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The Small Glories
November 16, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PST$24
Folk powerhouse pair The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a dynamic duo planted on the Canadian prairies. They are a study in contrasts; Cara, all earth mother on her 21-speed bike, environmentally friendly and wholesome, ebullient and engaging; and burly JD, in scruffy beard, ball cap, t-shirt and jean jacket, slightly intimidating (until you meet him). At first glance few would peg them for a highly creative musical partnership. Yet these two veteran singer/songwriters have teamed up and are building a buzz around their tight harmonies, authenticity and visceral performances.
Luft is a Juno Award winner and co-founder of the folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys. She has earned her rep as a gutsy live performer and insightfully honest songwriter, with serious skills on the guitar and clawhammer banjo. No Depression calls her songwriting “redemptive, earthy and rooted in realism” and the Globe and Mail says she “sings like an angel named Joni or Alanis…” Edwards is a riveting live performer and prolific songwriter, a soulful singer blessed with one of the most versatile and powerful voices in Canada. Both are musical road warriors who have racked up many miles on both sides of the Atlantic.
“JD put his stamp on my songs and I put my stamp on his,” says Cara. “Then there are traditionals and covers that we melded together.” As for JD, “Cara brings a lot of great arranging to my music and more spirituality, along with a lot more of a folk influence. I think she also brings a lot of love to my music. It’s always important for artists to put themselves in awkward positions to challenge themselves, to explore themselves. That’s where the real art comes from, from figuring out how to come out of those situations, pushing yourself into a different realm of creativity and coming out of it empowered and excited. That’s what we’re doing.”
Make no mistake, The Small Glories is no one-off flash in the pan. “We could easily continue going our own separate ways as artists and be fine,” Cara acknowledges, “but doing this together right now is far better. It’s all about being fulfilled in life and I’m very happy with this combination. It’s truly a partnership of equals. There’s something about the blending of our voices and the music that we make together that’s like nothing else I’ve done, and I want to keep doing it. I’m excited about what the future holds for us as a duo.”
Thrown together purely by accident for an anniversary show at Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre, The Small Glories is a partnership that could almost make you believe in fate. The Winnipeg Free Press asks, “can two singer-songwriters be better than one? Yes, emphatically, yes, if the two in question are Cara Luft and JD Edwards… It’s our loss they didn’t [join forces] sooner… It’s magic.” Together as The Small Glories, Luft and Edwards are a tour de force, a case of 1+1 = 3.
“[Luft’s] amiable vocals and simplistic, lush instrumentation follow that of the long honored folk tradition with a modern twist. Lyrically [she] is like fresh linen on a Brooklyn clothesline. Her writing [is] redemptive, earthy and rooted in realism … Darlingford conjures visions of blooming flowers in an apocalyptic wasteland, gold flaked tumbleweeds on the Trans-Canadian highway at dawn and a glimpse into the fractured and glowing soul of a talented writer and performer.” – No Depression
“Co-founder of the vocal trio The Wailin’ Jennys, The Light Fantastic has a more rock-and-roll bent. But even with a more hard-edged veneer the basic sweetness of Luft’s songs shines through. Original compositions are spiced with Celtic and Anglo/Canadian inflections that harken to her folk roots. If you liked the Jennys’ first two releases, you’ll love this.” – Vintage Guitar Magazine
“Yes, Luft is a Wailin’ Jennys founder but so much more too, head and shoulders above most. Think Julie Miller meets Gillian Welch on a lot of this, with an occasional bit of Linda Thompson tossed in.” – The Province
“It can’t be done, so don’t even try to turn away from the affecting insistence of Canada’s Luft who sings like an angel named Joni or Alanis…” – The Globe & Mail