SOUND SEEKERS: O-town Hoedown highlights, plus more gigs to fill your weekend
Scene & Heard

SOUND SEEKERS: O-town Hoedown highlights, plus more gigs to fill your weekend

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine.

Ol' Savannah performs as part of O-Town Hoedown. Photo by Brian Cote.

The O-Town Hoedown, which started last Friday, continues into the weekend with plenty of opportunities to horse around and soak up urbanized versions of country music.

Spurred on (sorry, couldn’t resist) by a rising tide of alterna-country-craving music followers, organizer Lefty McRighty, now in his fifth year of producing the fest, decided to boldly declare that the O-Town Hoedown would stay niche, promote those bands you’ve never heard of, and avoid the mainstream.

It ensures that he can differentiate his fest from That Other Hoedown and put to the rest that little squabble of yesteryear.

Lefty marked his territory in week one by programming a number of No Depression-style showcases. There was the night at the Elmdale which saw troubadour Trevor Alguire hop about on one leg. Alguire is also a long-time skateboarder — he launched the On Deck shop in 1988. He broke his femur during a board accident three weeks ago.

“I love how just picking up a guitar and singing keeps me going and really takes me away from the pain I am in,” Alguire says. The crowd was feeling for him and they were also feeling a tune called I Suppose, which Alguire will record in October, after he returns from a tour of Germany.

Brock Zeman performs as part of O-town Hoedown. All photos by Brian Cote. Click on the photo for a gallery of images.

Last Saturday’s show at the Rainbow was “a delightfully weird mixture of jazz, bluegrass and foot-stomping country blues, but somehow it worked,” says Lefty, adding, “Ol’ Savannah from Montreal killed it, and made a roomful of new fans.”

The Monday show at the Manx Pub was the debut of The Whiskey Critters, a new group featuring Morgan Friend (Bible All-Stars), Max Cossette (Sick Sick Sicks), Joel Carlson (Jimmy George) and Dave Cooper on drums. It was Cooper’s first live show in 25 years — most people might know him from his other career . (Yes, THAT Dave Cooper).

The Hoedown continues this weekend. Check out the spare folk of The Rough Sea, who are playing an all-ages matinee show with The Kingmakers. Sunday, Oct. 3. 3 p.m., $8. Elmdale Tavern. Another solid choice is jam-packed concert that includes The Sick, Sick, Sicks, Big Tobacco & the Pickers, and King Rattler. Friday, Sept. 30. 9 p.m., $10 play the Elmdale Tavern.

Full schedule at While you’re there, check out this promotional video created by Lefty (government name: Greg Harris). It’s about a minute long and has some naughty bits. Enjoy and share with the tag #NSFW.

Industrial and goth music didn’t die an angsty death in the 1990s — the genres are kept alive at the ground-level by fans seduced by the technicality of the tunes. Here in cap city, it’s the Ottawa Goth Syndicate that keeps Front 242, KMFDM, and Ministry in regular rotation.

The OGS is also hosting its version of the church bonanza. The theme is Grand Bazaar and attendees are encouraged to dress up. (Remember, “Everyday is Halloween”). DJs Alice, Lotus, and Reverie are spinning; there will be goth and roller derby clothes for sale, steampunk fashion vendors, belly dancers Shamanatrix and Zamira, and a mind reader.

Visions and Voices: The Dark Bazaar. Saturday, Oct. 1. 7 p.m. Tickets $12 adv. (; $15 at the door.Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave.

Montrealer Josh Dolgin, who can trace his dopeness right back to his Chelsea, Que., rearing, returns to the area this weekend  when he plays an afternoon gig. If you haven’t heard of this chatty, intertextual rapper here’s a briefing. Sunday, Oct. 2. 4 p.m. Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield.

Sloan plays Maverick’s Tuesday (8 p.m., $25 adv.) and the Dayglo Abortions are at Café Dekcuf Wednesday (7 p.m., $15).