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Photo: Luke Combs (YouTube)

What’s on at Bluesfest: Gig Picks for Saturday July 9

By Stephane Dubord on July 8, 2022

Apartment613 will have you covered on all our platforms with previews, interviews, and gig photos throughout the festival. Follow @apt613 on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and tag #APT613 in your festival shots for a chance to be featured in our feed.

Day 3 at Bluesfest: Saturday, July 9

Main Stage

As the first country headliners take to the main stage, Saturday is bound to be a packed night at LeBreton Flats.

The early birds will get to enjoy Anders Drerup at 6pm, the Ottawa-born, Austin-based artist that seamlessly blends blues, rockabilly honkytonk country, early rock n’ roll and all genres in between into a mix that defies any definition, other than fun.

Building on the throwback sounds will be New Orleans’s The Revivalists at 7:30pm, who broke through with their hit single “Wish I Knew You”. Their ‘overnight’ success, however, was the culmination of a decade of work, which permeates their catalog of soulful roots rock, as the eight-man band has polished their sound over the years.

The Revivalists’ set should lead nicely into a more countrified version of those soulful roots with Luke Combs at 9:30pm. Since breaking out in 2017, the North Carolina singer has been racking up awards, chart toppers, and streams in the hundreds of millions. He may only have three albums released to date, but each album has reached #1 on the Billboard Country chart, including his latest album Growin’ Up which is only a few weeks old.

SiriusXM Stage

First up, at 6pm on Saturday, an artist who will be no stranger to fans of TV series Canada’s Got Talent. Newfoundland’s Kellie Loder will be bringing their powerful voice and poignant songs to the more intimate SiriusXM Stage. Their latest single “So High” will undoubtedly captivate the audience and ensure a memorable set.

That enraptured audience will then get shaken up quite drastically with Anthony Geraci hitting the stage at 7:30pm. His jazz-infused blues and high energy set will have feet tapping throughout.

The eclectic mix continues with Femi Kuti taking the stage to close the evening at 9pm. While it might seem like a stark transition into Afrobeat, the foot tapping is bound to provide a reliable common thread between all three artists on this stage. The Nigerian’s modern take on the traditional music of his father, Fela Kuti, blends so many contemporary styles, including techno beats, funk and hip hop for a very fresh sound.

River Stage

At 6:30pm, the lineup will start with Milton’s Gavin McLeod who is quickly gaining traction as a promising emerging singer. Over the past few years, he’s already released several singles and an EP. Fans of Colin James’s early albums will certainly notice some similarities in vocal styles in McLeod’s “Julia”.

Montreal’s Group Project will then bring their alt-pop sounds to the stage at 8pm, including the trio’s hits “Priest” and “M.C.K.”, which can best be described as a blend of AJR-ish songs with more guitars and clean pianos mixed into their, well, group project.

Last but not least, Canadian legend and genre chameleon Colin James will take to the intimate River Stage at 9:30pm. From his rock debut, to his sudden turn to Big Band jazz, and then tackling the purest of electric blues, he’s proven not only capable of reinventing himself, but making each genre his own. His latest album Open Road proves yet again that if he wants to play in a genre, he’ll somehow achieve in sounding like the genre was made for him. Like every other genre he’s tried.

Barney Danson Theatre

Canadian singer-songwriter Andrew Waite will open the Barney Danson Theatre stage at 6:30pm. His self titled album (2021), garnered 10 awards and nominations, including four East Coast Music Award nominations and six Music PEI Award nominations by mixing folksy vocals with high-powered instrumentals.

At 8pm, Emilie Steele & The Deal are a grab bag of catchy hooks and toe tapping turnarounds. They cut their teeth gigging around Kingston before releasing their 2019 eponymous EP of indie rock and reaching alt-country ballads. Think Neko Case meets The Velvet Underground.

Pianist, Hammond organist, and veteran blues artist Anthony Geraci plays his second set of the night. His concert in Barney Danson Theatre follows a 7:30pm slot on the SiriusXM stage outside.


RBC Bluesfest runs from July 7–17, 2022 at LeBreton Flats. Visit ottawabluesfest.ca for the full schedule and lineup. General admission Day Passes cost $79.45 and a full Festival Pass is $312.97 including tax and all fees. Follow @apt613 on Instagram for all the sights and sounds of Bluesfest 2022.

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