• By: Keith Whittier

Bluesfest Beats

Photo courtesy of Steve G

The countdown to the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest is on. As the weeks leading up to the festival go by, OLM will continue to highlight must-see performances by some of the acts that you may have not yet discovered – so Ottawa music lovers listen up! An exciting variety of bands and artists will rock the festival this year. Check out a few right now:

Flight Distance

Flight_Distance[1] (2)Compelling layered beats and dark unusual lyrics are all part of the package for this Ottawa hip-hop trio. MC’s Bender and Patience and DJ Calkuta have released three albums together and are in the process of creating their fourth, “Harmony Chlorine.” They’ve garnered praise from respected Canadian rap artist Jessie Dangerously who called their latest album High Priests of Low Life “thought provoking,” and “sophisticated.” For anyone curious about Ottawa’s underground hip-hop scene they are a must see.
July 15 at 8:15 p.m.
Monster Stage

The OBGM’s

OBGMs 2014This punk quartet rocks hard so you can party harder. OBGM’s is short for “Oh Baby Gimme More,” and that’s what audiences will be asking for once they get a taste of this band’s crazy punk groove. They engage audiences with driving drumbeats and synth and their boundlessly energetic stage presence. If you plan on attending this performance be ready to get thrashing and dancing with wild abandon.
July 12 at 5:45 p.m.
Canadian Stage

Gold and Marrow

Gold_and_Marrow[1] (2)“We’ll do our best to sound like a seaside sunset that makes you completely forget the city behind you on a perfect summer night as you walk barefoot, collecting shells and gathering driftwood to make a big fire on the sand,” says folk singer Shannon Rose. “Come!”

Partners on the stage and in real life, Shannon Rose and guitarist Steven James create engaging soulful folk music under the title “Gold and Marrow”. They’ve been mentored by Canadian folk sensation Basia Bulat and recently released their first album “Forever.” This group is a perfect fit for festival-goers searching for heartfelt folk performed with passion. “This city has a lot of life and our exciting music festivals are proof,” Rose says. “We’ll bring our sweet, raw, still-beating hearts to the stage.”
July 14 at 7:15 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre

Lily-Kershaw-Press-Photo-1Lily Kershaw

Sweet voiced singer songwriter Lily Kershaw’s gentle melodies are perfect listening for a relaxing summer evening. In her debut album “Midnight in the Garden,” Kershaw explores heartache and loss with sensitivity. Perfect for folk and country music fans looking for something low key and thoughtful.
July 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Barney Danson Theatre


Blakdenim[1] (2)“In my opinion, we are at our best live,” says BlakDenim vocalist Erin Tompkins. “There is some sort of indescribable magic that happens when we step in front of a crowd . . . the moment that the band and the crowd start vibrating on the same wavelength is magic. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.”

BlakDenim is an 8-member hip-hop extravaganza. They compliment their rap and pop vocals with a cacophony of instruments – a flute, a trumpet, a sousaphone and more. “I think it’s fair to say that most people don’t expect a flute in a hip-hop act,” Tomkins says. Dynamic, socially conscious and energetic, BlakDenim’s shows often feature impromptu beat boxing and rap battles, break dancing and audience participation she says. If you’re looking for funk and fun check them out!
July 9 at 7:15 p.m.
Canadian Stage

The RBC Ottawa Bluesfest 2015 line-up is full of talent! Don’t miss a single band on your ‘must-see’ list. Buy your tickets here!