To refrigerate Sackville’s blistering back-to-school heat, local bar Thunder and Lightning (T&L) offered a refreshing three-band set on Friday, Sept. 8. Local artists Steve Haley and Devarrow opened with lustrous sounds that came directly from the heart of the Sackville marsh. The third and final act was Vancouver-based artist David Simard.
Haley took to the stage with a soft confidence that reminded the crowd exactly why Sackville is a home to so many of us. His effortlessly high tunes, in sync with the bowling alley’s slowly rotating disco ball, offered the modest crowd’s tired legs a night of idle peace.
Haley’s earnest songwriting was filled with elements from favourite Sackville spots. He filled pauses between songs with quick stories, leaving everyone with bellies warmed by gratifying music and beer.
At the end of Haley’s short setlist, the crowd was eager to replenish empty pints as Devarrow set up for the second slot. Sackville was one of his stops on a “back-East” tour.
In front of enamoured T&L regulars checking Friday night’s Tinder prospects, Graham Ereaux – under the stage name Devarrow – took to the stage, guitar and harmonica in hand.
Devarrow charmed with sincere stories about past adventures and his coined expression, “long-haired folk.” He played a mix of old and new music, including songs from his sophomore album, “The Great Escape.” These songs stirred the embers of T&L into a comfortable campfire glow.
Simard and his band filled the final slot of the night. Accompanied by a French horn, keyboard, and cello, Simard’s rich croon carried listeners to a cosy place somewhere between the feelings of twangy campground storytelling and a dimly lit street.
He then roused the crowd with more playful music, which varied from dark, moody hauntings to environmental country songs. The band’s dynamics teemed with silken bursts reminiscent of old Parisian streets.
Simard’s show was part of his cross-Canada tour to promote the release of “The Heavy Wait.”
The blend of sound created by all three acts left showgoers with the same feeling you get holding a pack of cigarettes and listening to your dad’s old folk cassettes, swearing to your best friend that “those must have been the days.