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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Music

Bluesfest: The dazzling chamber sound of Musk Ox

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Photo of Musk Ox courtesy of the bandPhoto of Musk Ox courtesy of the band

When Musk Ox released their latest album Woodfall last year, it quickly became the most popular Ottawa record on Bandcamp, as well as being the #3 Bandcamp album in Canada. Listening to the beautiful compositions of this chamber-folk trio, which combine classical guitar (Nathanaël Larochette), cello (Raphael Weinroth-Browne) and violin (Evan Runge), it’s easy to see why they have earned so much critical acclaim, which includes appearing on several “Best of 2014″ lists of many music critics. With gorgeous melodies and ethereal soundscapes, Woodfall is arguably one of the best albums from the National... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: Backstage with The World Famous Tony Williams

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Our contributor, Chrissy Stienbock interviews Tony Williams pre-show at Bluesfest 2015. All Photos by Brian Lalande Tooma Productions, in collaboration with  Beauteoptic.Our contributor, Chrissy Stienbock interviews Tony Williams pre-show at Bluesfest 2015. All Photos by Brian Lalande Tooma Productions, in collaboration with Beauteoptic.

When Kanye West played Bluesfest Friday night it looked like it was all Yeezy, the solitary artist commanding the stage, bathed in the glow from a huge rack of stage lights. Much as we’re seduced by the myth of the lone genius taking on the world, the truth is that the very best are backed by some very good people. Kanye’s musicians may not have been visible at Friday’s show but they were there, in the dark corners, playing their parts. One of those behind the scenes players is Tony... | Continue reading article

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Q&A with Ottawa composer Jan Järvlepp

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Photo from Jan Järvlepp's website, Credit: John Winiarz.Photo from Jan Järvlepp's website, Credit: John Winiarz.

A prolific and eclectic composer (his Garbage Concerto recently received its second local performance with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra this year), Jan Jävlepp is one of Ottawa’s hidden musical treasures. Thankfully, the Music and Beyond festival saw it right to dedicate an entire concert on Monday, July 13th, with only his works on the program – a rare feat for any composer. I had the chance to speak with Järvlepp about the creative process, his experience, the economy, and the new piece that will be premiered at the concert. Apt613:... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: A summer evening with the superb Hilotrons

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The Hilotrons. Photo by David Irving.The Hilotrons. Photo by David Irving.

Since forming in 2001, the Hilotrons have become one of Ottawa’s most innovative musical groups. They have also gained a reputation for being involved in numerous interesting projects: among other things, their music has been performed at the Ottawa International Writers Festival, they released a special double-sided album that can only be played on a Fisher Price toy record player, and they honoured World War I veterans in a special concert this past fall. With eight releases under their belt — if you count their debut EP, subsequent LPs and the special release... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: The success of country artist Rory Gardiner

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Photo of Rory Gardiner by Laura BergPhoto of Rory Gardiner by Laura Berg

Ottawa-based country music artist Rory Gardiner is one of the hardest working performers in the business.  With more than 100 shows a year he tours virtually non-stop. This intense schedule, however, is fine with him, for as he tells people: If you love what you do you never have to work a day in your life. Gardiner now brings his joy of playing to his hometown when he performs at Bluesfest on Thursday, July 16 at 8:00 pm at the Claridge Homes Stage. “Coolest local gig ever,” says Gardiner, when... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: The avant-garde soundscapes of Fet.Nat

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Fet.Nat “WTF Jumpin’ Bean” Pop Montreal 2014 / Parlabande - Published on Oct 13, 2014 (courtesy of YouTube) If Ottawa audiences want to hear some interesting musical experiments taking place in our region, then they need look no further than across the bridge to Quebec. Since 2010, the Hull-based collective Fet.Nat has been concocting strange audio blends in their musical laboratories.  With fractured melodies, electronic forms and disjointed groves, this avant-garde quartet has been creating some highly unusual (and original) material. Little wonder, then, that the group describes themselves as playing... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: Ronnie Baker Brooks sizzles in soulful Chicago blues

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As the sun began to set under the completely cloudless sky Thursday night, Chicago bluesman, Ronnie Baker Brooks and his 6-bandmember crew made their entrance onto the Monster Stage at Ottawa’s Bluesfest and gave an hour long performance, which will most certainly remain etched in the memories of all who were fortunate enough to have attended. Dressed in white from head to toe, Brooks’ charismatic presence immediately had the audience in the palm of his hand, as he summoned their attention with, “The more you put in, the more I’m... | Continue reading article

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Bluesfest: New Swears garage punk

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Photo takes from the New Swear's album cover for Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever

Ottawa’s full-throttle party band New Swears don’t really care what people think of them. As they sing in their song “Main Stream”:     And some band already did that /     we don’t really give a shit /     We’re just having way too much fun /     to care about the bullshit.   As one local critic has noted, this FU attitude can be easily classified as punk or garage, although it only tells half the story.  With last year’s release of Junkfood Forever, Bedtime Whatever, the band... | Continue reading article

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Winchester Warm to warm audiences at Bluesfest

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Photo by Patrick Lawlor. Modified by Sarah Hallman.Photo by Patrick Lawlor. Modified by Sarah Hallman.

On Wednesday night at RBC Bluesfest, you can look forward to seeing the Ottawa-based indie folk group  Winchester Warm.  They are happy to be playing the festival again having previously performed in 2012. ”We are excited to be playing in the Barney Danson Theatre this year as shows always sound so great in there. We will be playing a mix of songs from our catalog, along with a couple new ones as well,” said band member Jonathan Pearce in an email interview. “I am extremely honoured to be opening for De La Soul,... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Bluesfest, General, Music

The Ornaments at Bluesfest

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The Ornaments. Photo from Bandcamp.The Ornaments. Photo from Bandcamp.

Tonight, Ottawa rock band, the Ornaments play RBC Bluesfest for the second time (first time was in 2011). The group has released one EP, Ornaments in 2010 and one full-length album, Blood Vessels in 2011. Check out our interview with band member David Peirce, who also gives us his insights into the local Ottawa music scene. When was the band formed? The band formed in the spring of 2009 and played its first show that Fall. The original lineup was me  (guitar and vocals), Kevin Kozachanko (drums), and Casey Beaulieu... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Bluesfest, General, Music
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