BLARE’s 20 Must-Hear Bands At Ottawa Bluesfest

With over 200 acts spread across two weeks, CISCO OTTAWA BLUESFEST is a hidden gem of a summer festival. Whether or not you’re a local or just visiting, it can be a grueling yet invigorating adventure you will never forget. More known for showcasing blues (second largest festival of the genre in North America), the 17th edition of the event is bursting at the seams with modern rock, pop and hip hop. To help give you an idea of who’s worth checking out, we here at BLARE have compiled your unofficial guide; just don’t blame us if you get wounds from the mosh pits.

Click here for dates, stages and times for the entire lineup
For your
Ottawa Bluesfest 2011 fix, keep a tab on @blaremag

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BILLY TALENT

(MISSISSAUGA, ON| WARNER)
“A band no avid music lover can justify ignoring” (AbsolutePunk)

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THE ROOTS

(PHILADELPHIA, PA| INTERSCOPE/UNIVERSAL)
“When they come back to funk, they prove nobody does it better” (Rolling Stone)

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WHALE TOOTH

(TORONTO, ON | AUDIOBLOOD MEDIA)
“The five-piece excels at guitar pop and just enough soul to stand out” (NOW)

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RISE AGAINST

(CHICAGO, IL | INTERSCOPE/UNIVERSAL)
“Proof punk rock can still leave a lasting impression” (Exclaim!)

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LUPE FIASCO

(CHICAGO, IL | ATLANTIC/WARNER)
“Hailed as the savior of the rap genre” (Rolling Stone)

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A PERFECT CIRCLE

(LOS ANGELES, CA | VIRGIN/EMI)
“Less ominous.. kinda like neo-Metallica, but with cojones” (EW)

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M. WARD

(NEWBURY PARK, CA | MERGE RECORDS/4AD)
“A rare indie-rock guitarist with an instantly recognizable style” (SPIN)

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FINAL FLASH

(MONTREAL, QC | INDICA RECORDS)
“Meat ‘n’ potatoes pop rock with dashes of spice” (Exclaim!)

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SOUNDGARDEN

(SEATTLE, WA | A&M/UNIVERSAL)
“The band that punk kids, metalheads, and classic rockers could agree on” (SPIN)

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BEN HARPER

(SEATTLE, WA | VIRGIN/EMI)
“His eclecticism has made him hard to categorize” (Rolling Stone)

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THE FLAMING LIPS

(NORMAN, OK | WARNER)
“Since 1983, they haven’t been shy selecting material to personalize” (Paste)

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YUKON BLONDE

(KELOWNA, BC | NEVADO RECORDS/BUMSTEAD)
“Celebrate rock’n’roll’s past with little regard for hipster trends” (Exclaim!)

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MY MORNING JACKET

(LOUISVILLE, KY | ATO/DARLA)
“Skynyrd’s surly swagger with Pink Floyd’s melancholy soundscapes” (SPIN)

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TEGAN & SARA

(CALGARY, AB | WARNER/SIRE)
“Eclectic, personal.. confidence paired with peculiarities” (Pitchfork)

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THE BLACK KEYS

(AKRON, OH | NONESUCH RECORDS/WARNER)
“An overnight success story that took one decade, six albums..” (SPIN)

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NICOLE ATKINS

(NEPTUNE, NJ | SONY/RAZOR & TIE)
“Has a forceful singing style that brings welcome drama” (Rolling Stone)

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SKRILLEX

(LOS ANGELES, CA | ATLANTIC/WARNER)
“Frenetic pileup of crushing sub-bass and thumping electro beats” (SPIN)

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CAGE THE ELEPHANT

(BOWLING GREEN, KY | JIVE/UNIVERSAL)
“Rag-tag, raucous punk band churning out rock tunes” (SPIN)

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DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979

(TORONTO, ON | VICE)
“Staggers out of Canada and barfs in indie rock’s toilet” (SPIN)

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METRIC

(TORONTO, ON | INDEPENDENT/ARTS & CRAFTS)
“A mix between dance punk and new wave, they deliver where it counts” (Pitchfork)

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