How about celebrating this fourth of July with the peal of bells rather than the pop of fireworks?

The bells of the city's churches and city hall's chimes will ring out across downtown Thursday at 5 p.m. It signals the beginning of the Music & Beyond Festival and also fits in with the Peace Tower's Carillon Summer Concert series, which kicked off Tuesday.

In fact, I plan on grabbing my lunch to sit on the grass in front of the Peace Tower to hear Mandy in concert!

That's right, the Barry Manilow version will be done by 26-plus bells on Parliament Hill as part of Carillonneur Dr. Andrea McCrady's "Americana" concert at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Other recitals have titles like "The Seasons" and "The Feminine Mystique: Music Composed or Arranged by Women." Those are among six Peace Tower Carillon recitals over the next 10 days that take place concurrently with Music & Beyond.

Sam Roberts @ Music & Beyond (Sunday, 10 a.m.)

If you're not familiar with the festival, its secondary title could be "Classical Music & Beyond." It's now in its fourth year, and is 80 concerts over 12 days. Its crossover appeal is part of why I wanted to highlight some of the interesting parts of it. For example, Sunday afternoon bearded rock-and-roller Sam Roberts takes the stage at Tabaret Hall. Sam Roberts is doing a workshop as part of the Kids Music & Arts Day on Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It takes place on the grounds of the University of Ottawa Perez Building. Sam is playing guitar and violin, for free, teaming up with a range of musicians from Music and Beyond.

I also want to mention CBC Radio 2 Tempo's Julie Nesrallah performs Friday at St. Barnabas. It all kicks off Thursday night with Music & Circus at Dominion Chalmers. The full schedule is here.

Lionyls @ Avant Garde Bar (Friday, 9 p.m.)

Leaving the halls and churches of Music & Beyond, I'll get back to what I know best: Ottawa's clubs. Friday night at Avant Garde Bar an Ottawa band called The Lionyls are going to shake their manes at the vodka bar. Lion and vinyl merge in their band name. They often sound like a seasoned blues band but they themselves say, "This is just the beginning."

The Lionyls like to tweet out random facts about their mammalian namesakes and I learned that most lions drink water daily if available, but can go four or five days without it. Probably a good thing in sub-Sarahan Africa! I'm sure you'll learn more about the big cats at the show Friday night at Avant Garde Bar. The Lionyls play with Stuck on Planet Earth and 3MD.

Paul Reddick @ Irene's (Saturday, 9:30 p.m.)

You may have noticed I haven't given much space to a certain mega-fest that has set-up camp at Lebreton Flats for the next 10 days … but I haven't forgotten about the blues. Tim Bastmeyer and Jerome Tucker play The Rainbow Saturday night while Paul Reddick and his harmonica blow into Irene's. Lakefield, Ont., resident Paul Reddick has boldly stated he wants the songs from his latest album Wishbone to be a soundtrack for dancing and sex. I like his bluntness.

Paul has played harmonica on more albums than I could list on an infinite web page and in addition to almost every Canadian musician who has heard him, he counts Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin among his most avid fans.

Another interesting tidbit: his brother is a potter in the Ottawa Valley and his breath-taking plates can be found as far away as the Canadian Ambassador's residence in Tokyo! No matter what you want to do when you hear Paul Reddick's music, you can do it Saturday night at Irene's in the Glebe.

Danielle Duval @ Bluesfest (Saturday, 4 p.m.)

Of course I am well aware that RBC Bluesfest begins Thurs., July 4. I visited the blog and they had some great blues-influenced picks that crossed-over into mine: including Cold Specks on Saturday and The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer on Sunday. I'm going to make Danielle Duval my pick of the weekend. She's playing with a full band at the Barney Danson Theatre as part of a competition among women songwriters called, She's the One.

Duval is warm, funny and writes super hooky pop songs. I know two factoids about her that I believe are breaking news among music journos: her day job is to pin the mic on Peter Mansbridge every night as an audio tech on The National and she's Sam Roberts' cousin!

Other picks of the fest are listed below with an asterisk.

This week's music listings

Thursday:

  • Robert Farrell Band @ Avant Garde Bar
  • Steve Hill (solo) (Juno Nominee) + Brock Zeman @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest (Barney Danson Theatre)
  • Bahamas @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest (Black Sheep Stage) 7 p.m.

Friday:

  • Stuck on Planet Earth + The Lionyls + 3MD @ Avant Garde Bar, 9 p.m.
  • Wind-Up Radio Sessions + Her Harbour + Shannon Rose and The Thorns @ Black Sheep Inn (Wakefield) 8:30 p.m. - $7 advance, $10 at the door
  • Kim Koren @ Kaffe 1870 (Wakefield)
  • Rocket Rached & The Fat City @ Irene's
  • Almonte Celtfest @ Gemmill Park (Almonte)
  • Julie Nesrallah (classical) Music & Beyond Festival @ St. Barnabas
  • Steve Strongman (Juno Winner) @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest (Barney Danson Theatre)
  • Camera Obscura @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest (River Stage) 6:30 p.m.

Saturday:

  • Farewell Davidson + Bearshark + Les Mosquitoes @ The Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield 8:30 p.m. $10.00 at the door, $7.00 advance
  • Monique Angele + Fade Chromatic + LUXA @ Avant Garde Bar
  • Dreamin' Ways @ Kaffe 1870 (Wakefield)
  • **Paul Reddick @ Irene's
  • Tim Bastmeyer & Jerome Tucker @ Rainbow, 76 Murray Street
  • Almonte Celtfest @ Gemmill Park (Almonte)
  • Camp Radio 2:45 p.m. River Stage @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest
  • **Cold Specks 4 p.m. Claridge Homes Stage @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest
  • **Danielle Duval 4 p.m. Barney Danson Theatre @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest

Sunday:

  • Shawn Phillips @ Brasseurs du Temps (Gatineau)
  • Almonte Celtfest @ Gemmill Park (Almonte)
  • **Kids' Music and Arts Day (Music & Beyond Festival) 10 a.m. — 3:00 p.m. Grounds of the University of Ottawa Perez Building
  • **Sam Roberts (violin & guitar) (Music & Beyond Festival) 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. @ Tabaret Hall
  • **Steve Adamyk Band 1 p.m. Bell Stage @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest
  • **Fevers 2 p.m. Claridge Homes Stage @ RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest