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Blues Log Stardate 07072008


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Ottawa Bluesfest


Stardate 070708

Live Music Review

Review By: Velvet

tony d bluesfest

Tony D

Image courtesy of steve_and_jody on Flickr

Back to the workweek grind leaves me arriving late to Bluesfest all week, and tonight I didn’t make it to the gate until after James Taylor had begun his set. They were playing Get A Job by The Silhouettes as I pulled up, a great tune that I’ve never heard anyone tackle before. But with a band like the one Taylor put together one is free to tackle anything they’d like. Steve Gadd, Lou Marini, and Walt Fowler are three standouts in James Taylor’s Band Of Legends, and they put on a much more rockin’ set than I was expecting. Such that they kept me away from checking out Bettye LaVette on the Roots Stage. There was a strong adult-contemporary element of course. The hug and sway singalong that I witnessed (but did not participate in, no matter what they might say) to You’ve Got A Friend was all unicorns and moonbeams, and they even put up a picture of a puppy on the screen so we could all have an “Ohhhhhh!” moment together.

Seriously, the guy put a picture of a puppy on the screen. I’ll balance that against the fact that James Taylor was the Beatles’ first signing to Apple Records, so I guess he’s still cool.

I felt I had to tear myself away from the main stage for a while at least so I decided to go to the Blacksheep Stage to see what Rachid Taha was all about, but I thought I’d go via the River Stage and just catch a bit of Tony D’s Power Hour, just so I could tell him at work tomorrow that I caught his set.

Well, I can tell him more than that ‘cuz I never got to the Blacksheep Stage. When I arrived he had Becky Abbott up on stage with him and she was singing her balls off. She’s on the Rogers Stage Tuesday before Boz Scaggs and might be worth seeing. He handed off the next song to his bassist for the evening Suzie Vinnick, and she brought her usual heart and soul to the table. Tony looked like he was having a great time and the band was so happenin’ I just couldn’t leave. The Texas Horns each had a turn at the mic while Tony’s regular sax player Zeke Gross tore it up whenever he got the nod. Real great blues, right here at the Bluesfest. He’s got a couple more sets coming up I believe, catch one if you can.

When Tony D started his last number I wandered back to the main stage to soak up the final hits. I got there just in time for a frenzied brassy R&B showstopper and then the encore, which was medley ridden. I made my way out and the bastard came back on. I kept walking, he kept playing. By the time I finally biked out of earshot he must have been on his third or fourth encore, I dunno. Anyway, I went down just on a lark and was actually impressed enough that I feel in retrospect I should’ve taken his set more seriously.

It’ll be a game-time decision on whether or not tomorrow will be a day off from Bluesfest for me. I’m working too late to catch Boz Scaggs and I don’t need to see Franti enough to go out in the rain.

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