Originating from the Algonquin reservation of Kitigan Zibi, QC, now based in Ottawa, ON, Lyle Odjick went from living in a small town with very little exposure to blues or live music to teaching himself harmonica and starting his own blues band.
After playing one gig with a borrowed house band, he knew he needed to scout out some local blues musicians on the Ottawa scene to form his own blues band. Less thana month later “The Northern Steam” was formed and became a solid foundation for his Chicago blues harmonica driven sound. What began as a blues cover band with a fat swinging rhythm section and a harmonica wielding front man has evolved into a high energy blues-rock band with their own foot stomping sound. With A burning desire to play on stage, Odjick went from strumming in a small town to opening for heavy hitting acts such as Colin James, Randy Bachman, Monkey junk, Paul Reddick and more.
A few recent festival appearances include RBC Ottawa Bluesfest (x2), Calabogie Blues &Ribfest (x2), Mont Tremblant International Bluesfest, Juno fest and Ottawa’s Westfest. . Whether they’re showcasing their original blues-rock material or performing a modern take on a blues classic by Muddy Waters, Lyle Odjick & The Northern Steam never cease to turn heads at every venue they play.
I have had the privilege of seeing Lyle and his band Northern Steam on many occasions going back to when they were hosting open blues jams at the Rainbow. At the time I remember being impressed with his guitar player Ben Griggs. Since I am also a blues guitarist it was the first natural thing for me to pay attention to, but as time went on it seemed like Lyle was constantly improving, and just like a steam train nothing was going to stop him. I also never saw him play guitar back then which is why its super impressive that he can play so well today.
One of my favorite things is to be able to look back and see how an artist has grown over time. Its very rare since you must be exposed to them in the beginning to really understand how hard they worked to get where they are. Lyle seemed like he was taking any opportunity to get on stage and its no surprise that his band Northern Steam has a charting blues album today because of all that hard work.
Check out how to support Lyle and Northern Steam by purchasing their new album or by attending a live show here: https://lyleodjick.ca/
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