The early bird gets the worm, but it was the early crowd that filled the tables at the Old Rock House long before the first strum of guitar on Thursday. On stage, the congestion of the floor was matched by the clutter of the eight-piece Mingo Fishtrap, set to open the show. The Austin-based band broke the ice with comforting instrumental introduction, but by the time they dropped the first groove, the floor space had already disappeared from sight.
I slipped into the Gramophone shortly after opener Leif Vollebekk, an acoustic troubadour from Montreal, took to the stage. As the crowd chattered and clinked their glasses, Vollebekk stood alone with a grateful grin on his face, projecting silken, Dylan-esque fingerpicking and vocals toward the Gramophone's bar wall.