Festival Guide: RBC Bluesfest 2016 – July 9

Bluesfest is already a very extensive music festival, packing in a large handful of performers each night – and that’s just weekdays. Saturday and Sundays are filled to the brim with performances starting in the early afternoon, all the way until the closing time at 11pm. So if you’re the type of person brave enough to go the full ten hours of shows, or the type to arrive just in time for the final headliner of the night, our festival guide can help you discover the best of Saturday’s lineup.

For more information on the festival, head to the official website.

Chris Page – Claridge Stage: 1:00 – 2:00

As the opening performance for Saturday’s lineup, singer-songwriter Chris Page will be sharing his brand of ’90s-infused alt-folk rock. His most recent album A Date With A Smoke Machine was released back in February, and finding the in-between of power pop and folk singer-songwriter.

Mehdi Cayenne – Monster Stage: 3:00 – 4:00

Ottawa-Gatineau native Mehdi Cayenne has a certain energy to his music. Blending together post-punk and catchy indie rock, all drenched in colourful Franco-pop, his music is funky, spontaneous, and helps to blur the lines between Anglophone and Francophone culture. Mehdi Cayenne has an infectious on-stage presence that is released through his energetic tunes, and his afternoon set at Ottawa Bluesfest shouldn’t be any different.

Treasure Dub Quartet – Blacksheep Stage: 3:30 – 4:30

Composed of members from various, well-known Ottawa bands (including The Acorn, Scattered Clouds, and the Hiltrons), Treasure Dub Quartet are a pseudo-supergroup, experimenting with the sounds and stylings of funk, blues, and whatever else. With no studio recordings, the trio commits to the energy and momentary urgency of live a performance – so you’ll have to see for yourself to find out how much fun you’ll have.

The London Souls – Claridge Stage: 4:00 – 5:00

Although they have London in their name, The London Souls hail from New York City, bringing with them the groove and funk of American blues rock in the form of soul-hungry riffs and relentless energy. Sharing similarities to The Heavy and Lenny Kravitz, and many blues-soul musicians prior, the New York outfit will certainly be lighting up the stage on Saturday evening.

Yusso – City Stage: 5:00 – 6:00

Ottawa rapper Eben Yusso has been accelerating his way into the local hip-hop scene with his articulate flow and conscious lyricism. As a young, rising star, Yusso will certainly be making the most of his appearance on one of the main stages at Bluesfest, essentially opening for fellow hip-hop youngster Earl Sweatshirt.

 Tor Miller – Claridge Stage: 6:00 – 7:00

New York City indie pop singer Tor Miller has been performing since he was a young boy growing up, listening to the records of Elton John, David Bowie, and Fleetwood Mac. The early influences shine through in his radiant pop tunes, as Miller, sitting behind a piano, sings his heart out with every performance. The 22 year old musician uses his youthful energy to create vibrant piano-pop tunes that pay tribute to the stylings of previous generations, but yet hold their place in 2016.

Earl Sweatshirt – City Stage: 7:00 – 8:00

After being an internet hip-hop sensation at the age of 16, Earl Sweatshirt was discovered by Odd Future member Tyler, The Creator and eventually made a member of the L.A. hip-hop crew. Sent off to boarding school until he was 18, Earl returned to the hip-hop scene and since then has become a household name in the genre’s community. His alternative and progressive hip-hop style has projected him into a different breed of performers, and his eccentricities has given the young star an interesting edge to his sound and personality.

The Cult – Claridge Stage: 8:00 – 9:15

With Billy Idol, Duran Duran, and The Cult making this year’s lineup, it seems that the ’80s are making a major comeback. The Cult became hard rock/post-punk sensations over thirty years ago, and have had a number of break-up/reunions in their career. Now in the better years of their latest reunion, The Cult released their new album Hidden City back in February, and are back on the tour cycle, bringing their post-punk tunes of the ’80s into the 21st century.

The Lumineers – City Stage: 9:30 – 10:45

After the whirlwind of success from their self-titled debut, Colorado folk band The Lumineers continued to impress their fans with the chart-topping sophomore Cleopatra back in April. With the dramatic and heartfelt storytelling of the lead single/title track in hand, along with their numerous other hits, The Lumineers are one of the most anticipated performances of this year’s festival. Jangling piano melodies, full band harmonies, and sing-along friendly tunes as their tools, The Lumineers will be closing off what is expected to be another rainy evening, but surely without any dampened spirits.

Honourable Mentions:

The Flava Factory – City Stage: 3:00 – 4:00

Archer – Monster Stage: 4:30 – 5:30

John Campbelljohn – Blacksheep Stage: 5:00 – 6:00

Silver Creek – Monster Stage: 6:00 – 7:00

Kirby Sewell Band – Blacksheep Stage: 6:30 – 7:30

Gracie Lachance – Monster Stage: 7:15 – 7:30

Jill Zmud – Barney Danson Theatre: 7:30 – 8:30

Jeff Ross – Blacksheep Stage: 8:00 – 9:00 [Comedy Show]

Amanda Rheaume – Monster Stage: 8:30 – 9:45

Preoccupations [Formly Viet Cong] – Blacksheep Stage: 9:30 – 10:45

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