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Photo courtesy of The Split.

Listen Local at Bluesfest: The Split

By Terry Steeves on July 4, 2016

Bluesfest, now in its 22nd year, is the city’s largest and fastest growing outdoor music festival. Although continuing to brim with big-named acts, the festival’s mandate also includes recognizing, nurturing, and providing a platform for local musicians ranging from budding talent to professional recording artists. This year roughly one-quarter of the acts at Bluesfest will be local. With an increasing number of music festivals and venues stepping up to showcase these bands, it’s no wonder that support for existing and new Ottawa talent is rising steadily. Whatever day(s) you choose to visit Bluesfest, make sure you take the time to soak in some of our amazing local talent. From Monday to Thursday this week Apt613 will be featuring a few of these homegrown must-sees. 

Brothers Curtis and Matthew Chaffey have a magical chemistry that comes alive during a performance. Playing and collaborating since high school, they began honing their style, which gravitated towards the passion-laden, funky-rhythmed, colourful grooves of 60’s soul and blues. Their latest project, The Split, formed in 2011, consists of the two in various configurations: as a duo, or with a full band, including a horn section. Matthew talks about the transition from their last project, The Brothers Chaffey, into The Split:

“We were always playing that kind of music in some form in our past group, so we just figured, this is really what we want to say, and what we really want to do…let’s just streamline it all like this, focus on this, and change gears a bit. We really picked up some steam, so we’ve just kept with it.”

Curtis Chaffey’s guitar work lays down the main instrumental vein that wields his well rounded abilities of rhythm, and his many textured changes generate both nostalgic and modern twists to the music. Matthew Chaffey covers the role of the band’s front man in spades, both with his rich soul searing vocals and his directing and dynamic stage presence. Their first collaborative effort as The Split, an EP entitled, “Can’t Get Enough”, came out in 2014, and will be followed up in the fall of 2016 by a full studio album.

Look for The Split as they host Bluesfest’s All-Star Blues Revue, both Fri., Jul. 8th and Sat., Jul. 9th at 9:00pm inside the Barney Danson Theatre. You can also catch them on the same stage, Sun. July 10th from 8:00-9:00pm, as they back up Austin’s, The Texas Horns. Tune into Apt613Live on CHUO FM 89.1 this Tues., Jul. 5th from 6:00-6:30pm to hear more on The Split.