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Bluesfest Review: Matt Andersen and The Mellotones

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Matt Andersen. All photos by Terry Steeves.Matt Andersen. All photos by Terry Steeves.

Imagine if you will, a booming soulful voice somewhere between that of Joe Cocker and the warm tone of Jeff Healey. And then try to imagine that voice being backed up by a 9-piece band of amazing proportions, complete with a full horn section, and some great vocal harmonies. Matt Andersen’s songs are soulful tales of the hard working blue collar life growing up in the small town of Perth-Andover, New Brunswick. He combines his musical influences of blues, soul, and folk to create a passionate vibe to his lyrics.... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest Review: Harper and the Midwest Kind

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No sooner had I entered through the gates at Bluesfest, I was snagged by the sweet sounds of some rich grooving’ blues coming from the Claridge stage. The man fronting the 3-piece band was playing the harp like nobody’s business, backed by a band busy churning out some fiery blues. And then he opened his mouth to sing, and I was immediately hooked…I wasn’t going anywhere for awhile. The man in question, was Peter D. Harper, with his band, the Midwest Kind, all hailing from the Michigan area. But the... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Free summer picnics with Harvest Noir

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The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the farmers are hauling crates of their newly harvested produce to outdoor markets across the city. For Harvest Noir, that can only mean one thing – BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) because it’s time to picnic. A two-part free summer picnic will take place on July 12 and August 23, giving Ottawans the perfect excuse to get out of the house and explore some of the finer open-air venues this city has to offer. Picnickers of all ages will be scouring... | Continue reading article

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Aziz and Co celebrate 50 years

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From left to right: Sheena Zain (store manager, daughter), Zubeda Ujjainwala (mother and owner) and Jasmine Aziz (Daughter). All photos by Charlie Crabb.From left to right: Sheena Zain (store manager, daughter), Zubeda Ujjainwala (mother and owner) and Jasmine Aziz (Daughter). All photos by Charlie Crabb.

While stumbling and bumbling around, a drunk man tripped into a small store, which had just opened on the corner of Bank and Gilmour streets. He wandered through, gazing at its vibrantly coloured collection of bed spreads, dresses and textiles, unsure of where his drunken adventure had led him. It was different from the other stores he meandered by on the street. The aroma of the burning incense enticed him to wobble down to the back end of the shop. Intoxicated by the smell, he grumbled, grabbed a pack of... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: Cold Capital and Journey hit the stage

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From left to right: Jason Cote (drums), Nick Hertzberg (guitar/keys/vocals), 
Andrew Erlandson (bass/vocals), and Matt Muir (guitar), of Ottawa's Cold Capital. All photos by Terry Steeves.From left to right: Jason Cote (drums), Nick Hertzberg (guitar/keys/vocals), Andrew Erlandson (bass/vocals), and Matt Muir (guitar), of Ottawa's Cold Capital. All photos by Terry Steeves.

Bluesfest is an outdoor music event like no other. Over the span of 20 years, it has grown from a one stage – three day Blues event, to one that now has multiple stages with ten days of local, national, and international acts incorporating a wide range of musical tastes from around the world. It is recognized as the biggest outdoor music festival in Canada, and the second largest in North America, attracting hundreds of thousands every year. You may ask why it is still called “Bluesfest”, even though there... | Continue reading article

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The word of God comes to Ottawa

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Broadway’s hottest show, The Book of Mormon, is coming to Ottawa. The Tony Award winning musical is the brain child of Trey Parker, Matt Stone (both of South Park fame) and Robert Lopez (co-creator of Avenue Q and songwriter for Frozen) and has received critical praise around the globe. South Park fans may remember the 2003 episode entitled “All About Mormons” which told the story of Joseph Smith and the founding of Mormonism as a religion. It was a hilarious episode and for many of us, a first look at... | Continue reading article

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Waller St. Brewing brings “free-market alternative” beer to Rideau Street

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Photo from wallerst.ca.Photo from wallerst.ca.

Post by Karie Dufour. There was a time when The Beer Store was not the private multinational corporation it is today, but rather a cooperative of Ontario brewers. The Brewers Warehousing Company Ltd., established in 1927 following prohibition, was created to protect local breweries and owned by every brewer in the province. Waller St. Brewing hopes to bring back that post-prohibition flavour to Ottawa’s craft beer scene. It will open later this summer in the basement of 14 Waller, the home of Lunenburg Pub and The Loft Board Game Lounge.... | Continue reading article

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Write on Ottawa: Palawan Story by Caroline Vu

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Caroline Vu. Photo from Palawan Story's Facebook Page.Caroline Vu. Photo from Palawan Story's Facebook Page.

Caroline Vu’s Palawan Story is about the young Kim Nguyen’s unwitting and traumatic escape from the 1970’s Communist Vietnam to the Palawan refugee camp in the Philippines, to her eventual arrival in the United States thanks to a case of mistaken identity. While the story of survival told from a child’s perspective and later re-dissected through Kim’s adult eyes is one that merits readers’ attention alone, it is Vu’s ability to keep her readers emotionally aligned with her narrator that really secures this novel’s literary merits. Vu displays an uncanny... | Continue reading article

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Video of the Week: On the Line by The Red Rails

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Photo by Sean Sisk Photography.Photo by Sean Sisk Photography.

The Red Rails are a relatively new rock trio based in Ottawa. A love of minimalist rock and roll brought friends Kim Vincent (Vocals, Guitar), Chris Slaney (Bass, Vocals) and Steve Brogno (drums) together just over two years ago. “On the Line” is the first single from their forthcoming album A Living Fiction set to be released on Tuesday, July 15. For me, the song has a bit of a late 70s rock vibe to it: a heavy guitar combined with a sweet melody making it easy to groove along... | Continue reading article

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Young Ottawa glitterati hit bowling green for charity

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Photo from lawnsummernights.com.Photo from lawnsummernights.com.

Hintonburg’s sleepy Elmdale Lawn Bowling club will be transformed into the hippest spot in the city on Wednesday when Lawn Summer Nights returns to the capital for the first of four nights of mingling, munchies, booze and bowling in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The second annual fundraiser, which draws a who’s who of young Ottawa professionals from the political, media and business spheres, doubled in size this year and sold out in less than 24 hours. “We have a bunch of returning teams, and we attribute much of our... | Continue reading article

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