Listening to music + happy place = creativity

This week I had the great fortune to spend a few days (and nights) at the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa. Unlike its name, Bluesfest doesn't have much to do with the blues, but everything to do with showcasing great Canadian and international music. I saw some iconic bands perform and learned about some new ones along the way. But above all, seeing those musicians up there, pounding it out on the guitar and singing their hearts out, really inspired me to get off my butt and get back to creative writing.

So in the spirit of Bluesfest and in celebration of great music, here are some amazing bands I saw this week that are sure to inspire your next writing project!

Tegan and Sara

Lovely, happy people. It's hard to believe Tegan and Sara have been performing together since their first demo tapes in 1997. They've certainly perfected how to write emotional and thoughtful songs about love and life that will put you in your happy place when you listen to their sweet harmonies. Canada's best duo, by far. 

Photo by Lindsey Byrnes from

Lady Gaga

What can I say -- she loves her art and her fans, which makes her show simply irresistible. A mere 27,000 people attended her outdoor concert to get a boost from the Queen of Performance herself. It's a spectacle that everyone should experience at least once. 

Violent Femmes

Don't let their laid-back stage presence fool you -- these guys will rock your socks off. Seeing Violent Femmes live was like being at a high school party all over again. I sang along to every song -- something I haven't done in 20 years -- a complete amazement to me that all those words were still stored in my brain after all this time. There's just something about those lyrics...

Vintage Trouble

A sweet surprise to discover amongst all the other Bluesfest talent, the guys of Vintage Trouble are superstars. Who doesn't like a well-dressed man in a suit, sliding across the stage, singing about his "Pelvis Pusher." 

Vintage Trouble photos by Peter McCabe & Lee Cherry, interview with

Blake Shelton

He's just as funny and wacky as when he's on The Voice. If you get to see Blake Shelton live, he's truly entertaining and his songs are fun and easy to sing along to. 

Lady Antebellum

Beautiful people, beautiful songs and lyrics, this country band will inspire you through and through. Surprisingly, they also have an impressive stage show of lights and video to completely capture your attention. 

Adventure Club

These guys lit up the night with their strobe lights, hard-rocking beats and raucous crowd talk. Adventure Club is Montreal dub-step duo, Christian Srigley and Leighton James. Here's a free download to their remix song Max Elto - Shadow of the Sun (Adventure Club Remix).


Listening to music + happy place = creativity :)


Stacey D. Atkinson is a freelance editor and author of Stuck, a novel she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing.  

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