Lynn Saxberg and Aedan Helmer pick Bluesfest shows to see this week

Lynn’s picks

Foo Fighters performs at Rock im Park 2018 competition in Germany on June 1.

Joerg Koch /


Foo Fighters

Tuesday, eight p.m., City Stage

This is the must-see present of this yr’s version of Bluesfest and it will likely be a scorcher. The epitome of post-grunge trendy rock, the Foos haven’t been to Ottawa in a decade and anticipation is nearing an all-time excessive. Dave Grohl and his bandmates are famend for delivering marathon concert events that by no means let up for greater than two hours, raging via their very own hits and shredding a couple of covers alongside the way in which. The band’s ninth album, Concrete and Gold, dropped final fall, sending them on a five-continent world tour that brings them to Bluesfest for the primary time.

Dave Matthews Band performs the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto on July 19, 2016. Craig Robertson/Postmedia

Craig Robertson /

Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun

Dave Matthews Band

Wednesday, eight:30 p.m., City Stage

Here’s one other band with an enormous fan base and a fame for a stellar reside present making their Bluesfest debut. For Matthews and his crew, it’s additionally their first Ottawa look since 2002, and one among simply three Canadian shows this summer time. There’s a brand new album, Come Tomorrow, to promote, which has a heat, mellow and reflective tone. Don’t let it idiot you – the band nonetheless loves to throw a celebration for the jamband crowd, in addition to those that simply found the music final yr when the mid-90s DMB nugget, Crash Into Me, was utilized in a key scene within the film Lady Bird.

Lynn Miles has teamed up with Lynne Hanson and they are going to carry out at Bluesfest with a full band.

Caroline Phillips /


The LYNN(e)S

Thursday, 9 p.m., Claridge Stage

Two of Ottawa’s most interesting singer-songwriters, Lynn Miles and Lynne Hanson, joined forces to write some songs collectively and got here up with a rootsy treasure of an album referred to as Heartbreak Song For The Radio. They named themselves The LYNN(e)S, appropriately sufficient, and have been touring continuous for the reason that file got here out in February, delighting audiences with close-knit harmonies, achieved guitar work and a depraved sense humour that contrasts with the haunting tone of the songs. On Thursday, they’ll be accompanied by a full band.

Vanessa Collier in a 2017 handout picture.

Vanessa Collier

Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Claridge Homes Stage

If you missed Vanessa Collier’s jaw-dropping efficiency at Bluesfest final yr, right here’s one other likelihood to catch her present. Still in her 20s, the Texas dynamo has been nominated for a number of Blues Music Awards for her instrumental prowess on alto sax, however she’s additionally a soulful songstress with a fiery stage presence that can remind you of greats like Tina Turner and even James Brown. Her new album, Honey Up, simply got here out July 6.

Sturgill Simpson performs on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 27.

Amy Harris /

Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Sturgill Simpson

Friday, 7:30 p.m., City Stage

After packing all his belongings right into a truck and transferring from Kentucky to Nashville, the previous teenage pot supplier was in a position to flip himself into an artist who has been described because the saviour of nation music. His music explores the varied offshoots of nation music with sufficient of an edge to put him within the outlaw territory populated by legends equivalent to Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.

Aedan’s picks

This 2014 picture supplied by The Fun Star shows M. Ward, who performs Bluesfest on Tuesday night time.

Autumn DeWilde /


M. Ward

Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., Claridge Stage

It’s arduous to guess towards the Foo Fighters headlining the primary stage, however, when you want a change from the breakneck tempo, M. Ward is simply the factor. The consummate competition veteran — he performed the 2014 Folkfest, and Bluesfest in 2011 and in 2013 as half of She & Him) — the laidback indie outsider returns with a recent new album launched final month. His trademark wry sense of humour is on full show from the title alone: What a Wonderful Industry.

Courtney Barnett arrives on the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 15, 2016.

Jordan Strauss /

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Courtney Barnett

Wednesday, 9:30 p.m., Black Sheep Stage

The Grammy and Brit Award-nominated songstress brings her quirky jams to Bluesfest’s facet stage together with her newest batch of toe-tapping witticisms from her sophomore album Tell Me How You Really Feel. Barnett broke out with the assistance of Kurt Vile on the superb collaboration Lotta Sea Lice, which cracked the Top Ten.

Singer-songwriter Beck performs on the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 18, 2017.

Chris Pizzello /

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP


Friday, 9:30 p.m., City Stage

One of the real artistes of his technology, count on a show-stopping efficiency from slacker-no-more Beck on his long-awaited Ottawa debut. The L.A. songwriter, musician and producer extraordinaire has remained at the forefront throughout a profession as prolonged and numerous because the competition itself (each launched in 1994), and, with neither displaying any indicators of slowing down, this present makes for an ideal match. Not to be missed.


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