The Weather Station Lake Stage, Guelph ON, July 25

The Weather Station Lake Stage, Guelph ON, July 25
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
Under the moniker of the Weather Station, Tamara Lindeman crafts beautiful folk songs that harken back to an older time, while still offering up a unique and powerful storytelling voice. And while her gentle folksy croon and melodic guitar work may seem the perfect fit for a rural Ontario folk festival, her set was dampened by an unfortunate dinnertime slot and a restless, talkative crowd.
Nevertheless, Lindeman took the stage with a full band — including Ian Kehoe, Ben Whitely and Geordie Gordon — as well as two impossibly angelic backup singers. The larger lineup filled the stage with nearly spiritual folk sounds, balanced out with pangs of twangy grit, though ultimately the set was a bit too mellow to fully engage the overflowing tent. At one point Lindeman announced: "We're gonna play a slow jam," then immediately called herself out jokingly with, "You guys are like 'It gets slower?'"
And while those delicate, quiet moments are gorgeous on record, the buzz of a busy festival crowd only drowned them out, especially during a could-have-been-highlight solo rendition of "I Mined." Instead, the high point arrived with a dark, bluesy — and comparatively louder — penultimate performance of Loyalty track "Way It Is Way It Could Be." For those paying attention, it was a set well worth hearing.