Julie Doiron Sappyfest, Sackville NB, August 4

Julie Doiron Sappyfest, Sackville NB, August 4
Photo: Stephen McGill
It's hard to make a non-house show feel like a house show, but Julie Doiron pulled it off with her solo performance at Sackville's Vogue Cinema. Granted, it was pretty close to her own backyard.
Showing up 12 minutes before her scheduled start time and clad in a bathing suit, Doiron was as charming and talkative as ever, and not even her songs could halt her unstoppable banter. Discussions about hygiene, plans to record a new album and pop culture dotted her warm folk tracks, which only served to heighten the intimacy, as if the fact that it was a solo set in a small town's independent movie theatre wasn't enough.
Kicking off with some new songs before playing some older cuts, including plenty of audience requests, the impromptu feeling tightened the warm embrace even more. Whether the tracks were already pretty stripped-down to begin with, like "Nice to Come Home" and "Sweeter," or fuzzy, full-band fare like late-set standout "The Wrong Guy," her ragged songwriting delivered plenty of emotional punches, made all the more powerful when juxtaposed with her lighthearted mood.
As the undisputed queen of Sappyfest, the festival that she co-founded over 13 years ago, Doiron drew out the festival's community ethos to its warmest conclusion, breathing new life into a storied local space, and drawing the community even closer through her folk tunes and affable personality.