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Ottawa Valley Bluegrass/my fun-filled Sunday


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Leavin' train and the Stowaways

Caught them in Kemptville this weekend and dig what I heard. Definitely not very rough around the edges, but man oh man that dobro and mando!

I had a hard time getting the system to pick up the upright on a mic. Doing sound is fun.

I wasn't and it was a great sunny sunburny day. I am so at home with my farmer's tan.

I wholly suggest anyone try Beau's Beer. It's a great organic brewery from Vankleek Hill.

There was an act that was called 'the Hobo Saints' that played as well...an an acoustic trio - guitar, mandolin, and snare drum - that were solid. Although I couldn't get over how the guitar sounded like the HipHoppapotamus (thank you flight of the conchords) it was a tight act that apparently plays around Ottawa. Anybody know of these guys?

I was so glad to meet up with the Barn crew again (freephonic/Grand National/Caution Press etc.) and catch their set. They've got a really familiar sound. Their rhodes player Ben Mullin really gets me into that 70's pop hit factory nostalgia and Robin Stewart's tight bass pumps out some of the juiciest flatwound power around. I sure hope they play another show around soon.

Vegstock Facebook link

I also hope that the Branch has more shows like this more often in the summer. It was such a great use of the corner of Clothier and Prescott Streets...a resto-bar and an irish pub almost beside oneanother, the whole main street area closed off during the day, loads of foot traffic and a completely rejuvenated downtown. Kemptville is finally a nice little town and it's easier to get to than the east end of Ottawa if you're driving.

It takes me less than 45 minutes to get right downtown, park and wherever I need to driving the speed limit and I live 10 minutes PAST kemptville.

Anyway, if you're looking to get out and not married to the city, here's June...

Fri 6: Smokey Undertones (jazz trio) ~ 7pm

Sat 7: The Standby Brothers (acoustic pop) ~ 8:30pm

Sun 8: VegStock!!! free outdoor concert ~ noon to dusk

Fri 13: Hungry Monkey (acoustic pop) ~ 7pm

Sat 14: Dave Norris (roots folk) ~ 8:30pm

Sun 15: Chef Bruce's Loose & Juicy Acoustic Jam ~ 3-6pm

Thu 19: Dan Warneford (roots) ~ 7pm

Fri 20: Danny Rembadi (flamenco) ~ 7pm

Sat 21: Leavin' Train (blue grass) ~ 8:30

Sun 22: Jazz Open Stage hosted by Smokey Undertones ~ 3-6pm

Fri 27: Between Friends (jazz) ~ 7pm

Sat 28: Ball & Chain (honkytonk fun) ~ 8:30

Sun 29: John & Terry's Open Stage ~ 2-6pm

menu changes often; here's a sample:

(Updated June5th, 2008)


Beans and Brown Rice: with salsa and sour cream; add cheese or smoked tofu for $1


Green Salad: mixed greens, vegetables, seeds, sprouts, choice of dressings: homemade yogurt “branchâ€, berry vinaigrette (oil free), or simply really good olive oil & really good balsamic vinegar

Soups of Today: seasonal, freshly prepared, served with homemade crusty bread

(at least one vegetarian selection is always included)


Dandelion Festival (in your Mouth!): warm salad of dandelion greens, sauteed onions & smoked portobella mushrooms, really good olive oil & really good balsamic vinegar, toasted walnuts, flowers


Spaghetti & Tomato Sauce: with garlic focaccia bread, olive oil and parmesan cheese. 2nd serving is free.

Add 3 BIG meatballs for 5$.

(suggested pairing: Ciao Sangiovese)


A Big Bowl of Mussels: with beer & chili sauce or white wine & garlic cream; with grilled focaccia bread

branchburger: house-made Ontario beef patty, thick & juicy, on sesame bun with tomato aioli, hot grainy mustard, lettuce, onions, tomato, sprouts; with roasted potato wedges, tomato aioli for dipping, & a pickle.

Add cheese or sautéed mushrooms for $2.


Aunty’s Platter: Tomme des Demoiselles, Harmony brie, & Rassembleu artisanal cheeses, walnuts, olives, chutney, Pickle Patch Farms salami, Mrs. McGarrigle’s hot grainy mustard, fruit, bread, crackers


Asparagus-Rhubarb Cannelloni: smoked tofu, asparagus, & rhubarb rolled in housemade pasta; with orange-turmeric-star anise sauce, lavender aioli, & fresh herbs

(suggested pairing: Ancient Coast Vidal)


Pumpkinseed Pickerel: pan-seared, pumpkinseed crusted Lake Ontario pickerel filet; served with branch beans, rice, salad, salsa, & sour cream

(suggested pairing: Featherstone Sauvignon Blanc)

Spring Chicken: morsels of herb roasted chicken, fresh tomatoes, pesto risotto; with toasted pine nuts & garlic breadcrumbs, fresh herbs

(suggested pairing: Vineland Chardonnay)

Liver & Onions: Pickle Patch Farms pork liver, pan-seared & served with crispy bacon, Beau’s Lug Tread beer butter sauce, roasted potatoes, & seasonal vegetables

(suggested pairing: Banrock Station Shiraz Mataro or a Beau’s Lug Tread beer…these pigs were raised on the stuff!)


Thai'd Up Shrimp: jumbo wild caught shrimp and stir-fried mushrooms & seasonal vegetables piled high with sesame phyllo crackers; served with rice and lemongrass coconut curry sauce

Served from mild all the way to nuclear on request.

(suggested pairing: Kremstal Gruner Veltliner)


Meat and Potatoes: grilled 8 oz Kerr Farms striploin, red wine gravy, mashed potatoes, & seasonal vegetables.

Cut to order; if you prefer another size, just ask.

Pasture-raised, all-natural, happy Ontario cows.

(suggested pairing: Malivoire Gamay)



Spiked Ice Cream: housemade vanilla bean ice cream; all dolled up with your favorite liqueur...

(under 19 version also available…rich chocolate ganache or caramel sauce)

Crème Caramel: delicate vanilla custard drizzled with Frangelico; seerved with pinenut brittle

A Slice of $500 Chocolate Cake: (a bargain at 6 bucks!) melt-in-your-mouth flourless dark chocolate cake with rich chocolate ganache and fruit

Warm Pear Crumbler: caramelized pears baked in a cobbler crust with oatmeal crumble topping, caramel sauce, & whipped cream

What’s the Scoop? A La Mode add $2

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