Posts tagged ‘nightwatchman’

August 29, 2011

Tom Morello, City and Colour, Steve Earle highlight 2011 Ottawa Folk Festival

Tom Morello at Ottawa Folk Festival 2011

Tom Morello and his Black Spartacus acoustic guitar put on a show at the Ottawa Folk Fest.

OTTAWA — Tom Morello’s presence at the Ottawa Folk Festival was such a curiosity even he seemed to think he had to explain it.

Morello preceded his set on Saturday night beneath the stars at Hog’s Back Park with a few words about how folk music takes many forms including — he wanted us to believe — hard-driving, guitar-bleating rock. He then sent out to prove his point.

Playing under the name The Nightwatchman, the founding member of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave blistered through his first two songs before settling into a few tunes that were actually folksy. His hit “One Man Revolution” was strikingly appropriate for an event that heralds the activist singers known for their political messages.

As always, though, the highlight of Morello’s show was his version of “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” a searing tour de force from one of the world’s most talented guitarists. Morello, who has been playing the Springsteen song since his days with Rage, absolutely assaults his electric six string during the solo. He manhandles the guitar with his teeth, his palms and those gifted fingers of his that make you wonder if the instrument wasn’t created for him to play that song.

Dallas Green at Ottawa Folk Festival

Dallas Green's City and Colour drew a big crowd at the Ottawa Folk Festival.

While still energetic on stage at age 47, Morello has mellowed to where he can laugh and have fun with the audience. He got everyone — even those who seemed to be planted to their lawn chairs for the full weekend — to jump and sing to his encore, a rendition of the title song from his new album “World Wide Rebel Songs.”

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