Bluesfest locals: Slack Bridges

July 15th, 2022 by  |  Published in Bluesfest locals, Features, Interviews, News

Slack Bridges - promo

Slack Bridges

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!

Slack Bridges

Saturday, July 16
6:30pm to 7:30pm
Barney Danson Theatre


Slack Bridges is a soul band from Ottawa with a live feel and a huge sound. Our music vibes on modern greats like Anderson Paak while always paying tribute to the masters like Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield.

The Talent

Matt Gilmour – Vocals
Mackenzie Di Millo – Secondary vocals
Garett Barr – Bass
Chris Elms – Guitar
Kim Jackson – Keyboards
Matt Godin – Drums
Julian Selody – Alto sax
Laurel Ralston – Trumpet & flute
Keanna Louis-Charles – Bari sax
Catherine Gendron – Tenor sax


What was your reaction to the news you’d be a part of Bluesfest and who was the first person you told?
You know, it’s actually hard to remember because we first were asked in late 2019, and then our performance was delayed 3 years!
But we were working on a brand new record at the time and were extremely excited about the new material, so all of our members were elated obviously. It’s our second time playing the festival (our first was in 2017) and we’re huge fans of what Monahan and his crew do for our local music scene each year, so always exciting to be included.

Please describe your sound.
We play soul music with influences from the 60s ’til today, with a full horn section blasting and a lot of funky interplay between the rhythm section. Our group has pretty varied tastes and favourites eras of soulful music, and we hash out all of our tunes together, so it’s a bit of a melting pot.

How did you get started on your musical journey?
We’ve all been playing music in various bands around Ottawa (and other cities) for years, but Slack Bridges got together in 2016.
Myself (Garett) and our guitarist Chris had been throwing some song ideas around for about a year before we found Matt Gilmour to sing. Over time we slowly found the other players and the number has grown over time, with 7 core musicians and many features.

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?
Despite releasing our last record “Lindenlea to Ledbury” almost 2 years ago during the early stages of the pandemic, it still feels new to us. We’re really excited to play some of these tunes for the first time, and to nail them. People can expect a variety of grooves with 11 musicians on stage!

We’re also releasing an instrumental version of that album leading up to the festival, so that’s exciting! It’s cool hearing the songs in a different context. Expect it streaming on every service early July.

What artists are you hoping to catch during this year’s Bluesfest?
The day we’re playing happens to be one of the more exciting ones – Seeing TLC, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Ja Rule in one day is going to be a lot of fun.

There’s also some great funky acts throughout like Femi Kuti and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and of course our pals Mack & Ben, Bonnie Doone, The Commotions and Nambi & The Rhythm.

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