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Blogging the Bluesfest: The Bushpilots

By Jared Davidson on July 14, 2012


Sample song: “Everything Falls Apart” by The Bushpilots, off their album Swerve.

The Bushpilots have been rocking Ottawa since 2002, and for a band that has spent ten years making music, these guys manage to keep their take on rock fresh and exciting. With a bluesy swing and towering electric guitar sound, their most recent album Swerve hit the newsstands last month.

With three previous albums, all recorded with the Juno nominated Ottawa producer Dave Draves, the band is experienced and dedicated to their craft: the quest for the perfect rock song. They apparently they rehearse on an island, something not uncommon with rock bands these days.

We asked Rob Bennet, the band’s front man, to answer the questions we sent him.

How would you describe your sound?

Tom Petty and Keith Richards jamming in Neil Young’s garage.  Bruce Springsteen’s vintage Corvette also happens to be parked there, and Joe Strummer is playing with the Corvette’s radio.

How did the band start?

In a hayloft in Almonte in 2002.  After some minor personnel shifting, the current lineup was established the year following.  Keyboard player Tom was added in 2008.  We now rehearse on an island.

What can we expect from your Bluesfest performance?

On Sunday, we’re going to play about half a dozen songs from the new album Swerve.  Glen from Good2Go is guesting on Hammond organ, freeing up Tom to focus exclusively on piano. With the two keyboards there’s a real e-Street piano/organ thing happening that’s really exciting. And there’s also the usual big guitars and rocking rhythm section.  It’s wholesome rock ‘n’ roll fun for the whole family. Bring grandma, the kids, everyone

If you had a time machine, to what time period would you go?

Back to 1958 to buy up as many Gibson Explorers and Flying V’s as possible.  These guitars flopped on their introduction, but the originals from that year are now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  But then by 2012 I’d be 104 … so maybe not.

The Bushpilots play the Claridge Homes Stage on Sunday July 15 at 4:00pm.

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