Arts & EventsJazz Fest Drowns in the Blues (and rain!)

Jazz Fest Drowns in the Blues (and rain!)

Jazz Fest Drowns in the Blues (and rain!)

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Photos by Andre Gagne

Whether it was the music or the weather, the crowds were feeling the blues one way or another at JazzFest. With relentless rain until about 11 p.m. the die-hards were out in force tonight to catch the blues-driven sets as well as the shining performance that closed the night in the protection of the Tartan Homes stage tent.

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

Shuffling through their organ-filled blues, Ronnie Earl and crew kept the feet stomping through the impassioned wailing and powerful solos their set delivered. Though the heavy downpours they played as loudly and quietly as the music led them delighting crowds enough to sit under the cloudy weather undeterred.

Getting some grit in their tone, they kept their set moving on a dirty, swampy styled blues grind that matched the fury of the downpours, before closing with vocals from Diane Blue.

The Legendary Downchild Blues Band

Opening with solos from half the band, there was nothing stopping the blues fire of this massive band. Moving right into a heavy piano groove they shook the drenched crowd, making it easy to forget the rain.

Through ripping tracks about unlikely couples and slower jams about cheques in the mail, they swung all the same, really diving into the feel of the music. Hitting an extremely heavy and distorted note, they cranked up the juice on "Madison blues" letting it all out between the guitars and sax.

Getting the crowd chanting through "Rendezvous" they kept the excitement rolling along. The heartfelt "one in a million" took things to a dynamically shifting crawl as they let the emotions loose in explosive yet tiny bursts. kicking into a clap-heavy blues party on "Out of the Blue" the band kept delivering as the rain cleared up.

Throwing in a visceral harmonica solo later on, multiple members hit the drums before they shifted into the hums of "Little Bitty Pretty One" before finishing their song.

Kandace Springs

Opening behind her keyboard she started her set with some snazzy slow jazz before the elegant and layered piano of "Talk To Me." tickling the ivories on a dazzling piano interlude she wowed the crowd as she moved between solo and groove.

Shifting to a track by Mal Waldron, she brought the low-end of her vocals out, devastating the crowd in her pained delivery. Bouncing the melody between her vocals, keyboard and even her bassist, the intermingling of lead and rhythm made it pretty obvious how she caught Prince's attention.

Through a sultry performance of "Forbidden Fruit" she emulated all the longing and sorrow the lyrics deserve while her voice danced around her range. Going into high tempo rush afterwards, she and her band couldn't be stopped as they sped along.

Through covers and tracks from her album Soul Eyes her unwavering ability to hit every note vocally while connecting with the crowd was an amazing show of talent as both a musician and performer. Needless to say her piano playing never missed either as she would play some of the most intricate piano parts while singing an equally difficult vocal.

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