Relax with some live music at The Rainbow Bistro
- Ottawa Travel Guide
- Thursday, 17 January 2013 07:58
There are a number of places in Ottawa to sit down and enjoy some live music, but not many are like The Rainbow in the ByWard Market neighbourhood. This venue has been around for nearly 30 years, and is still a favourite among music fans and travellers to the city alike. The bar has been coined Ottawa's Legendary Home of the Blues, and it has certainly earned its reputation.
The history of the blues bar dates back to 1984, when a group of former bartenders were discussing the possibility of having a bar with live music and plenty of room to dance. They opted for space above a restaurant in the ByWard Market neighbourhood, and it included an elevated stage, allowing those grabbing a drink at the bar to clearly see who was playing.
Soon after, blues bands from all over the country were travelling to Ottawa to check out this new venue. Bands that were known in blues circles such as Koko Taylor, Son Seals, John Hammond, The Nighthawks, Big Twist and The Mellow Fellows were just a few of many, and the list of bands has continued to grow ever since.
Now, those who stop into the Rainbow will get to hear live music every night of the week, and though the majority of it is blues, bands from a number of other genres play as well. For instance, the venue is hosting Alternative Acoustic Music Madness Night on January 20, when Social Butterfly, Bignac and Melting Pot take the stage. The venue has also been known to welcome R&B, funk, rock, jazz and reggae artists to the stage.
In the summer, this is one of the many places to be during Ottawa's Bluesfest. The festival takes place between July 4 and 14, and it is jam-packed with music and stars from the industry. The Rainbow is certainly somewhere those who travel to Ottawa for this festival want to be. The bar hosts some of the festival's performers. So, those who enjoy some music in The Rainbow will be shocked to see who comes in and starts to jam, as many artists choose to play here so they can jam into the early morning hours.