Time to head down to the river, my Ottawa Bluesfest picks for Day 1!
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since I covered my first Ottawa Bluesfest as a blogger for the Ottawa Citizen. Even more difficult to believe is how my blog has taken on a life of its own. It’s really quite humbling to hear reader comments and to open my inbox every day to see another festival invite. Naturally as a festival writer in eastern Ontario getting the chance to cover Ottawa Bluesfest is an incredible opportunity, even Rolling Stone Magazine touts the event as one of the Top 10 Most Successful Music Festivals EVER!! So once again this year I must tip my hat to Mark Monahan for putting together another amazing festival!
The wonderful thing about Bluesfest is the variety of acts fans get to choose from on any given night, I always encourage people to check out something new, perhaps something local. There is so much talent in our region why not check them out, you never know they might be the next big thing. Everyone has to start somewhere and to get a chance to play at Ottawa Bluesfest could just be the lucky break a few of these bands have been waiting for!
It all kicks off this Thursday night with some huge names like Jimmy Eat World, The Black Keys, Grand Funk Railroad just to name a few. I’ll be at Casino Lac-Leamy with my friends and neighbours River City Junction for an exclusive behind the scenes look at what the bands go through to play at Bluesfest.
I know you’ve heard me talk about River City Junction before, and there’s a reason for that. On two separate occasions I’ve seen River City Junction setup in a seemingly quiet market and within a few notes of their opening song you literally see ears start to perk up and heads turn to find the source of the music. By the end of the first track people have started to gather around. Most recently the trio performed in the Brockville Farmers Market to kick off the 1000 Island’s Jazz & Blues Festival, people were asking where this group is from. All were surprised to discover that the trio calls Cardinal, Ontario their home. River City Junction is a great example of the amazing talent we have right on our doorstep or in our backyard. You can catch River City Junction on stage at Casino du Lac-Leamy Thursday night at 8pm. For more information on River City Junction be sure to visit http://www.rivercityjunction.com!
Here’s Caroline from River City Junction at the 1000 Islands Jazz & Blues Festival with the classic Janis Joplin tune Mercedes Benz:
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The full schedule for Thursday night can be found here: http://ottawabluesfest.ca/lineup/grid/?date=2013-07-04 naturally you can also make your picks using any of the Ottawa Bluesfest Mobile apps: http://ottawabluesfest.ca/event-info/download-apps/
If you follow the blog on social media I’m sure, by now, you know that I’ll be taking the blog to Calgary for a few days to cover the Calgary Stampede and the flood relief effort in the region especially at the Calgary Saddledome, where I’m currently scheduled to see KISS on July 13. I’m certain I can speak for most Canadian’s when I say that the news of the horrific flooding that hit the southern Alberta region a few weeks ago was gut wrenching but on the same note watching the communities rally in support of each other has been amazing. Just under two weeks ago the Calgary Stampede grounds were underwater, this Saturday (July 5) the 101st Calgary Stampede will kick off as scheduled thanks to thousands of volunteers who stepped up to help with the clean-up. But as Calgary prepares for their annual celebration we must remember that many communities were washed away in a blink of an eye and many Albertans, our neighbours and fellow Canadians have lost everything. There have been numerous benefits to help support and raise money for those who lost homes or whose homes have suffered serious damage. Late last week I came across a group of young artists on Twitter who were planning their own Flood Relief Concert on July 11 so I offered to give them a shout out. My flight into Calgary isn’t until July 12 so unfortunately I can’t make it to the event, but if you are in the area or know someone who is I encourage you to let them know about this event!
Here is the Facebook event for the Fundraiser for anyone who wants more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/132001737006791/?ref=22
If you can’t make it to Alberta for a fundraiser but still want to help out there are several ways you can do so. You can donate directly to the Red Cross: http://www.redcross.ca/donate/donate-online/donate-to-the-alberta-floods, if you collect Petro Points you can donate them and Petro Canada will match every dollar (1000 points) you donate http://retail.petro-canada.ca/en/petropoints/5127.aspx. I personally am donating all of my currently accumulated points to the relief effort and I encourage you all to do the same!
Be sure to follow Sound Check on Social Media for full LIVE coverage of Ottawa Bluesfest as it happens over the next few weeks. You can follow along here:
See you at the river!