The Festiblues festival is returning, August 10-14, with yet another spectacular line-up. The 5-day festival features musicians from Quebec and around the world at Montreal’s Ahuntsic Park and surrounding area. In traditional Montreal style, the Ahuntsic Park is being turned into a blues playground for all the blues that’s fit to print…
Like always, Festiblues offers an opportunity to see lots of new acts on the brink of success, as well as true Quebecois legends. This year Bernard Adamus is back by popular demand. He’s a Festiblues staple and he’ll get it all started on Wednesday, August 10 at 8:00pm, by playing his famous mix of country, folk and blues.
August 11 promises some true musical greats, like the francophone singer songwriter Marjo who is a staple of the Quebecois musical landscape. The Genie Award-winning chanteuse will be bringing her live show to the Loto Quebec grand stage at 9:15. Later, hop to La Bienvenu for the Hot Tamales Blue Band from Montreal. The trio tackles songs by Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, Muddy Waters and Steppenwolf among others. They’re a force to be reckoned with, so catch them in their element.
One of the festival’s highlights will undoubtedly be the Ray Charles tribute show on August 12 at 8:00pm. Michel Dozier performs selections from Ray Charles’ repertoire backed by 9 excellent musicians who have been touring the show for a few years now. Dozier is a Quebecois singing sensation, but he also works as an actor, which is how he manages to seamlessly transform from man to legend. Later, Quebecois sweetheart Roch Voisine plays the Loto Quebec stage at 9:15. For those of you who don’t know, Roch Voisine is an Acadian singer who hit the big time with his 1989 album, Helene, and has achieved success not only in Canada but also abroad in Belgium, Switzerland and France where he lives when he’s not breaking hearts in Montreal. In other news, he’s also a hunk.
On Saturday, August 13, the 24th Street Wailers from Ontario are playing. They’re young up and comers guaranteed to be headlining the festival in later years. They play original compositions at 6:30pm in the traditional, raw blues style. Their album is entitled Dirty Little Young’uns, which is a pretty apt description of their musical style. Later that night, Joanne Shaw Taylor rips it up with bluesy power pop. She’s coming all the way from England for the festival so this might be your only chance to catch her. Check her out at 8:00pm.
At 9:15, Les Trois Accords from Drummondville, Quebec play their punk inspired blues. The band is known for their surreal lyrics and wild stage antics so it’s really no surprise that they opened for The Rolling Stones in Moncton, New Brunswick. Their live show is always hilarious. On Sunday, Lynda Thalie will bring her saucy live show to the Simplex Stage at 7:00pm. She’s a Quebecois singer but her music is infused with enchanting eastern rhythms. And finally, Steve Rowe closes the festival at 11:15pm. Nicknamed “Guitar Hero” by his friends and peers, Rowe’s blues style is a throwback to the 50s and 60s with a contemporary touch. It’s a show not to be missed.
Festiblues, August 10-14, 2011
Ahuntsic Park and La Maison de la Culture, 10555 Rue La Jeunesse, (514) 872-0769