Saturday, August 29, 2015

Edmonton Blues Festival: Day Two Aug.22nd 2015

Day two of the Edmonton Blues Festival was a 2:30pm start, so it was going to be a long day, especially when your still recovering from the night before. The line-up for Saturdays festivities had no names that I really recognized, as I am no blues aficionado by any means. I got there just after the first band Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley and the venue was packed already. Helped that it was a nice sunny afternoon too.

The first band of the afternoon that I caught was Castro Coleman aka Mr. Sipp. This band from Mississippi was my favorite band of the day. They played an entertaining set of blues music with Mr. Sipp making his way off the stage and playing guitar through out the whole venue taking the time to do selfies with many people in attendance. A young up and coming band.


Next up was Adrianna Marie & Her Groovecutters. Adrianna is a great singer that came across as a diva somewhat just the way she commanded the stage and her guitar player was quite good too. Their music was a soulful type of blues. Pretty good set.

Adrianna Marie & Her Groovecutters.

The next band up was billed as the West Coast All-Stars featuring Junior Watson and Bob Corritore. Also in the band was Fred Kaplan a piano player from Los Angeles. Junior Watson was on guitar who is another West coast musician who has played with Canned Heat at one time, and on harmonica was Bob Corritore originally from Chicago. All these guys have played with all kinds of famous blues musicians. This too was a decent set.

The West Coast All-Stars.

The last band on Saturday was Sugaray Rayford Big Band. Sugaray also sings in the band The Mannish Boys, though this night he was fronting his own band. There music was a mix of Chicago and West Coast style blues. By this time of the day it all just started to sound like the blues. Hard to tell the difference in styles. I had enough of the blues for the day that's for sure. I didn't stick around for his whole set as it was time to get some rest and do this all again on Sunday. Good times!!!

Sugaray Rayford Big Band.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Edmonton Blues Festival: Day One August 21st 2015

This past weekend my buddy Buzzard and I attended the 17th annual Edmonton Blues Festival held at Hawrelak Parks Heritage Amphitheatre. There were two headlining bands that we wanted to see Elvin Bishop on Friday and Canned Heat on the Sunday, so we opted for buying the weekend passes as it was a lot cheaper. This was my first time going for the whole weekend and the last time I went to the Blues Festival was back in 2010.

Kicking off this years Blues Festival was Mississippi's Shawn Holt & The Teardops. Shawn is the son of Magic Slim who first started the Tear Drops back in 1977. Magic Slim passed away in 2013, Shawn has carried on with the band name since then. Shawn Holt & The Teardrops put on a good show with some rockin' blues. I thought the other guitarist in the band actually stole the spotlight from Shawn.

Shawn Holt & The Teardrops.

Next up was The 44's with Kid Ramos out of Los Angeles, this band was a great rocking blues band that really got the crowd up and dancing. I had seen Kid Ramos once before in a band called the Los Fabulocos a few years ago and thought he was good then as well. Kid Ramos and Johnny Main made for a great guitar duo ripping it up. I made my way to the front of the stage during their performance and it was then that I realized how short these guys were, checkout the picture of their pants all rolled up, damn that made me laugh. When Shawn Holt came out to do a song with them it really made them look like dwarfs actually. A pretty decent set by these guys.

The 44's with Kid Ramos.

Headliner of the evening, and the reason I wanted to go the first night was Elvin Bishop. This was my third time seeing Elvin in concert, and again a great set by this Tulsa, Oklahoma blues artist. It had been fourteen years since I last saw him in concert. And this was the way to see him, in an outdoor festival setting. Though the night here was mighty chilly, Elvin helped warm up the crowd with some wicked blues with lyrics that have a sense of humour to them as well. The dance floor was packed right from the start of his set. Some of the tunes he did during his seventy-five minute set were Party Til The Cows Come Home, Can't Even Do Wrong Right, Everybody's In The Same Boat, What The Hell is Goin' On and Hey Ba-Ba-Re-Bop just to name a few. This was a fun way to end the first night of the Blues Festival and am sure everyone left with a buzz and a smile on their face. Good times!!!

Elvin Bishop.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Faith No More/Refused Aug.7th 2015 in Toronto

So this show Faith No More and Refused double bill was what our vacation was based around. My week of 90's bands was in full swing. Faith No More is a band that I have loved since their album The Real Thing that came out in 1989. I can now cross FNM off my list of must see bands.

The show was held at the old barn called Ricoh Coliseum. Opening the show was Sweden art punk rockers Refused. This was my second time seeing them in concert. Refused who are touring for their new album "Freedom" their first album since 1998's The Shape of Punk to Come.

The crowd of, by my estimate 3500-4000 people seemed to be pretty pumped for the reunion of Refused. And for good reason, the band put on a very energetic hour long set. Lead singer Dennis Lyxzen is a freak, his stage moves and energy are contagious. He also ventured way in to the crowd almost in the seating area. It seemed their new music went over well with the audience too. But people really lost there minds when Refused did "The Shape Of Punk To Come". I really enjoyed their set.

Refused setlist.


Next up was the band Faith No More who I was so excited to finally get to see perform live in person. FNM who also just put out a new album "Sol Invictus" their first new material in eighteen years, which is a fucking great record. Nice to see a band from the 90's put out another great album after all these years. This was the bands second appearance in Toronto this year having just played there in May. Please come to Edmonton FNM!!!

Between bands the road crew set up the stage with all the flowers that donned it. Just before the band hit the stage the instrumental song Midnight Cowboy played, and then FNM come on opening with the song The Real Thing from their album by the same title. I wasn't expecting them to open with that song. But then again I had no idea what they would open with, but that was the perfect song to open with as they had the crowd in the palm of their hands right from the get go. From that point on it was one great song after another. Even the new songs went over well, with the crowd singing along. There were a couple of songs I was hoping to hear like "Jizzlobber" and "Cuckoo for Caca" but to no avail. That's alright, can't hear everything you want. A minor complaint as they did play a great set full of songs from their whole catalog, highlights for me were the songs Midlife Crisis in which they did a bit of the Van Halen song Jump, who were playing Toronto that same evening. Be Aggressive was awesome as was Evidence from the album King For A Day...Fool For A Lifetime, Everything's Ruined was another stand out, as was Caffeine and the new song Motherfucker from the new album, with everyone singing along, hell all the songs kicked ass. I was surprised by the last song of the night which was We Care A Lot, a song that lead singer Mike Patton didn't even originally sing on. Mike Patton by the way, still has the pipes, his stage presence is incredible and is still a freak. An amazing show! Good times!!!

Faith No More setlist.

Faith No More.

T-shirt front.