By: Adrian J. Miller June 19th, 2013
Inlet Sound was set to play just after eight o’clock.
By then the rain had almost stopped, but those coming into Cameron House were damp and chilled. “Don’t worry,” assures the singer, “we’ll try to make it warm in here.”
Typically a five-piece band – Michael Wexler (vocals), Sean Hardy (pianos/keys) and Steven Gore (fiddle/mandolin) were without their rhythm members and played a revised acoustic set for the first time in a year.
Beginning with “Thanks Sally” their wholesome, modern-folk sound is as authentic as it is infectious. You’re hooked from the start. Gore’s fiddle weaves through Wexler’s pounding acoustics and Hardy was on an upright piano in the back for added flavour.
Cameron House provided the perfect space. A second stage through a curtain to a back room, where the walls are covered with artificial lily vines and flowers that are up and entwined across the lighting grid above. With their songs like “Canadian National” and “Amber” evoking a feeling of anticipation and summer bliss – it felt like a personal performance in a neighbour’s garden.
It is unfortunate they played so early in the evening and in such a tucked away venue.
The audience grew steadily and felt the emotion displayed by Wexler as he bounced in his chair, eyes closed – belting their heartfelt tunes. Flanked on either side by his band mates in matching plaid, who displayed an equally inspiring conviction.
Perhaps they did feel a little restrained sitting down.
Towards the end, their cover of Windersleep’s “Weighty Ghost” included the classic participation of the audience. And during their closing numbers, you’d be convinced that the group would fit well along side big radio acts to which it’s easy to draw comparisons with their sound.
You’ll hear the Lumineers, recognize a Barenaked Ladies’ melody – but you are listening to Inlet Sound.