TROIS-RIVIÈRES, CANADA — September 9, 2019 — The 2019 Trois-Rivières en Blues Festival rises as one to the most significant Blues Festivals in North America. This year was their eleventh edition of the otherwise known as the: Three Rivers Blues Festival. This marks the fifth year that the five-year-old Cogeco Trois-Rivières Amphitheater was utilized for this Blues Festival. By the way: This amphitheater is striking and is held up by eight columns, a thin and elegant roof takes advantage of the natural beauty of the site I that frames the grand St. Lawrence River. There is seating for thirty-five hundred orchestra seats, there’s also room for fifty-five hundred outdoor concert goers at the lawn area. It is truly an extraordinary structure and a site to behold. Geographically: Trois-Rivières is located in the province of Québec, typically less than ninety minutes northeast of Montreal, and approximately seventy-five minutes south from world-renowned Québec City. There are ticket charges at the amphitheater, but the downtown festival performances are all free. This Blues event is a full-blown four-day Blues-Rock-Roots extravaganza that includes three nights at the amphitheater as well as four days and nights at the downtown locations.
This year’s heavyweight performers included: Melissa Etheridge, Los Lobos, Colin James, Doyle Bramhall II, Coco Montoya and others who performed at the scenic Cogeco Amphitheater. The free downtown shows featured: Danielle Nicole’s Band, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, Blackburn, Paul Deslauriers’ Band, and more.
Amphitheater highlights: Canadian Colin James sounded as professional and tight as ever playing new tracks from his most recent album “Miles To Go,” James also performed many of his well-known favorites from his earlier recordings as well. Rightfully so: Colin James was well received by the Canadian – Québécois audience. Coco Montoya never-ever disappoints, and played
several tunes from his latest recording “Coming In Hot,” along with many of his long-list of fan favorites, and songs from when Coco toured and recorded with the late great Albert Collins. Los Lobos must have thought their concert was south of the USA border as their opening segment of tunes were all Hispanic songs, were sung in Spanish and were performed acoustically. Soon thereafter Los Lobos switched over to their electric instruments, took flight and wowed the crowd with a solid dose of Blues-Rock songs that were often hair-raising.
Free downtown performances highlights: I hadn’t seen Rick Estrin and his Nightcats in a while and was rewarded with a really fine performance by the always entertaining Estrin and his fabulous band that features the gifted guitarist Kid Andersen. Estrin’s Nightcats also have a brand-new recording available appropriately titled “Contemporary” and Rick wasn’t
shy to announce from the stage that they’d be happy to sign copies of his new CD immediately following their ultra-hip performance. I’ve previously been impressed by Paul Deslauriers’ Band and made certain to catch his performance. Deslauriers’ shuffled his set with old favorites and new tunes from his current album “Bounce.” Congrats are also in order for the newlywed’s
Deslauriers’ Paul just tied- the-knot with his Soul and Blues singing wife Annika Chambers. I’ve seen and always enjoyed the Blackburn Band in the past, but was completely blown away with their up-in-your-face and positive attitude for their Trois-Rivières set, man these guys were really on their game with their Soul, Blues and super-Funky grooves! Wrapping up the weekend was the
popular Danielle Nicole Band who served up a riveting performance that had the crowd clamoring for more.
Until next year many others (myself included) will be looking forward to what Trois-Rivières assembles for its 2020 Blues Fest. For the readers of this column; seriously consider visiting Three Rivers, Quebec next August; it’s a great area, with many wonderful restaurants. Plus Brian Slack & Company reliably offers this wonderful Blues Festival year after year, after year. And speaking of Mr. Slack; a warm thank you to Brian and to Nancy Munger for having me back at www.3renblue.com And for also putting me back for my second year at a
wonderful Trois-Rivières downtown bed & breakfast: www.ManorDeBlois.com The accommodations were charming and the daily homemade breakfast’s prepared by Roch Parent were generous and delectable. It was also great to catch-up and talk with Roger Naber – founder and proprietor of the Legendary Blues Cruise. Roger and his wife drove his decorative bus up to Trois-Rivieres to promote his Blues cruises. Find out more at: Let’s Go Bluesin’®… | Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise Last but not least;
thank you to Phil Brisse who provided me with wonderful photos from the amphitheater.
Nonetheless: Don’t forget to keep checking: www.3renblues.com for to find out who they’ll be booking for 2020, I hope to see you there.
For over 20 years Bob Putignano has been pivotal with his Sounds of Blue radio show. Hear new Homegrown Sounds of Blue internet radio shows: Sounds Of Blue Radio Show – With 250,000 + web hits for June, 2019:
Someone knows something hip is happening here!
Also available at John Sinclair’s
Previously a contributing editor at Blues Revue, Blueswax, and Goldmine magazines, currently the Music Editor for the Bronxville Tribune www.BronxvilleTribune.com, Mount Vernon Tribune MountVernonTribune.com, Westchester Tribune www.WestchesterTribune.com, and Yonkers Tribune www.YonkersTribune.com.
Bob was also the 2003 recipient of the “Keeping the Blues Alive” award (given by the Blues Foundation in Memphis)
Putignano can be contacted at: BobP@SoundsofBlue.com
Friend me on: https://www.facebook.com/bob.putignano.1
# # #