Harvest has done it once again

Harvest Jazz & Blues is undoubtedly the best way a city can say goodbye to summer.

For a few short days, Fredericton became the city that never sleeps. Every street corner greeted old friends, patios were packed with fleece-clad patrons, shops stayed open late into the night and from each end of the city music could be heard.

With improved stages, more free shows all week long, the House of Brews organized by Vault 29 and Picaroons, and three unreal student-priced shows in the Barracks tent, it’s clear that Harvest has hit its stride and there’s no slowing it down.

So if it wasn’t the Moose Light tent that stole your heart with the almost heart-wrenching sounds of Matt Andersen and the Mellotones, Gord Downie’s slick dance moves (and white cowboy hat), or maybe Ross Neilsen and Chris Kirby singing Neil Young in the Hoodoo House then there’s no doubt the endless free stages, flawlessly-organized street performances, pop-up art shows and seemingly-endless amounts of mini doughnuts were more than enough to make your Harvest enjoyable.

What really stood out weren’t necessarily the sold-out main stages, but the smaller bands who came from all over Atlantic Canada to play the bars and streets.

The Capital Complex played host to several bands worth mentioning: Murder Murder from Sudbury Ont., Mike Trask & The Precious Memories from Halifax N.S., Nuages from Fredericton, Sissy & The Hobos from Fredericton and Earthbound Trio from Saint John (this year’s Galaxie Rising Star winners).  The Snooty Fox was also packed all week for bands like the BackYard Devils and Pretty Archie.

Buskers lined Queen Street from the moment it closed Saturday afternoon making it almost impossible to get away from the sounds of Harvest.

As Wood Brothers front man Oliver Wood declared Wednesday night during the middle of their set, “This is for music lovers, not music likers.”