For my last day at Bluesfest this year (which is the second last for many others), I was planning on seeing a full 4 acts that were all performing in the same tent (find a seat, stay in it, repeat?). However, since I wasn’t fully invested with the fourth performance, I decided to leave early and therefore only saw 3 full acts. But they were good ones.
Yes, the one and only Graham of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, a band I had only heard tell of. I had a faint idea of what to expect with Graham Nash, that idea being the idea of American folk with some deep and meaningful lyrics from which I got all of the former and half of the latter.
I did enjoy listening to Graham Nash although one song that fell through the cracks of great recollection was a song about the issue of whaling in Japan. I do support the movement against whaling and I do stand with Graham Nash on that front but the song that he performed to cover that issue wasn’t written particularly well. The lyrics sounded like the kind of literal banter that a comedy artist parodying American folk would write.
Also there was a point in the set list when Graham started talking about Bernie Sanders and even though I do kind of support Bernie (I’m not American by the way), I started to wonder if Nash thought he was still in America like… we don’t have a vote in the American election… does he know that?
But all in all I did enjoy the sounds that were coming from the stage and Graham’s co-performer Shane Fontayne (I think I spelt that right) was quite excellent on the guitar.
The Blind Boys of Alabama
At the first Bluesfest I attended back in 2013, I saw the first couple of songs from The Blind Boys of Alabama’s set list and went home due to tiredness (keep in mind I was 12 and it was midnight) but this year, I planned on seeing the full set list and nothing was going to stop me. Not that anything was planning on it but still…
I really enjoyed The Blind Boys of Alabama Today. Something about their music, attitude and general vibes put me in a really good mood. And I’m surprised by that seeming as I’m an atheist and it was mostly gospel music.
Their voices were incredible, the energy they produced toward the entire performance was incredible and the music was incredible. It was a little consistent BUT it was incredible consistence.
Also for an encore, they performed Stevie Wonder’s Master Blaster. How delightful!
I had heard a couple of Jackson Browne songs prior to tonight, them being Running on Empty, Running on Empty and Running on Empty, so I had a pretty broad knowledge of Browne and knew exactly what to expect, AMERICAN ROLK. That’s folk and rock people.
Only 10 minutes before the concert I was made aware of the fact that Jackson Browne wrote the Eagles’ Take It Easy so now I knew 2 songs of the infamous Browne. And he performed them at the very end of his 2 hour set list. So the music would have had to be entertaining for a whole hour and 3 quarters AND IT WAS.
I can’t remember any specific songs that were played other than the last two but what I can remember was a sound that mellowed the soul and excited the American in me.
After Jackson Browne, I decided that I should see the beginning of Melissa Etheridge’s set and I did and I wasn’t too thrilled with it so I came home.
See ya Bluesfest, I’ll be back next year HOPEFULLY for the full 5 days and HOPEFULLY you’ll have a better lineup. What am I saying… of course you will!