Words by Erin Keating; photography by James West.
Harvest set a high bar at the Moose Light Blue Tent kick off on Wednesday night, with three unreal blues rock performances back-to-back-to-back, each with their own signature approach, but brothers in blues enough to make for a perfectly cohesive evening for blues lovers.
Anders Osborne opened the night in a spectacular way, making his guitar sing with driving rock that relaxed every once in a while into some killer jams. Osborne had the confidence to take his time with his guitar solos and extended jam-outs, and the Harvest crowd was hanging off his every note.
Catch Anders and his band in action tonight when he takes the Blues Tent stage again, opening for The Sheepdogs.
The Record Company were up next, making their fourth appearance at Harvest, co-headlining the evening with Harvest newcomers, The Magpie Salute.
The love shared between the Harvest audience and the band – feeding off one another and continuously growing to new energy levels throughout the set, culminating in a rip-roaring rendition of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” to close the set – proved once again why The Record Company have had a meteoric rise from a new Harvest discovery to one of the festival’s favourite acts since their 2012 debut.
A few songs into the set, The Record Company’s lead singer and guitarist Chris Vos took a moment to address the packed Blues Tent crowd with a heartfelt message.
“This was the first major festival in the world to ever book this band,” he said. “And to come from there to here is really a hell of a thing. I want to say thank you to all of you for coming out all the years we’ve come here.”
Closing the evening was The Magpie Salute, Rich Robinson’s newest outfit with fellow former Black Crowes band members Marc Ford and Sven Pipien, playing another satisfying set of southern blues-steeped jam rock.
With Robinson’s distinctive guitar licks, extended jam breaks, and a few Black Crowes covers sprinkled into the set list, it was a show that paid homage to their Black Crowes roots, while also showcasing new Magpie Salute tunes that are every bit as good as the classics.
Last night marked one of the strongest Wednesday’s Harvest has seen, with a magical combination of the powerhouse line up, enthusiastic Harvest audience, and raw energy that filled the tent to the rafters.