Buck-N-Nice, Graeme Kennedy are weekend shows to catch in Ottawa
Jessa Runciman's live music highlights include video release parties and dirty blues
Dear Blackwolf @ Irene's Pub on Friday, 9 p.m., $10
Two guys. A gritty, old-school foot-stomping sound. That's Dear Blackwolf.
The Ottawa natives started playing together when singer-guitarist Joseph Perry returned to his hometown after a spell in Toronto.
He met local drummer Arturo Portocarrero and they hit the ground running, releasing an EP, a full-length album, and a mini-documentary about their recording process.
The album, Rumble Music, takes its title from the way Perry and Portocarrero describe their blend of Americana, blues and folk.
Dear Blackwolf performs at Irene's Pub on Friday night with fellow Ottawans The Heavy Medicine Band and Brandon Allan.
Buck-N-Nice @ Flapjack's on Friday, 10 p.m., $7
Later that night, a show on Preston Street combines hip hop, filmmaking… and pancakes.
The song deals with the darker aspects of early Canadian history, colonialism, and the residual impacts that are still being felt by indigenous people across the country.
It's a taste of MC Sawbuck and DJ So Nice's upcoming new album, EMAG — their sophomore release as Buck-N-Nice.
Besides their performance on Friday, expect an appearance by emerging rapper F. Printz and a drum machine set by Circa Beatz.
Charlotte Cornfield @ Pressed on Saturday, 8 p.m., $7
Charlotte Cornfield is back with her first album since 2011's Two Horses, her debut.
Since then, a greater confidence has crept its way into Cornfield's songwriting — not to mention the evolution that comes with four years of travelling and writing.
Much of the record Future Snowbird is inspired by Cornfield's time spent living in New York and the highs and lows she experienced.
Lush, lyrical songs like Aslan deal with the impossibility of having all the answers to life's questions, opting instead to let solutions appear when it's time, like the lion in The Chronicles of Narnia.
Future Snowbird comes out on March 11 but the crowd at Pressed will get a preview on Saturday when Charlotte Cornfield performs alongside Isaac Vallentin and Trails.
Graeme Kennedy @ Zaphod's on Saturday, 8 p.m., $10
Town outcasts, hopeless high school graduates and of course, heartbreak. They're a few of the subjects of Graeme Kennedy's songs, which are as story-driven as they are musical.
The Peterborough oddball has a low, gruff voice and a punk attitude peppering his album, Sincerely, with swells of saxophone, cascading drums, and a lone guitar solo.
There are nods to Nick Cave and echoes of Lou Reed — but Graeme Kennedy's style is risky and refreshing in an era of musical homogeneity.
He'll take his songs to the stage at Zaphod's for a show Saturday night, with openers The Tackies and Fathers of Modern Rocketry.