10 days of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest – 10 artists you should not miss.

Bluesfest starts on Thursday, and kicks off 10 days of music in Canada’s capital. Here are 10 artists you need to see, and why you should see them:


Day 1 (July 3): DANNY BROWN.

A hip hop artist with some significant range, Danny Brown is as good rapping about ecstacy as he is rapping about growing up in Detroit. He’ll bring an element of energy and danger on a night headlined by Blake Shelton.


Day 2 (July 4): BONOBO.

‘Nuff said.


Day 3 (July 5): Lady Gaga.

Yup. I went there. Look, there are plenty of pop artists on the planet, and so many of them are power-less singers brought in to execute lyrics over the best music that can be bought at that given time. When you see/hear Miley Cyrus, you’re seeing/hearing the collective brainpower of a team of music executives. When you see/hear Lady Gaga, you’re seeing/hearing HER. This is not to say that Gaga doesn’t have all the musical resources in the world at her fingertips… just saying that of ALL the monstrous pop stars out there, Lady Gaga is genuine.

Also, giant hats.


Day 4 (July 6): Shovels & Rope.

I feel like this is actually what country music sounds like.


Day 5 (July 8): Jake Bugg.

This guy might be the most accomplished 20-year-old rock musician on the planet. Can’t wait to feel these songs live.


Day 6 (July 9): Tyler The Creator.

Tyler The Creator is the aptly-named epicentre of Odd Future… a Los Angeles Hip Hop collective that behaves badly in interviews and does not care what I think about them. That is exaclty why I will be there watching this one.


Day 7 (July 10): The Districts.

Passionate, dynamic songs. A blues & country inspired band from Lititz, PA that isn’t afraid of distortion.

Day 8 (July 11): BadBadNotGood.

Toronto’s BadBadNotGood are formally trained musicians and completely original underground jazz as only young people raised on hip hop could interpret it. A brilliant band.

Day 9 (July 12): Deltron 3030.

There will be lots of boundary-pushing, technically brilliant hip hop at Bluesfest this year. Deltron 3030 will be the best of them. Their 2013 performance was legendary.

Day 10 (July 13): The Darcys.

Big, emotive, powerful songs from the Toronto band. Read our review of their 2014 Field Trip show.

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