Ottawa RBC Bluesfest is finally upon us for another year and we couldn’t be more stoked! This will be Envy Magazine’s 3rd year in a row covering one of Ottawa’s most beloved music festivals. This year’s show has a great array of musicians (as always) from folk singers to rappers to good ol’ ‘sea shanty’ music. Instead of only focusing on hip hop this year, Envy Magazine will be bringing coverage from hip hop groups like Wu-Tang Clan to alternative rockers like Matthew Good and every genre in between. Here is a look at who we will be highlighting this year.
Jimmy Eat World
July 4th – Bell Stage
While remaining a league above the generation of emo-core torch-bearers they helped spawn, Jimmy Eat World continues to appeal to a broader audience with a blend of alternative rock and power pop that targets the heart as well as the head. The band’s influence became huge with 1999’sClarity—an album that has since emerged as a landmark of the emo genre. The infectious single ‘The Middle’ went on to establish Jimmy Eat World as major figures in commercial rock.
July 5th – Claridge Homes Stage
Flogging Molly has never conformed to industry tastes; they’ve always been the outcasts who put their fans before commercial success, and they’ve always put their music before marketability. The rewards of such independence and integrity are undeniable on Speed of Darkness. You feel it from the first note to the last, the pathos and the passion, the sweeping and rollicking electricity of inspiration. Founded in Los Angeles in 1997, Flogging Molly has always defied categorization.
July 6th – Black Sheep Stage
City Fidelia is quickly making a name for himself within the city and over the internet. Having already opened for the likes of Casey Veggies, Obie Trice, Action Bronson, Bow wow, Fabolous and A$AP Rocky, his mixtape The Blindspot is an excellent 15-track display of both his skill and professionalism.
July 6th – Bell Stage
Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, villains, and moms—for more than a decade, the Dixie Chicks have grown from a band into a phenomenon. With over 30-million albums sold, Dixie Chicks are the biggest selling female band of all time in the U.S.
July 7th – Bell Stage
Once best known for his tenure in the rap unit House of Pain, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and rapper Everlast successfully reinvented himself in 1998 with the best-selling Whitey Ford Sings the Blues—a blues, folk, country and rap inspired release. Anchored by the smash hits “What It’s Like” and “Ends”, the collection sold more than 2 million copies.
July 7th – Claridge Homes Stage
Wu-Tang Clan—through its own efforts and the solo projects—are renowned for their hazy, surreal, and menacing soundscape out of hardcore beats, eerie piano riffs, and minimal samples. Over these surrealistic backing tracks, the MCs rap hard, updating the old-school attack with martial arts imagery and a welcome warped humor. Over time, the sound has remained the most instantly recognizable in hip-hop. And to this day, the beats go on.
July 7th – Bell Stage
The multiple Grammy Award winning group, FUN. has not stopped living up to its name since their 2009 debut, ‘Aim & Ignite’. A year after the debut they were opening for Paramore on their headlining tour and performing at Coachella along with The Strokes and Jay-Z.
July 8th – Bell Stage
Over the course of their decades-spanning career, the Canadian power trio Rush—Geddy Lee (Bass), Alex Lifeson (Guitar), Neil Peart (Drums)—has emerged as one of hard rock’s most highly regarded bands. They have established an impressive and devoted fan-following, and their virtuoso performance skills have solidified their standing as musicians’ musicians.
July 10th – River Stage
Although, Public Enemy is inviolate and irreplaceable, Killer Mike’s ‘R.A.P. Music’ is the closest we’re going to get to an ideal soundtrack for a ‘Do the Right Thing’ remake. The beats come from Brooklyn, courtesy of El-P, a hip hop artist, producer and entrepreneur who is the borough’s resident laureate of urban apocalypse. Snares crash like abandoned buildings being blown up. Synthesizers ooze with a diseased glow of something dying in a toxic water supply. The effect is like a futuristic junkyard come to life. In the midst of the decay of post-industrial New York, Killer Mike, hip-hop inferno, pours fuel on the already inflamed.
