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Bluesfest Day 2 – 2021 brings some Canadian Icons in music to the national capital with Jann Arden and the Barenaked Ladies with Ryland James opening the night.

Ryland James

With nothing but his guitar and a beautiful repertoire of songs to choose from Ryland put on an amazing show tonight. His set was packed with richly poetic tunes each with a personal element behind them. The Bluesfest crowd was lucky enough to be treated to the inspirations behind many of his songs. His latest single “Three Purple Hearts” for example was written about his first love. He revealed that he has finally found love in the past year and gets to experience the bittersweetness that comes with it. Ryland shared a multitude of sensations with the audience, kicking up the aggressive energy in “A Shoulder to Cry On.” Immediately after, he switched tracks to the plaintive “Better Off.” A song about his journey to self-acceptance.

The Barenaked Ladies

After three decades of music and this group refuses to stand down from an astonishing performance. This show had the Bluesfest crowd the biggest it’s been so far and for good reason. The group needs no introduction, they are well known and loved in the hearts of rock and roll fans everywhere. Lighting up the stage with their opening song “Good Life.” Which appeared on their album from earlier this year (Their 13th studio album might I add, isn’t that amazing?) Some other set appearances are “Odds Are,” “The Old Apartment,” (A fan favorite) and of course, it wouldn’t be a Barenaked Ladies concert without it, “If I Had A Million Dollars.”


Given 30 years of musical experience, it is no surprise that the four are incredibly talented. But the instrument swapping was still highly impressive. Every member of the group is vocally trained and all sung a song. It was great that they took turns in the spotlight showing off their unique characteristics. They are a very interactive group. Taking breaks in between songs for comical bits or even to spread awareness on important issues. Sometimes both at the same time. From politicians, the pipeline, and vaccination, they are not shy to get into the gritty subjects.

Jann Arden

The perfect way to end out Bluesfest Day 2 – 2021 is with another amazing Canadian icon in music. Coming up to nearly 30 years of being in music, Jann Arden has an extensive catalog of hits which fans across the board have come to love. Unfortunately we were able to get in the pit to shoot some amazing shots but we were however there to enjoy the show. With the full band in toe Jann started the night with Where No One Knows Me. Never having heard these songs live I have to say Jann sure does sound good live. Following that up with crowd favorites like Could I be Your Girl and All the Little Things made the whole show a giant singalong with everyone dancing the night away.


This music has stood the test of time and it shows with the capacity crowd standing strong the whole night in the cool air and mud from the night before. I for one have only increased my appreciation for the talent and the music. Can’t imagine a better way to spend a night than to enjoying some of Canada’s best musicians in 1 place.

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