This past weekend, I was a lucky gal. I spent my time from Thursday through Sunday over in Kitchener helping out a friend of mine who co-owns Kava Bean Bistro in the downtown core. I was there to give him and the rest of the team an extra set of hands, legs, wheels, and maybe some laughs while the Kitchener Blues Festival was taking place all around them. And yes, as you can see in the pic to the left … I wore that gosh darn hat! I didn’t just wear it, I ROCKED IT! The festival t-shirt and the sponsor backstage VIP pass helped a little too.
Kava is located right in the heart of the festival, just a block in either direction from where the two main stages were. So we saw a lot of folks coming by for their cup’o’joe, a Slushie float, or an all day breakfast, among other fine bevies and cuisine. Kava was also a sponsor of the festival and provided the coffee for the volunteers, and coffee and food for all of the performers and stage tech teams. And if that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, we also had a vendor spot over in Victoria Park selling cold drinks, battered mushrooms, and deep fried pickles! Suffice it to say all staff worked some really long hours all weekend, as did the friends and some family members, including my youngest daughter who came to lend a hand on Saturday & Sunday. A huge congratulatory shout-out to Sparky, Mike, and everyone on the Kava festival team. Job well done. No, I take that back. It was a job really freakin’ fantabulously done!
Beyond drinking a lot of great coffee [read: probably too much coffee], I had the luxury of taking in the sights and sounds of some really terrific blues performers. The running around I was doing between the restaurant, all of the stages, and the park afforded me the opportunity to hear parts of sets here and there. I’m not a music expert by any means, but I know what I like and I liked it all.
Rather than show my lack of blues music knowledge with some undereducated attempt at a review of the festival, I’ll just say it was awesome and grace you with a playlist of some of the best I heard over the weekend. Well, actually I didn’t jot down all of the exact tunes I heard so this set list of sorts is instead just some wonderful songs by some of the artists my ears had the immense pleasure of listening to. You’ll likely recognize some of the names below, while the others are some great indie blues bands well known around the circuits in my neck of the woods in Southern Ontario. Happy listening!