The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68397   Message #1151388
Posted By: steve in ottawa
31-Mar-04 - 06:40 PM
Thread Name: Ottawa Folk Scene
Subject: Ottawa Folk Scene
Breezy asked about the Ottawa folk scene.

The Ottawa folk scene...hmmm. I don't know it as well as I should.

Rasputin's is the best folk club. I spent about 7 years hitting the jam every Thursday...oughta check it out again (Tuesdays now). They also have a wonderful open stage night -- people aren't allowed to talk (except whispering) during the sets. Last time I tried it (about six years ago) I decided I didn't really care about performing in front of a bunch of strangers - I like singing with people.

The Ottawa Folk Festival is great. They also host a whole bunch of benifit concerts during the year, mostly in the National Library Auditorium, and...I just love 'em. The Ottawa Folk Festival also has a very good mailing list detailing most of the bigger folk acts performing in the next few weeks.

The biggest club that hosts folk concerts is in a tiny town called Wakefield, 30 minutes to the north. Black Sheep Inn is the place where Garnet Rogers and Eric Bogle prefer to play when they come to town. Some bigger folk acts play at the Nepean Centerpointe Theatre or the National Arts Centre's main stages or Fourth Stage.

The Ottawa Folklore Centre recently started putting out newsletters about the folk scene.

There's also the Acoustic Waves series at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. They always have good acts.

The Ottawa Song Circle (web page out of date) is a friendly place to sing with others. They meet once or twice a month. Next month's meeting (April 2) is at Tom Lips' place -- he's a fantastic songwriter/singer. Someone is starting up the Bytwone Traditional Singers which, if it takes off, will be a very good traditional pub sing (23 people at the first meeting, and next meeting April 23).

In town? Pick up a free copy of the Ottawa XPress entertainment newspaper; there are usually several other small folk acts performing around town each week. Although, except at Rasputins, you can't count on seeing a folk act on any particular night.