With Bluesfest kicking off tonight I thought I would share the one or two acts a day I consider must-see performers. I avoided naming headliners and went with lesser known acts, hidden gems and good alternatives to hopefully introduce our readers to some new talents. Agree/Disagree? Who do I need to see that I did not list?
Day 1, Thursday July 4: Bahamas
Is a solo singer-songwriter who I discovered when he opened for Wilco a few years ago. He is a very talented Canadian musician who will also have you laughing between songs. 7 PM, Black Sheep Stage.
Day 2, Friday July 5: Frank Turner
One of my favourite modern day lyricists. This Brit can certainly paint a beautiful picture while strummin his guitar. Punk rock mentality with a folk sound 7 PM, Bell Stage
Day 3, Saturday July 6: Neko Case
What a voice! Oh her voice! You will hear it once and fall in love, I promise. If not the voice then her rocking alt-country stylings will woo you. 7 PM, Bell Stage
Supporting local acts is always great and these three all offer something a little different. Adamyk with their rock, Fevers with their electro-synth-pop and Her Harbour with her dark and soulful songs. Adamyk, 1 PM Bell Stage, Fevers, 2 PM Claridge Stage, Her Harbour 4:30 PM Barney Danson Theatre.
Day 5, Monday July 8: THE SPECIALS!
Just one of, if not the, most influential Ska bands of all time! This is not only my must-see of the day, but my must-see of the entire festival! I am so excited to dance like no one is watching. 7:15 PM, Claridge Stage
Day 6, Wednesday July 10: A Tribe Called Red
One of Ottawa’s most popular exports right now. The Polaris nominated Pow-wow step DJs will get you moving. 9:30 Black Sheep Stage
Day 7, Thursday July 11: Jack Pine and the Fire
One of the most talented, soulful acts Ottawa has to offer, Jack Pine & The Fire brings foot-stomping roots music that bleeds originality. 6 PM River Stage
Day 8, Friday July 12: The Waterboys
Let their tales of fishermen blues carry you off into the night. Great Big Sea, before Great Big Sea existed. 8 PM, Claridge Stage
More locals being plugged. Roberta Bondar have a dark space rock sound to them, while Mehdi Cayenne Club can only be defined as a lot of energy and a lot of fun, no genre can handle them. Roberta Bondar, 1 PM Bell Stage, Medhi 2:45 PM River Stage.
Alejandro is an excellent guitarist and writer who has been doing it for quite some time. Perfect for fans of Bruce Springsteen, The Hold Steady and Bob Mould. Dog Blood on the other hand is something completely different. It is the combination of two of the biggest names in dubstep, Skrillex and Boys Noize. Things will get loud and your heart will pound. Escovedo, 5:45 PM River Stage. Dog Blood, 9:15 Bell Stage.