Guide to RBC’s Ottawa Bluesfest: July 15, 2015

Sometimes tough decisions must be made: “should I get the chocolate dip donut or the Boston creme?” or “should I kick it in the front seat or sit in the back seat” as per Rebecca Black. As Day 7 of Ottawa Bluesfest comes around there are a few heart wrenching, friendship-ruining decisions and stage time conflicts. Old school hip-hop trio De la Soul or Canadian folk rock group Current Swell? Electro-pop act CHVRCHES or underground Ottawa hip-hop group Flight Distance? These coin-flip worthy choices may seem challenging, but deep down they are no match for the 9:30 time slot: HedleyRun the Jewels, or Gaslight Anthem?

To quote Rebecca Black: “which seat should I take?” – which show should you see?

To help make your rationalization easier, check out the Dusty Organ guide below. And once some comfort sets in on your decision, head to the Bluesfest website to see the full festival line up and to buy tickets for tonight’s shows.


6PM: Claridge Homes Stage 

Elegantly blending together hip-hop and soulful R&B, Montreal female-duo Heartstreets are bringing their electro-glossed contemporary sound to Bluesfest Wednesday evening. Emma Beko and Gabrielle Godon fuse into one with their harmonies and alternating rap verses and vocal parts. With a number of stellar tracks under their belts, the two Montrealers will hopefully be releasing a full length album soon so keep them on your music radar.

Current Swell 

7PM: Canadian Stage 


Victoria-based indie rock group Current Swell originally formed back in 2005 as a group of friends making music and playing shows on beaches, in coffee shops and other small venues. Since then, their popularity continues to grow exponentially and with their 2014 release Ulysses, their success has only increased. Being from the west coast has given the band an edge as their music and sound relates almost perfectly with temperate summer evenings and a relaxed setting.


8PM: Claridge Homes Stage 

Glasglow, Scotland’s electronic-pop trio CHVRCHES blasted into the music scene with their hit single “Mother We Share” from 2013. Since then, their popularity spans all over the world, and as they return to tour North America, their stop at Ottawa Bluesfest has been highly anticipated from fans and indie music lovers. CHVRCHES on stage synergy and kinetic energy is a major contributing reason for their success and ever-growing fan base.

Flight Distance 

815PM: Monster Energy Stage 

Ottawa-based hip-hop act Flight Distance are a major name in the underground rap scene. Composed of DJ Calkuta and MCs Patience and Bender, the group has shared the stage with a number of rap-game all stars from Ghostface Killah, Action Bronson, Shad, Jedi Mind Tricks, and many more. The laid-back, crisp rap flow of Bender has landed him the title “King of the Dot”, winning the highly-acclaimed rap battle back in 2011. As a group, the trio mesh together to form an outstanding net of pure talent and energy.

Run the Jewels

930PM: Monster Energy Stage 


Without a doubt, New York rap duo Run the Jewels are one of the best hip-hop acts of all time. Composed of long-time producer El-P and rap icon Killer Mike, their creative and expert wordplay touches on political and controversial topics of society, raising above the current rap scene that has become diluted with copy-and-paste production and bland, commonplace lyrical content. With over two decades of experience respectively, El-P and Killer Mike tend to be lost in a world of hyper-production acts like Kanye West or Kendrick Lamar. Both Run the Jewels and Run the Jewels 2  were highly acclaimed in the hip-hop world – and for good reason.

Honourable mentions 


6PM: Bella Cat (Blues) – Monster Energy Stage 

6PM: Grime Kings (Lo-fi indie rock)- Canadian Stage 

6PM: Winchester Warm (Indie folk) – Barney Danson Theatre

7PM: Walter Trout (Blues rock) – Monster Energy Stage 

7PM: De La Soul (Hip-hop) – Bell Stage 

730PM: Lily Kershaw (Singer-songwriter/Folk) – Barney Danson Theatre 

815PM: Black Mountain (Alternative rock) – Canadian Stage 

930PM: Hedley (Pop) – Bell Stage 

930PM: Gaslight Anthem – Canadian Stage 

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