Ottawa’s locals lead an impressive opening to Ottawa Bluesfest 2017

July 8th, 2017 by  |  Published in Concerts, Features

Tribe Royal at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

It never ceases to amaze me how much local musical talent we have in this city. Heading to Ottawa Bluesfest early is one great way to discover them.

The first band I caught this year was Tribe Royal. I had first seen them at Barrymore’s a month or so ago and was excited to catch them again on the larger stage at Bluesfest now that I was a little more familiar with their music. The band played an excellent set and clearly enjoyed their time on stage. Despite the early time slot, the band had a decent sized crowd gathered in front of the stage to take in their performance.

Blve Hills at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

I enjoy Bluesfest as a way to discover new music and can usually find a few acts that please the ears that I haven’t heard before. One such act hit the Black Sheep Stage, another group of locals called Blve Hills. The band describe their sound as psych grunge, which is quite fitting. At this point, the sun was low enough that it would have been hitting the guys directly in the face. It didn’t seem to phase them as they lost themselves in their music. Unfortunately as a photographer trying to capture as many bands as possible, I had to pull myself away to catch another local on the city stage. Make sure to check out the band’s latest album on on Bandcamp.

Shawn Tavenier at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Shawn Tavenier had the honor of being the first act to hit the City Stage on opening night. Many may know him from his work with Silver Creek. This was the first opportunity I had to see him play solo. Along with his band, they did a great job entertaining the growing crowd. Their set was solid and Shawn clearly enjoyed playing to the growing mass of bodies gathering before the main stage.

Pony Girl at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

The final local act I caught on opening night was Pony Girl. While I was somewhat familiar with their music, this was my first time seeing them live. The band was tucked inside the Barney Danson Theatre. The small theatre has great acoustics and the intimate setting was an appropriate one for the band’s music. The band tries to mash a lot of styles together in their music. You can’t fault them for it, cause simply put, they do it very well. If you missed them, try to catch one of their shows at the Shenkman Arts Centre or the NAC later this year. The live experience is well worth the time. I look forward to catching a full show in the near future.

Tribe Royal

Tribe Royal at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Tribe Royal at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Blve Hills

Blve Hills at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Blve Hills at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Shawn Tavenier

Shawn Tavenier at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Shawn Tavenier at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Pony Girl

Pony Girl at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Pony Girl at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

Pony Girl at Ottawa Bluesfest 2017 by Scott Martin Visuals

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