Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Capital Craze

My favourite time of year went from being light years away, to being a familiar feeling and smell that I could almost touch, as of last night. Last night, the preliminary Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest line-up was announced, and let me say - unlike the initial disappointment of reading 2010's line-up (sure it included a few goodies, but also a lot of mediocre acts) - this year I am on the edge of my seat.

Slamming down on the table over a dozen sparkling contemporary acts and classic fan-favourite rockers, festival director Mark Monahan has already outdone himself in my eyes. Who he's presented so far proves that this past year was one spent tirelessly roping in renowned names and connecting with hot-topic acts. And, it's made me even more excited to see what kind of small up-and-coming performers he's picked up along the way with the intention of inserting them in between the giant headlining musicians. Those are the kinds of teasers we've been left with, and not since the epic Bluesfest of 2009 have I been this rattled with anticipation. What promises to be an unbelievable show featuring the likes of Steve Miller, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Jennifer Hudson, The Tragically Hip, Ben Harper, Soundgarden, Blue Rodeo, The Flaming Lips and Arkells - here are who I am so far most ecstatic to see in the nation's capital during these two dazzling summer weeks.

The Black Keys: Are we really surprised though? After the rumours flew, we were howlin' for them to come. I'm by no means the only one, Ottawa waits with bated breathe to see these kick-ass rock stars make their way back to our concert grounds, post-Brothers madness.

My Morning Jacket: No need to re-iterate my love for these classic-rock-revival superstars and their comforting Americana talent. See here for further evidence.

John Fogerty: I grew up listening closely to CCR and all they had to offer. Car rides as a kid always meant for a little "Fortunate Son" or "Have you seen the rain?" and for me, lead singer John Fogerty represents youth, sweet rock and a time of social upheaval when music meant...everything.

Peter Frampton: I still remember the first time I listened to Frampton Comes Alive with my Dad, fascinated with the arena-rock classics "Show Me The Way" and "Do You Feel Like We Do", and his mouth-to-pedal talkbox trick. Listen and love the sound effect below.

Death Cab For Cutie: Most people went through a big DCFC phase, like myself, and therefore can't wait for a night in the summer breeze, kicking back and listening to the sounds of our youth. Only this time, we're legal drinking age, so the listening experience might be a little better with a beer in hand?

Girl Talk: Last but certainly not least, Gregg Gillis, the psycho-genius mash-up phenomenon known as Girl Talk, is someone most people have likely seen at some point in their festival attending career. That doesn't by any means take away from the fact that he's addictive, an unbelievable performer, and holds the title of one my favourite Bluesfest performers I've seen to date (summer of 2009, he rocked our joint - hard).

Bring on the sunglasses, sundresses, sun rays, festival romance and friends. See you in July, Bluesfest!

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