Bluesfest is here again, except now it's over there, in Lebreton Flats. dial613 is looking forward to seeing how the new set-up works.
Apparently 35000 people showed up to see Van Morrison and his shades last night, and the crush of the crowd wasn't exactly as comfortable as it was back at City Hall. But hey, dial613 has no problem getting close with the public, as long as the public a) keeps their hands where they can be seen, and b) bows karate-style in honour of dial613's presence. One of the two will do.
The hot topic this year seems to be the location.. will it be better or worse than City Hall? Organizers, of course, are touting the new site, but reviews of the new site from people who saw Van Morrison last night are pretty mixed.
Also, the 'big' names this year are bigger than ever, but has it been at the cost of the non-headlining names?
Once again, the guide will be presented in 2 worlds: the hypothetical world where dial613 can be cloned in order to see every show possible, and the real world in which dial613 must break one band's heart to go see another.
It's also split up into 2 parts, 5 days each, and doesn't include day 1. Because day 1 is over. And it only had 2 shows, which were happening one after another. Is that good enough reason? Ok.
And, as always, dial613 wants to know what you think. If there are any shows that really wowed/heavily disappointed you, comment or e-mail dial613 to share the excitement/grief. And what do you think of the new set-up?
On to business..
dial613 reader's guide to Bluesfest 2007, pt. 1:
(mbna) = MBNA Stage
(sheep) = Blacksheep Stage
(rog) = Rogers Stage
(riv) = River Stage
(bd) = Barney Danson Theatre
* denotes local artist
Day 2 - Thursday, 07.05.07
6:00 - As The Poets Affirm* (rog)
7:00 - Jimmy Vaughan (mbna)
8:00 - Radio Birdman (riv)
9:00 - Bob Dylan (mbna)
No cloning needed here; the festival's 2nd night is pretty low-key, meaning you can see pretty much full sets from 4 out of the 5 acts scheduled. And headlined by Bob Dylan, who is here again for those who didn't get to catch him last fall (and even for those who did and prefer to see him outdoors). dial613 will be cheering for rain...y day women #12 & #34. Zzzing.
It's a pretty low-key start to the festival, with just 6 performances spread out over the first 2 days, but things pick up as the weekend begins.
The guide continues... click here for days 3 thru 6.
Day 3 - Friday, 07.06.07
|schedule for clones|
6:00 - The Reverb Syndicate* (rog)
6:00 - JOKKO* (riv)
6:15 - Mark Wilson & The Last Dinosaur (bd)
7:00 - Gary U.S. Bonds (mbna)
7:15 - Souljazz Orchestra* (riv)
8:00 - Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (rog)
9:15 - Kid Koala (sheep)
9:30 - George Thorogood & The Destroyers
The Reverb Syndicate* - 6:00
Mark Wilson & TLD - 6:15
Gary U.S. Bonds - 7:00
Bela Fleck & TF - 8:00
Kid Koala - 9:15
George Thorogood & TD - after Kid Koala
Under The Radar - Formerly local Mark Wilson, whose once-freely available Endless Elevator EP from last year (or the yr before?) made him sound destined for bigger things.. like Bluesfest stages, har har. Really though, there's no good reason for him to remain hidden much longer.
Sure-Shot - Scratchmaster Kid Koala, who has made a name for himself both as a solo DJ and as a member of Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, and Lovage; if you've heard of any of those (or are a fan of MC Del or producer Dan The Automator), you should check it one two. Word.
Also: Bela Fleck & The Flecktones should be interesting.. bluegrass banjo-picking with a bit of be-bop fusion. And, FYI, he's a dude.
-->The Reverb Syndicate - I Am The New Number Two
-->Mark Wilson - The Art Of Give And Take
-->Lovage - Koala's Lament
Day 4 - Saturday, 07.07.07
|schedule for clones|
2:30 - Two Hours Traffic (bd)
3:15 - The Soirée* (sheep)
3:45 - Male Nurse* (bd)
4:45 - Jon-Rae & The River (sheep)
6:15 - Jetplanes Of Abraham* (sheep)
7:15 - Mute Math (riv)
8:00 - Michael Franti & Spearhead (rog)
9:00 - Manu Chao (mbna)
9:00 - Luke Doucet (bd)
9:30 - Toumani Diabate (sheep)
Two Hours Traffic - 2:30
The Soirée* - 3:15
Jon-Rae & The River - 4:45
Jetplanes Of Abraham* - 6:15
Mute Math - 7:15
Michael Franti & Spearhead - 8:00
Manu Chao - 9:00
Toumani Diabate - 9:30
BATTLE!: Manu Chao vs. Luke Doucet
Is it really much of a contest though? Doucet, as nice as his songs are, comes around here more than once in forever, and plays a style found easily enough in North America. The same can't be said for Chao, whose laid-back worldbeat music carries influences from all over the map.
