Sunday, August 30, 2015

Edmonton Blues Festival: Day Three Aug.23rd 2015

Day three of the Edmonton Blues Festival was going to be a good one, the weather was awesome, I recognized all the bands on the bill, and I had a clear head.

The first band up for the day was the local rockin' blues band Jimmy & The Sleepers with special guests Big Dave McLean out of Winnipeg and local harp player Rusty Reed. I was excited about seeing this performance having heard good things about Jimmy & The Sleepers and of course Big Dave McLean is a legend in his own and it had been a few years since I last Saw Rusty Reed play. I

I have been a fan of Rusty since my teens having seen him play many many times. He is in my eyes and ears the best harmonica player I have ever seen, and the man can sing too. He only sang a couple of songs on this day but backed up the band on the harp through out the whole set. I was very impressed with the set by Jimmy and guests performance. A great way to start Sundays events.

Jimmy & The Sleepers with Big Dave McLean and Rusty Reed.

Next up was The Rockin' Highliners another Edmonton band who just got back together after a ten year hiatus. Their style of jumpin' rockin' blues had the dance floor packed during their set. This was the second time seeing them having last seen them in 1999 opening for George Thorogood.

The Rockin' Highliners.

The third band of the day was Henry Gray backed by the West Coast All-Stars. Henry Gray is a boogie piano player/singer from Louisiana, and at the age of 90 years old sounded incredible. Henry Gray has played with many legends in his time including the Stones, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf just to name a few. The man is a legend himself and I am very happy that I got to see him play in person. A great show by Henry Gray.

Henry Gray and the West Coast All-Stars.

Second last band of the festival was Janiva Magness from Detroit, Michigan. This was the second time I have seen this blues/soul singer in concert, and again she was excellent.

Janiva Magness.

The headliner for Sunday was Canned Heat. I was hesitant about being excited to see the band, at first I was wondering if there was even an original member in the band anymore. But after doing some research I learned that two of the members, Larry Taylor on bass and Adolfo de la Parra on drums were in the band when they played Woodstock back in 1969. And of course originals Bob Hite, Alan Wilson and Henry Vestine have all since passed. Stepping in there place now-a-days and doing a damn good job of it are John Paulus on guitar and Dale Spalding on vocals and harmonica.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Canned Heat being a band, ya the band has been a revolving door of band members, this band playing today was top notch. Their psychedelic blues boogie rock was top notch. I remember the first time I heard of the Canned Heat was watching the Woodstock movie many years ago. I thought they were excellent then, as I did on this day forty-six years later.

Some of the songs performed on this evening were Going Up The Country, Let's Work Together, Have A Good Time, On The Road Again and Rollin' And Tumblin'. The crowd ate up their tunes right from the start, a very strong set and very entertaining. Highlight of the weekend for me for sure. Good times!!!

Canned Heat.

No comments:

Post a Comment