Colin James brings the blues to Bluesfest

Colin James performs on the Black Sheep Stage at RBC Ottawa Bluesfest on Saturday night time. Patrick Doyle/Postmedia

Patrick Doyle / OTT

RBC Ottawa Bluesfest overview

Colin James, Black Sheep Stage

Reviewed Saturday

Colin James introduced the blues to the remaining Saturday night time of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest in 2018, feeding his rock-guitar-driven fusion to a crowd that turned out in droves, together with many who had been shocked they weren’t seeing the Canadian guitar hero on the major stage.

That was as a result of the major stage had been turned over to the common Atlanta hiphop crew of Rae Stremmurd, whose throbbing beat attracted throngs of enthusiastic younger individuals. Thanks to an early eight:30 p.m. begin time, although, their set was virtually completed by the time James stepped onto the Black Sheep stage.

There was a robust turnout for each exhibits, however area was restricted at the Sheep stage, and, with a contingent of chair individuals filling pockets of accessible turf, it made for an uncomfortably packed live performance expertise.

From James’ perspective, nevertheless, it should have been a shot of adrenalin to see such an engaged and appreciative viewers. He and his bandmates rose to the event with a stable show of melodic blues rock punctuated by a string of his radio hits.

Accompanied by a band that included Ottawa’s Rhaoul Bhaneja blowing his coronary heart out on harmonica — his first look with James’ band — the eternally youthful-looking bandleader was in fantastic kind on electrical guitar and vocals, his voice nonetheless clean and soulful and his taking part in as expressive as ever.


Soulful, bluesy nuggets like Five Long Years, Why’d You Lie and Freedom had been crowd favourites, however James additionally carried out a brand new observe, initially by James Cotton, that kicks off his soon-to-be-released 19th album, Miles To Go.

Judging by the power of his efficiency on Saturday, it indicators a welcome return to the blues for the 53-year-old Saskatchewan native.

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