Pick: Manu Chao
Under The Radar - Continuing with the world music theme, Toumani Diabate plays a type of harp unique to his native Mali and its neighbouring regions, called the kora. He may be touring internationally, but his roots still appear to be deep into African culture, making both his music and performance style worth seeing.
Sure-Shot - Michael Franti & Spearhead
dial613 hears it's illegal to hold a festival called Bluesfest in Ottawa without Michael Franti headlining a night. It almost happened this year, with the event tentatively renamed Sorrywecouldn'tgetMichaelFrantithisyearFest. Thank goodness that didn't happen... think of how clunky the wristbands would've had to be.
-->The Soirée - Turn This Car Around
-->Jon-Rae & The River - Just One More
-->Jetplanes Of Abraham - Tunnels/Terminals
-->Michael Franti & Spearhead - Everyone Deserves Music
Day 5 - Sunday, 07.08.07
|schedule for clones|
1:15 - Sarah Hallman* (riv)
2:00 - Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo (rog)
3:45 - Joel Plaskett (bf)
4:15 - F!ghtF!ghtF!ght* (riv)
5:00 - Elmer Ferrer Fusion (bd)
5:45 - Ukrainia!* (riv)
6:00 - Leo Kottke (rog)
6:15 - Ohbijou (sheep)
7:15 - Shout Out Out Out Out (riv)
9:30 - Hawksley Workman (riv)
9:30 - The White Stripes (mbna)
Sarah Hallman* - 1:15
Joel Plaskett - 3:45
Elmer Ferrer Fusion - 5:00
some Ukrainia!* - 5:45
some Leo Kottke - 6:15?
some Ohbijou - 6:45?
Shout Out Out Out Out - 7:15
The White Stripes - 9:30
BATTLE!: The White Stripes vs. Hawksley Workman
Are you going to miss a chance to see The White Stripes without spending bus/gas money to Toronto? Well, you might, even if you don't intend to, depending on how the whole site is laid out. dial613 wouldn't hesitate to head over to see Hawksley Workman to spite an awful sightline or distant sound quality from the main stage. He's a great alternative.. but, again, exactly that.
Pick: The White Stripes with a view.
-->Sarah Hallman - Snowballin'
-->Joel Plaskett - Happen Now
-->Hawksley Workman - Jealous Of Your Cigarette
-->The White Stripes - You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You're Told)
Day 6 - Monday, 07.09.07
|schedule for clones|
6:15 - Relief Maps (sheep)
7:00 - The Grass (mbna)
7:30 - Fiona Boyes & The Fortune Tellers (riv)
8:00 - Jonny Lang (rog)
9:00 - Buddy Guy (riv)
9:15 - Final Fantasy (sheep)
Relief Maps - 6:15
Fiona Boyes & TFT - 7:30
end of Jonny Lang - 8:30?
Buddy Guy - 9:00
BATTLE!: Final Fantasy vs. Buddy Guy
There are lots of performers who have been proclaimed to be the King of Blues: B.B. King, Muddy Watters, dial613 (King of Everything encompasses blues too, right?)... the list goes on. Simply, Buddy Guy is maybe the only performer at Bluesfest this year who could easily be included on that list. Plus, he's probably got the coolest name in town.. and this is a town with a guy named Engelbert Humperdinck.
Pick: Buddy Guy
Also: Remember back in the late-90's, a 16-year-old kid named Jonny Lang causing quite a stir with his major-label debut? Yeah, it's fuzzy for dial613 too, but hey, he's here, and his show may be interesting to see.
-->Relief Maps - Pattersickle
What Bluesfest shows are you looking forward to most?
Have any strong recommendations of acts that are flying below radar?
Any bones to pick with dial613's scheduling?
Stay tuned for Part 2, where dial613 reveals 2 of this site's most anticipated acts of Bluesfest.
Spoiler: it's neither INXS nor Da T.R.U.T.H., despite the wonderfully capitalised names.
(ps: viol-indie-in ... you totally loved it.)