Festival Guide: RBC Bluesfest 2016 – July 8

Before Day 2 of RBC Bluesfest gets underway Friday evening, browse through the new Festival Guide and discover some of the best picks for tonight’s shows. Unlike yesterday, there is a chance of rain potentially in the forecast, so Friday evening may be a wet one. Fortunately, the bands set to hit the stages around Lebreton Flats will keep festival goers happy and entertained.

Photo by Kamara Morozuk
Photo by Kamara Morozuk

For more information on the festival, and to check out the full line-up, head to the Bluesfest website. If you missed the shows from yesterday, stay tuned for our Concert Gallery from Thursday night.


The Heavy Medicine Band

Claridge Stage: 6:00 – 7:00

The Heavy Medicine Band could not have chosen a better name. The Ottawa psychedelic rock band warp melody, effects, and sounds into oddly satisfying songs that create the effects of being on “heavy” drugs; their music soothes, stimulates, and entertains the senses, and you can be apart of the magic as they kick things off Friday evening.

Coeur de Pirate

City Stage: 7:00 – 8:00

Beatrice Martin has a voice that caresses your soul while moving through you; it’s soft yet swift and can go from intimate to vibrant pop in an instant. The Montreal singer-songwriter released her third album Roses last year, and Coeur de Pirate has continued her streak of being a proud, critically acclaimed Canadian musician. Catch her Friday night for a magical combination of the golden hour and the heart of a pirate.


The Revivalists

Monster Energy Stage: 7:30 – 8:30

From a city radiant with culture, soul, and energy, New Orleans roots rock group The Revivalists bring the city’s vibe everywhere they go, and they’ll be sharing their blues-infused alternative rock with the Ottawa crowd Friday night. Cruising horns, swelling organs, and the rush of southern rock give The Revivalists a traditional sound, combined with their own soulful personality.


Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals

Claridge Stage: 8:00 – 9:15

Ben Harper is no stranger to the festival circuit. He’s toured as a solo artist, with the Relentless7, and The Innocent Criminals over a 20 year career. Known for his varying styles, Harper has won awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, Best Blues Album, and Best Soul Gospel Performance, making him a flexible and well-versed musician. Reuniting with the Innocent Criminals after seven years, Ottawa fans can expect more of his roots/blues rock side to make an appearance, providing the perfect blend for the summer evening.


Tal Wilkenfeld

Black Sheep Stage: 8:15 – 9:15

Australian bassist and singer Tal Wilkenfeld made her musical debut as a teenager, after being discovered by and included on a tour with Jeff Beck at the age of 19. Now exiting her 20s, Wilkenfeld remains a powerhouse in jazz and blues, with her clockwork precision and unwavering confidence on stage. In a male-dominated genre, Wilkenfeld pushes the boundaries of music as a strong female lead, so don’t miss her when she takes over the Black Sheep Stage Friday night.


The Tallest Man on Earth

Monster Energy Stage: 9:00 – 10:15

For a young Australian to be compared to American legend Bob Dylan, that’s a pretty big compliment. Kristian Matsson (a.k.a The Tallest Man on Earth) was given that title by a number of critics due to his organic folk sound, fostered by the strong bond between man and guitar. His earthy vocal style and rich lyrical songwriting easily finds parallels to Dylan, and as a musician known for his friendly and humbling stage presence, it will be surely be an intimate and charismatic performance from Matsson this Friday night.


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

City Stage: 9:30 – 10:45

Forever known as one half of Oasis, Noel Gallagher began his solo endeavour in 2011 after parting ways with his brother Liam in 2009. As a musical icon of the ’90s and early parts of the 2000s, fans of the original Noel Gallagher can expect a number of Oasis tunes during his upcoming performance, as Gallagher was the main lyricists of the duo and is known to still bring out the old tunes. Also known for his chatty and affronting personality, Noel Gallagher’s Ottawa appearance should be nothing short of entertaining to close off the second night of Bluesfest.


Honourable Mentions:

Lucas Haneman Express – Black Sheep Stage: 6:00 – 6:45

Fire Antlers – Barney Danson Theatre: 6:00 – 7:00

The Flava Factory – Monster Energy Stage: 6:30 – 7:00

Harrison Sweettaste Kennedy – Black Sheep Stage: 7:00 – 8:00

Pandaléon – Barney Danson Theatre: 7:30 – 8:30

John Németh – Black Sheep Stage: 9:30 – 10:45

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