From Low, Quebec to a huge high at Blues Fest

avatar

by Trevor Greenway on July 15, 2009

Low's Tyler Kealey is not asleep, just entranced by his own piano playing at Ottawa's Bluesfest July 8. Photo by Trevor Greenway of the Low Down

Low's Tyler Kealey is not asleep, just entranced by his own piano playing at Ottawa's Bluesfest July 8. Photo by Trevor Greenway of the Low Down

July 15, 2009 – “Billy Jean is not my lover,” sang Tyler Kealey of Low, Quebec to a packed crowd surrounding the Hard Rock Café stage at the Ottawa Blues Fest July 8.

Screams echoed throughout Le Breton Flats Park as Kealey paid tribute to the king of pop, Michael Jackson, in a slow piano ballad.

Kealey then busted into one of his songs from his new CD entitled “Characters”, which focuses mainly on his experiences and memories growing up in Low, Quebec.

A large crowd surrounded the stage as Kealey dropped seamless piano solos, while blowing on his harmonica.

Kealey’s folksy-roots sound that moved in and out of blues, jazz and Celtic rock created an easy listening environment that the crowd seemed to really enjoy. By the end of his set, the stage was packed with concertgoers itching to get a taste of Kealey’s heart-wrenching vocals and his tear-jerking piano notes.

For a guy from the tiny town of Low, he sure proved that he belongs on a stage of that size.

Other blues fest favourites for the first week included Wakefield’s Lindsay Ferguson, who rocked thousands of people at the Subway Stage July 10.

Her female singer-songwriter sound had audiences at a standstill, with audiences holding onto every not as Ferguson belted out tune after tune of powerhouse vocals.

The free stages in the Byward Market were and added bonus this year, but the word “free” didn’t mean low budget at all.

The York St. Stage featured some of today’s hottest bands including Serena Ryder, Broken Social Scene and funk crusaders George Clinton and the P Funk All-Stars, who had the entire market screaming “We want the funk,” July 9.

Wakefield rockers the Chislers played to a large crowd at the York St. Stage July 13 and they did not disappoint.

Opening for Serena Ryder, the Chislers stomping rock and roll got the crowd moving, from those in front of the stage, to the drinkers on nearby patios.

A decent sized group of Wakefielders came out to show its support, dancing, drinking and cheering throughout the loud show.

Don’t miss other Wakefield and Chelsea bands at the fest this coming week: Shawn Rompre’s band Funktagon, plays the Bank of America Stage July 18 at 1 p.m. Also, folk rock artists Honeyman and the Brothers Farr from Chelsea play the Black Sheep stage July 18 at 2 p.m.

For a full blues fest schedule, check out the website at www.ottawabluesfest.ca.