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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Music

Bluesfest: Deep Purple, commanders of classic rock

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Ian Paice of Deep Purple. All photos by Terry Steeves.Ian Paice of Deep Purple. All photos by Terry Steeves.

It’s as much output that can be produced by a set of drums, bass, guitar, and a Hammond organ, by musicians that are masters of their instruments. It’s a wall of sound consisting of music from genres of heavy and progressive rock, with the use of blues, classical, and other scales. Add to this a singular, hair-raising voice, whose challenging vocal melodies are just as grandiose, and I’ve just described Deep Purple, who gave a commanding performance in front of a massive crowd at Ottawa Bluesfest last night. After 47... | Continue reading article

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Experience traditional Kozak Tavern at Ukrainian Fest’s pub night

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UKRAINIA, photo courtesy of the band.UKRAINIA, photo courtesy of the band.

Korchma is the word for “tavern” in Ukrainian – and that’s exactly what the Ukrainian Banquet Hall at 100 Byron Avenue will become on the opening day of the first Capital Ukrainian Festival. The festival kicks off on Friday, July 24 with a pub night and musical performances from Ottawa’s own UKRAINIA and Toronto’s Lemon-Bucket Orkestra. UKRAINIA, a band of four energetic men with guitar, bass and drums, is bound to steal your heart and get your feet moving with what their website deems “traditionally-based Ukrainian music [that] has been... | Continue reading article

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Hayden, Mozart and Kid Koala at Chamberfest 2015

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The Danish String Quartet perform on August 5, 2015 at the Dominion-Chalmers United Church. Photo courtesy of Chamberfest.The Danish String Quartet perform on August 5, 2015 at the Dominion-Chalmers United Church. Photo courtesy of Chamberfest.

The Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival aka Chamberfest starts July 23 and runs for fifteen days. We spoke with the festival’s Director of Marketing and Communications James Whittall about this year’s festival. Apt613: Describe Chamberfest in a couple sentences. James Whittall: World’s largest chamber music festival: sentence number one. And a very important sentence too. Also one of the most innovative music festivals in the country. Can you tell us about this year’s theme? It’s been themed as “Regenerations” and the idea behind that is the music programmed into this... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: CHVRCHES surprised fans with brand new music

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Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES. All photos by Mark Horton, courtesy of Ottawa Bluesfest.Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES. All photos by Mark Horton, courtesy of Ottawa Bluesfest.

When CHVRCHES began their set at Bluesfest on July 15th, it was that perfect time of day when the sun is finally starting to go down and you know that by the time the show’s over, night will have crept in. There’s definitely a special excitement that comes from watching one of your favourite bands perform live for the very first time, but you also have to hope that they can live up to all your wild expectations. I should start off this review with the disclaimer that CHVRCHES are... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: Canned Heat delivers rockin’ boogie blues

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Canned Heat perform at Ottawa Bluesfest 2015. All photos by Terry Steeves.Canned Heat perform at Ottawa Bluesfest 2015. All photos by Terry Steeves.

The rain definitely did not deter folks from coming out on Friday night to see rock ‘n roll blues legends, Canned Heat. The scene was a colourful array of rain slickers and umbrellas which covered the area in front of Ottawa Bluesfest’s Monster Stage, and nearly all the way up the grassy slope. In their 50-year career, Canned Heat haven’t slowed down their schedule and have continued to spread their brand of rockin’ boogie blues on stages across the world. Their rich musical heritage includes their earliest and unforgettable performances... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: The electronic sounds of Frayd

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FraydFrayd

Even though he’s only 17 years old, Ottawa-based DJ and electronic music producer Frayd is already making quite a name for himself. Having grown up in a musical family, his precocious talent started to manifest itself in the fall of 2013, when he began making electronic music in his bedroom under the name Chil Pollins. He then changed his stage name to Frayd in 2014 and subsequently released three EPs under that moniker.  (Check out his Soundcloud page to listen to some samples of his tracks). The teenage artist now brings... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: The Yips summon rave ghosts to Lebreton Flats

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The cover of the Yips' EP, Air Loom, from their Facebook pageThe cover of the Yips' EP, Air Loom, from their Facebook page

The Yips have been a prominent part of Ottawa’s music scene since they got together, in 2012. Since then, they’ve put out two EPs on their own, and a split with Organ Eyes.  The band plans on releasing their first full-length album by the end of 2015. Local band the Yips are playing Bluesfest for the first time this evening. Asked by email what playing Bluesfest means to them, they replied “It means we’re one step closer to a duet with Weird Al! Honestly though it is an honour [and an] awesome... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: The soulful voice of Riishi Von Rex

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Photo of Riishi Von Rex and Michel Delage by Alyosha DerryPhoto of Riishi Von Rex and Michel Delage by Alyosha Derry

Over the past six years, singer-songwriter Riishi Von Rex has been tearing up the Ottawa music scene with her soulful voice and impressive guitar licks. Having played both as a solo artist and with several backing musicians, she teamed up with drummer Michel Delage in 2012 to form the current incarnation of the group, which plays a versatile sound that they dub “gypsy rock.”  The duo now brings their great songs to Bluesfest this weekend, when they perform on the Claridge Stage on Saturday, July 18 at 4 pm. “This... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: Buck N’ Nice to debut new tracks

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Buck N' Nice. Photo from their Facebook page.Buck N' Nice. Photo from their Facebook page.

After sharing the stage with fellow local hip hop duo Flight Distance this past Wednesday, Buck N’ Nice are looking to make their upcoming Saturday set something special. With the promise of new music from as-yet unreleased album EMAG, alongside the strength of their stage show, that seems pretty likely—there’s very little in the way of false hype with these two. It’s been over a year since veterans of the local music scene, DJ So Nice and SawBuck teamed up to create the group Buck N’ Nice and dropped their... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: The Black Lips put on incredible performance

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The Black Lips perform on Canadian Stage at Ottawa Bluesfest 2015. Photo by Scott Penner.The Black Lips perform on Canadian Stage at Ottawa Bluesfest 2015. Photo by Scott Penner.

The Black Lips graced Bluesfest Tuesday night at the Canadian stage, and as usual they put on an incredible performance. It got a bit wet that night at the festival, but the band played on undeterred and got everyone in the crowd moving – dancing away in their stylish ponchos or shaking off water like packs of wet dogs. The pull of their music, as well as their legendary performances, are too much of a draw for people to stay away. These Atlanta born boys have been around since 1999,... | Continue reading article

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