July 10th – Claridge Homes Stage
Marianas Trench is an über-popular rock band from Vancouver. Formed in 2001, Marianas Trench have released three full-length studio albums: 2006’s ‘Fix Me;, 2009’s ‘Masterpiece Theatre’; and ‘Ever After’, released in 2011 and nominated for a Juno Award. In 2012 the Much Music Video Awards shone a bright light on Marianas Trench, who logged seven nominations. Both Hedley and Drake trailed the Trench with five nominations, while the Bieber-affiliated Carly Rae Jepsen and rockers Down With Webster nabbed four nominations each.
July 10th – River Stage
Solange’s latest release, ‘Losing You,’ off her upcoming EP ‘True’ is reflective of her journey as an artist. It brings listeners a fresh new sound, “with a breezy fusion of singer-centric R&B, 1980s pop, and lanky mid-tempo hip-house beats,” as described by Spin Magazine. Along with her success as a DJ, Solange previously released two albums, ‘Solo Star’ (2003) and ‘Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams’ (2008), which entered the top-10 ofBillboard’s 200 Chart.
July 10th – Bell Stage
Weezer was founded in Los Angeles in 1992 when Rivers Cuomo, Jason Cropper, Matt Sharp, and Pat Wilson began writing music and playing local clubs. After 16 months together, playing shows and recording demos in Los Angeles, DGC records (Geffen) signed Weezer. The band moved to New York to record at the famed Electric Lady Studios under producer Ric Ocasek (of Cars fame). Weezer’s self-titled debut album was released on May 10, 1994, and was a hit from the start, eventually going double-platinum. The single Buddy Holly won several MTV awards that year.
A Tribe Called Red
July 10th – Black Sheep Stage
A Tribe Called Red creates an eclectic sound made up of a wide variety of musical styles ranging from Hip-Hop, Dance Hall, Electronic, and their own mash-up of club and Pow Wow music, known as Pow Wow Step. DJ’s NDN and Bear Witness founded A Tribe Called Red In 2008. In 2010, they added two-time Canadian DMC champ, DJ Shub to the crew. They are regular participants at the Electric Pow Wow, which is a monthly club night dedicated to showcasing Aboriginal DJ talent and Native urban culture and is aimed at creating a space for Aboriginal people.
The Tragically Hip
July 11th – Bell Stage
The Tragically Hip was formed in 1984 by five friends from Kingston ON – Rob Baker, Gord Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois and Gord Sinclair. They have sold millions of records worldwide, managing to enjoy both mass popularity and critical acclaim. The group released their first album,The Tragically Hip, in 1987 and have since released thirteen studio albums, earning two diamond certifications and more than twenty #1 hits. Known for their powerful, energetic live performances, The Hip have established a demanding concert itinerary, touring extensively in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia.
July 12th – Bell Stage
Matthew Frederick Robert Good, born June 29, 1971, is a Canadian musician whose multi-platinum career has spanned almost two decades. Between 1995 and 2012, Good has released nine studio LPs, three EPs, a live album, and, begrudgingly some might claim, a ʻbest ofʼ collection focusing on the first decade of his career. All of Goodʼs full length studio releases have achieved at least Gold status, and since 1999 none have debuted outside of the top 5.
Great Big Sea
July 12th – Bell Stage
St. John’s -based Great Big Sea fuses the sea-shanty tradition of Newfoundland with the spirit and energy of contemporary rock and popular music in a crowd-pleasing formula that’s both heartfelt and vital. A pure force of nature—much like the ocean surge they take their name from—Great Big Sea’s blend of instruments, such as mandolin, bodhran, fiddle, and concertina, along with their vocal harmonies, revels in the melodies they create and the Newfoundland tunes they love. Their sound bellows joy!
Alice in Chains
July 14th – Bell Stage
A metal band with an alternative-rock edge, Alice in Chains was among the biggest to emerge from the grunge scene that spawned Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. The group’s dark, bitter songs, laden with references to drug addiction and death, occupy a musical landscape somewhere between Metallica’s dense head bangers and Pearl Jam’s grinding anthems.
July 14th – Claridge Homes Stage
Throughout the annals of modern music, there has been only one King of the Blues—Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. King. Since B.B. started recording in the late 1940s, he has released over 60 albums, many of them considered blues classics.