The 15th annual edition of the FestiBlues International of Montreal is a blues bash in Park Ahuntsic (and various locations around the area), showcasing the best and brightest blues musicians from Montreal and abroad. Just $7 a night grants festivalgoers access to a truly exceptional experience in the picturesque park. Considering the roster of fifty artists, the 15th edition of the festival seems to be the biggest one yet…
Start the festivities on August 9 by checking out the Naive Dreamers and their melodic tributes to classics from Elvis, The Beatles, Sam Cooke and The Rolling Stones. Then see fresh-faced Toronto based blues band, The 24th Street Wailers, composed of classically trained musicians who like to cut loose.
Sought after in Toronto and beyond, they grace this year’s festival as former winners of the Relève en Blues contest. They’re an innovative blues band with a truly collaborative spirit, as evidenced by their latest album Dirty Little Young’uns. Recently they were featured on Dan Aykroyd’s House of Blues Radio Hour, which can only mean good things for this young band.
He picked up the harmonica at the age of 12 and never put it down. Now Jim Zeller is a legendary blues musician and celebrated harmonica player. He has shared the stage with heavy hitters like BB King, Bob Dylan and Charlebois to name a few, catch him at 11:15pm on August 9.
On August 10, the highly decorated Eric Lapointe, from Quebec takes the stage (9:15pm). He’s a staple of the Quebecois rock and roll scene and he’ll perform songs from his new album Le ciel de mes combats, but diehard fans will of course get a chance to hear some of his classics as well.
Olivier Gotti is a revered blues and slide guitar player slated to perform on August 11. He comes from France, he’s got les bleus and his sooty voice has been likened to superstar Ben Harper so you won’t want to miss his show.
The “Blues Boss” himself and Juno award-winning musician Kenny Wayne will play his special blend of American blues, jazz piano and boogie-woogie on August 10. He’s the real deal and his show at 8pm will easily be one of the best of the fest.
People might traditionally think that blues is an American phenomenon, but don’t you want to know what gives Danes the blues? It couldn’t be their prosperous mixed market economy or their very high minimum wage or their free education. Maybe it’s the cold. Whatever it is, the incredibly talented Thorbjorn Risager, native of Denmark, will be playing the blues at 8:00pm on August 11. So, pack a picnic and head to Park Ahuntsic for a few nights of good old fashioned tunes.
FestiBlues International of Montreal, August 9-12, 2012