After a four-day break, CityFolk 2022 resumed on Thursday evening. Although the temperatures weren’t as favourable as the first week, the skies remained clear and the music was no less enticing.
Day 4 – Thursday, September 15th
Getting things started at 6 PM was The Record Company, a Grammy-nominated rock band hailing from Los Angeles. They wasted no time warming up the crowd and were an excellent kick-off to the evening. Much beloved Maritimer Matt Mays, who is no stranger to performing in Ottawa, followed. He gave a shout-out to the city as being one of the first outside Nova Scotia to embrace his music early in his career. The evening was capped by the guitar-wielding Matt Andersen, who reliably delivers a strong blues-based performance. We’re sure he’s once again gained new fans of his songwriting strengths.
The Record Company
Matt Andersen & The Big Bottle of Joy
Day 5 – Friday, September 16th
Singer-songwriter Tré Burt delivered a thoughtful set and shared some stories from his career, including about his “boss”, the venerable John Prine. He was one of only two artists signed to Prine’s label in the last fifteen years. Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, two successful songwriters and performers in their own right, combine to make an even stronger entity, Whitehorse. The married couple had just arrived in Ottawa after playing a late-night Nashville show. They played a couple of new songs from their upcoming album, which clearly has a more country feel to it, leading perfectly into tonight’s headliner.
There can be no denying that Orville Peck is a performer of the highest degree. He has the voice, the musicianship, the look, and charisma. From the moment he stepped on the stage, he had the crowd’s undivided attention, be it the superfans in the front to the lawn chair contingent farther back.
Day 6 – Saturday, September 17th
The evening commenced with another fantastic husband and wife duo, Shovels & Rope. Through a coordinated effort, both musically and fashionably, they easily drew the biggest attendance for the 6 PM slot. In 2020, Sarah Harmer released her first album in ten years, but the pandemic stymied any plans for a tour and festivals, including a slot at Cityfolk 2020. She graciously returned for her first full set performance since WestFest in 2015. It was comforting to see her in her element again, as she played many of the old favourites as well as some newer songs from her latest album.
CityFolk 2022 concluded with legendary plaid-clad performer John Fogerty, who easily drew the largest crowd of the entire two weeks and had fans of all ages singing along to a truly impressive setlist of hits. Even more impressive was the story of his 1969 Rickenbacker that found its way back into his possession after many moons through a thoughtful gesture by his wife, and likely a smidge of luck.
Shovels & Rope
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