
As we have done in previous years, here are our picks for Days. As usual, we try not to focus on the main-stage headliner unless they are an absolute must-see (like Van Morrison).
Though the previews will highlight smaller segments of the festival, the full schedule is posted and can be found here. Various passes and tickets are still available:
In preparation, we offer this tip. Be sure to follow the Ottawa Bluesfest on social media as they tend to have contests during the day and announce any unexpected schedule changes.
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Sunday, July 8th Picks
The main stage headliner is country star Brett Eldredge, but if that’s not to your taste, there are many other great artists in the line-up. Here are three of them.
Beth Hart – 9:00, Claridge Stage
Beth Hart’s career went into overdrive in 2014 and since then she has connected with some of the biggest names in music, putting out two #1 blues albums. Her live performances tend to be very energetic, bringing people to their feet or even down to their knees with her booming vocals. ttawa has already had a taste of her talent as she played two shows at Bluesfest in 2014. If you saw here then, you’re likely to attend. If you missed her, this is your chance..
The Strumbellas – 8:00, City Stage
The Strumbellas are one of those bands that each time they come to town to play, their placement on the bill is a little more coveted. On the strength of their last album and their solid tour reputation, it’s only a matter of time until they return to headline one of Ottawa’s festivals. Could this be the last time we see them in an earlier slot? Honestly, we don’t really care when they play, as it’s always a great time!
Larkin Poe – 6:00, Claridge Homes Stage
The last time we saw Larkin Poe – the project of sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell – they were supporting the great Elvis Costello. Now we get to see them in their own element, playing a full-hour set of the gritty roots-rock. Come for the stirring harmonies, the fabulous guitar work (including some delicious finger-plucking banjo), and songwriting that at times reaches mysterious levels. A 6:00 slot seems way too early, so arrive early and you’ll be rewarded with an incredible concert experience.
Local artists performing:
Tara Shannon – 3:30, City Stage
- Tara Shannon is an award-winning songwriter who has enjoyed success penning songs for others over the past twenty years. In 2017, she finally decided to step into the spotlight and released her first album of her own titled Unfinished. In 2015 Tara Shannon got involved with the Butterfly Child project and her song was used in the campaign to help raise funds for Jonathan Pitre in his battle with Epidermolysis Bullosa. It’s an early one, but don’t miss this gifted singer-songwriter and her beautiful country-soul songs.
Vicki Brittle – 3:30, Black Sheep Stage
- Vicki Brittle’s love of singing began at the tender age of three and by the time she was a teenager, she knew music was what she was destined to do. In 2016 she released her first EP, and this year saw her first full length album One Love. She’s performing out and about the area, and on Sunday she starts off the day on the Black Sheep Stage.
Alanna Sterling & The Silvers – 4:30, Claridge Homes Stage
- Alanna Sterling claims to be part Unicorn. Although we don’t know about that, there is definitely something magical about her voice. With her combination of raw talent and an impeccable work ethic (she’s been very busy playing local venues), there is no doubt that she will be one of Ottawa’s next breakout stars.
Cody Coyote – 5:00, Black Sheep Stage
- Local hip-hop/electronic recording artist Cody Coyote has had a notable year, both playing at the National Arts Centre and releasing the album Mamawi. Being of Ojibwe/Irish descent with ancestry from Matachewan First Nations, his latest record aims to inspire positivity and focus on reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous people, promoting togetherness and love for one another.
Graven – 5:00, Barney Danson Theatre
- You may have heard his latest record Jaybird on local stations or the CBC, or perhaps caught him playing Marvest during the last Cityfolk Festival.If you haven’t and need a little more to capture your curiosity, his music is self-described as “truly atmospheric, raw, passionate, dodgy, personal and rare”. Find out what that means and head out of the heat and check out Graven !
Amos the Transparent – 6:30, City Stage
- One of the city’s most beloved bands is Amos The Transparent, who continue to draw big crowds in and around the city. They released their 4th full-length album Anniversaries earlier this year to mark their 10-year Anniversary, so make sure to head to the City Stage to revel in the fresh tunes.
TAPAS – 6:30, Black Sheep Stage
- Hyf, G Grand and Jeepz make up the rapper and beat brewing trio that are Tapas. Each having received accolades in their respective specialities, the group recently released their self-titled debut album and are going to be serving it up on the Black Sheep Stage.
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