Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, Fredericton

The Best Fest

By Erin

Every year people convene in Fredericton, New Brunswick coming in from around the Maritimes, Canada and beyond to partake in a fun and ever-evolving festival – Harvest Jazz and Blues. Some of Canada’s top talent is enjoyed as well as the vocal stylings of folks from the Southern US and even further abroad. 2015 was a sparkling year for the festival with more than 400 musicians and over 150 performances packed into one week – September 15-20. Although I’ve attended nearly a dozen years of the festival, I’m impressed with how much it has grown. Queen Street in downtown Fredericton was so bustling, you could’ve mistaken it for Toronto or Montreal. Great vibe.

Top moments:

Watching Tomato Tomato from Saint John, New Brunswick rock out the Hoodoo tent with a decked out old-fashioned washboard instrument. The couple is adorable on and off stage. They embody the Maritime kitchen party. Hear them here: http://tomatotomato.bandcamp.com/releases

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Watching Old Man Ludecke from Chester, Nova Scotia (where our cottage is) play a variety of stringed instruments while telling very relatable stories with his lyrics. Katie and I enjoyed the view from the sidelines. All smiles.

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You might appreciate this one:

Late night jamming with the Backyard Devils and then getting to be the MC for a few minutes to close the show. This band has crazy great energy!

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Seeing Fredericton’s own Stephen Lewis who brings a certain Reggie Watts vibe to the crowd – he records himself in snippets in front of the audience then loops it while he plays with it – basically he is the whole band. Got our dance on at 2 shows that he played. Alert – rising star!

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Being in the very front row with friends Katie and Seth to witness New Brunswick’s now appropriately famous Matt Andersen with the most soulful concert. So much talent. My gosh!

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He has a ton of great songs he’s written himself, but I still have a favourite cover:

Double dance party with Sugarbomb, a motown revival band playing all of your favourite sing-alongs from the Four Tops to the Supremes. This band is comprised of Fredericton’s best performers – all of whom are in other bands of different styles too. With high school friend Liz and a bunch of fun people, we got a dance party started both at the 2pm show and the 10pm show. We perhaps made the waiters struggle a little to move around, but we got people dancing that haven’t danced in decades. Go Fredericton!

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Plan to be there next year folks! Great times, good music and East Coast charm!

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