Published Aug 10, 2012The entire weekend of SappyFest 7 was unusually sweltering for the small town of Sackville. This was felt most at the Vogue, the small, local movie theatre that served as a tightly packed venue on Sunday afternoon. With no air circulation, the dull heat washed over audience members as if they were in a furnace (Julie Doiron optimistically likened it to a sweat lodge during her performance). When 71-year-old Michael Hurley took the stage, it felt like a refreshing, cool breeze.
Bathed in blue light, the Oregon blues-folk tunesmith sang calmly into his microphone, his eyes glinting behind his glasses. Hurley's white hair blew behind him thanks to two vital fans brought in especially for the slender septuagenarian. He masterfully fingerpicked his way through his set, in which he sang of "Cars, Jars and Guitars" (as well as "blues, booze and bitches"). Hurley played some of his more tender numbers too, such as the Cat Power-covered "Sweedeedee." It was a quietly poignant show that felt very special.