Got in to work this morning, and realised I'd meant to post to journal entry last night, but came in very late from the Ottawa Bluesfest. Last night's performances spotlighted some of the truly superb music, as I watched a magnificent show by John Lee Hooker Jr., followed by Jully Black, and then the legendary Etta James. Mind you, the heat (it was 29oC last night with relatively high humidity) got to me a bit last night; being diabetic has its *real* disadvantages in summer...but hey, it was Bluesfest! :)
The first performance by John Lee Hooker Jr. was simply marvellous. He started by warning the audience that those in the front rows might be spattered with grease, as "You see, we gonna be doing a whole lot of cooking up here tonight." He really lived up to his reputation as a sizzling showman, for sure, and has the looks, the moves, and the style of a born entertainer. And his music was just wonderful and bluesy.
He was followed on-stage by Jully Black, a Toronto R&B singer. She did her thing with a band consisting of two back-up singers and a keyboardist, instead of a horn-laden line-up. I hadn't heard a lot of her stuff before, but got to say that she's a strong vocalist and I very much enjoyed her set. One of her pieces was a track called "I Know", which I could swear I've heard on radio or some such. Mind Like A Sieve(MLAS (tm)) strikes again.
And then there was Etta James, the legendary singer who showed up with a a slimmed-down look, a rejuvenated stage show, and celebrated an incredible five decades as a recording artist. What can I say about her show? She performed raunchy versions of Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" and "Take Me to the River", and performed her signature songs like "Tell Mama" and "At Last". Simply a group of three great shows to watch. Even in the heat.
Needless to say, I got home very late last night. Am still somewhat tired, but quite bouncy. Won't be going to the final three days of Bluesfest, more's the pity, but got a few other things to do this weekend, so am looking forward to that (but no grocery shopping - did that on Wednesday!).
All in all, I gotta say that I enjoyed my experience(s) at Bluesfest this year, as the festival got back to its roots and all. Great music, met a few interesting people, had a good time. Oh, yeah, didn't drink any alcohol; too hot for it, even if I had wanted to or been able to. Besides, alcohol just muddies the blues, but everyone knows that, right? :)