Local folkies team up to release debut album
BRITTANY HOBSON, ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR
The first time Cara Luft and JD Edwards performed together was at an anniversary concert at the West End Cultural Centre. Three years later, the two singer-songwriters are playing the same stage — this time in harmony.
The duo has teamed up to form The Small Glories. They just released their first album together called Wondrous Traveler.
“We’ve been sitting on it for a while and it’s nice to finally put it out there,” said Edwards.
Even though the two met in 2012, it took them nearly two years to start recording together and another two years to finish the album. This was in part due to their solo schedules.
Luft is one of the co-founders of local folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys and has had a successful solo career. Her last album, Darlingford, was released in 2012. Edwards is the man behind — or in front of — local folk rock group The JD Edwards Band. When the two performed together for the first time, it was a match made in musical heaven.
“Our vocals worked extremely well together and we enjoyed each other’s company,” said Luft. “And I thought ‘oh maybe down the road we could do something.’”
“Down the road” came in 2014 when Luft asked Edwards to join her on tour. They started recording a few months later. The duo enlisted the help of producer and former singer for Canadian rock group 54-40, Neil Osborne.
“He’s a bit of a rock star. Not a bit — he is,” said Luft.
Edwards said he was intimidated by the former rocker.
“It was obvious he was a rock star and we were folkies. It was an interesting time,” said Edwards. “It was the right choice. He was a good Gandolf.”
For Luft, the experience was less intimidating because she had already worked with Osborne on past projects.
“[I] knew that he was the kind of guy who would really try to get us to give our best performances and to really tighten up the songs,” said Luft.
Wondrous Traveler features 10 tracks including the very first song the duo sang together — “1000 Stars” by singer-songwriter Greg McPherson. As well as, “Had I Paid” a song Edwards originally played with his band.
“That’s a song that he would sing with his band, so it was a completely different vibe with the rock band than with the two of us,” said Luft.
The band will play their first Winnipeg show as The Small Glories on Feb. 27. Both Luft and Edwards say the more they play together the more the audience can expect a powerful stage presence.
“Sometimes we’re quiet, sometimes we’re loud,” said Edwards.
Luft adds, “Sometimes we’re comedians and sometimes we’re very serious.”