Bluesfest locals: Okies

July 13th, 2022 by  |  Published in Bluesfest locals, Features, Interviews, News

The Bluesfest locals series will introduce you to the talented music makers from the Ottawa area performing at this year’s RBC Bluesfest. Come on out early to Bluesfest and discover some great new music!


Friday, July 15
6:30pm to 7:30pm
River Stage


Okies are an Indie Folk band from Aylmer, Quebec, across the river from the no-nonsense, straight-laced, won’t-crack-a-smile-at-a-dirty-joke, Capital of Canada.

They have participated in festivals such as Ottawa Bluesfest 2018, Festival D’été de Québec 2019, Festival Outaouais Émergents 2015 & 2016, Megaphono 2018 and many more, as well as extensive showcases in the National Capital Region, Montreal and Toronto.

Having opened for the likes of Passenger, Geoffroy, Tire le Coyote, Pandaleon and an array of other artists, the four young Gatinois are eager to exhibit their newest EP, “Once a Fisherman from Spain”, as their soundscape continues to evolve, and their fan base continues to grow.

The Talent

Thoma Aguinaga – Drums, Percussion
Sam Gendron – Keyboard
Phil Goodman – Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
Marc-Antoine Moisan – Guitar, Vocals


What was your reaction to the news you’d be a part of Bluesfest and who was the first person you told?
PHIL: “Pretty obviously ecstatic! It’s a huge privilege to play in one of the biggest, Canadian, outdoor events of the summer. We told our girlfriends right away and the general consensus was ‘you boys better start practicing right away’, which we promptly did.”

Please describe your sound.
THOMAS: “It’s hard to pin down. I think our music is such a Frankenstein’s Monster of different sounds and genres that I couldn’t say definitively one way or the other. I can say you’ll hear hints of Alt-J, Andy Shauf, and Fleet Foxes in our guitar and songwriting style. Our keyboards are heavily influenced from electronic music. Our drums are unabashedly loud and to the point, and our lead guitar is dry and twangy, à la Mac DeMarco.

How did you get started on your musical journey?
MARC: “I started playing guitar when I was in secondaire 1 (7th grade). I didn’t know many good bands back then, so I mainly played songs that I knew my friends and family liked to hear. I later joined the school orchestra, that’s where I picked up the bass. Shortly after that, Thomas asked me to join his garage band as their new bassist. We were called Reality Control. We recorded two albums throughout our last year of high school and then dismembered. After that, Thomas was already eager to start something new. So during our first (and last) semester of Cegep, he messaged me and asked if I wanted to start a two piece (drum/guitar) folk project. I said yes. He then asked if I wanted to be the singer. I (hesitated but eventually) said yes.”

THOMAS: “The first time I heard Marc sing was in high school and I immediately knew that he was more talented than any singer I’d known and I can safely say that is the truth to this day. But he’s right that it was not an easy sell to get him to sing.”
MARC: “The next year Sam had joined officially. I then started my studies at Algonquin College in the Music Industry Arts program where I studied sound engineering. A couple years after that, we met Phil after one of our concerts, and he joined shortly there after”

What can music fans expect from your show? Will you be playing any new music at Bluesfest and/or releasing new music ahead of your performance?
THOMAS: “We’ve been writing quite a lot recently, but I wouldn’t say they’re ready for the stage yet. You’ll be hearing a lot of oldies, and some new songs from our upcoming EP, “A Penny For Your Thoughts”.

What artists are you hoping to catch during this year’s Bluesfest?
PHIL: “Raaaaaaage babyyyy”

THOMAS: “Rage Against the Machine, Milky Chance, Andy Shauf, Run the Jewels. It’s a great line-up and we’re excited about the bands we’ll discover too”

MARC: “Andy Shauf, Jack Johnson, Mia Kelly, Milky Chance, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Rage Against the Machine and The National!”

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