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Luke Bryan at Bluesfest 2022. Photo by Curtis Perry/Apt613.

What’s on at Bluesfest: Gig Picks for Sunday, July 17

By Stephane Dubord on July 16, 2022



Some way, somehow, we’ve made it through, only a little worse for wear as we close out the 2022 edition of the festival Sunday.

Main Stage

Kicking things off on the main stage at 6pm is Oji-Cree artist Aysanabee. After a dazzling set at last year’s mini-festival, the singer-songwriter returns with a brand new album soon to be released. The timing could not be better as his lead single “We Were Here” was just released Friday.

At 7:30pm, Regina’s Andy Shauf takes over with his folk/indie pop sound established over the course of his seven albums and four EPs. He has since followed up his last album Wilds with a two-song single this past February. The mellow set should fit quite well on a Sunday evening, and set the stage for The National at 9:30pm.

A band that may not have had conventional chart success, The National have still managed to establish a dedicated fanbase, which has propelled their albums into the charts despite a lack of hit singles. By the time they released their breakout album High Violet in 2010, their original folk sound had evolved to be more textured and layered, creating moody atmospheres around singer Matt Beringer’s complex lyrics. Bolstering that success was their recent collaboration with Taylor Swift on her recent folk works, expanding their fanbase even further into the mainstream.

(Note: If you look closely, you’ll be able to spot Ottawa’s own Richard Reed Perry of Arcade Fire singing backup and playing guitar.)

SiriusXM Stage

As has become an annual tradition, Blues In The Schools and Be In The Band showcases will take over the SiriusXM Stage for the last day of the festival starting at 6pm. It’s a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the next generation of performers.

River Stage

First up at 6:30pm is local post-punk band Bonnie Doon, who will get to share their 2017 Dooner Nooner album with fans at Bluesfest.

Next at 8pm is Perth’s Elijah Woods. Rising to prominence as part of the Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine duo, Woods’ focus on solo work since 2020 has already produced the EP look what I made last year featuring the hit “lights”, and two more singles in 2022, “fingers crossed” and last month’s “ilu”.

His dreamy pop will then give way to The Beaches at 9:30pm. The girl quartet recently took home the Juno for Rock album of the year for their combo album of their Future Lovers and The Professional EPs. With their last four singles cracking the Top 5 on the charts, they’ve been on a well-deserved roll.

Barney Danson Theatre

Jon Rivera starts the indoor show at 6:30pm, which will feature tracks from the Montreal rapper’s new album First Things First and last month’s new single “High Hopes”.

Next at 8pm, Ottawa’s OK Naledi will share her Afro House pop sound, and with a fresh single “do you feel” having just been released, the performance will surely feel more like a celebration.

Finally, for once the theatre will not feature any artists pulling double duty, as the 9:30pm closer will be Toronto’s Lex Leosis, bringing her strong rap that has been a key component in the success of her group project The Sorority.