This is the beginning of our first-person view of the Tremblant International Blues Festival, happening now in the beautiful Mount Tremblant, Canada! Charlie, a good friend of the American Blues Scene and dedicated blues fan, will be reporting from the crowd.
Well, it’s off to Tremblant we go! A blistering hot day in Vermont didn’t get any better as I headed north, but for the first time EVER, I made it across the border without being searched!! Must be the ponytail. Traffic through Montreal was horrible as expected, but with Sirius Bluesville crankin’, the ride went quickly. Once you get north of the city, suddenly you’re in the middle of the beautiful Laurentian mountains, and you can loosen your grip on the steering wheel and exhale.
At the Tremblant International Blues Festival, Layla Zoe got things off to a rollicking start. The Montreal artist, originally from British Columbia, makes one think of Janis Joplin. It will be exciting to see her again on saturday.
Headlining friday night was Debbie Davies, and she showed that even a woman now in her 60’s can still burn on guitar and fire up a crowd. Music doesn’t recognize age! With her tight trio of Don Castagno on drums and Tom Harper on bass, she ran through a set that featured old favorites like “I’m A Blueswoman”, mixed with selections from her forthcoming album on M.C. Records. Many of the songs had themes of the wrong man at the right time, and the women in the crowd howled their approval. She finished just before a light drizzle began.
After the day’s festivities, everyone headed to the clubs for some nightlife. The beautiful things about the Tremblant Festival are that 150 acts over 10 days are all FREE, and many times the musicians will join each other afterwards in the clubs to jam. On friday, Enrico Crivellaro, the fine upcoming guitartist from Italy, joined the Don Rotundo Band.
With it’s 200 mile bike path that stretches back to Montreal and into the Canadian wilderness along the old railroad bed, and the Tremblant National Park, with tons of hiking trails, waterfalls and dozens of quiet lakes for camping, canoeing and swimming nearby, this is truly an outdoor person’s paradise. Throw in gondola rides to the top to enjoy the views, and a brand new Casino for those inclined to gamble, and I may never leave!!