The Small Glories will be performing live for the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Prestige Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre. (Marc J Chalifoux Photography)

The Small Glories will be performing live for the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Prestige Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre. (Marc J Chalifoux Photography)

Small Glories grace former Vernon roost

Band grows from small beginnings to big glory

Paul Tessier

Special to The Morning Star

Some times, things just work out.

That’s what happened when Cara Luft and JD Edwards were paired somewhat randomly to do a few songs together. The pairing was magic and Small Glories were formed from that experience.

The Small Glories will be performing live for the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Prestige Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre. Tickets to the show are $30 ($25 for members) at ticketseller.ca or call 250-549-7469.

See: Vernon Folk Roots Society gears up for fifth season

Luft, who lived in Vernon for a few years in the ’90s, remembers how the seemingly unlikely pairing with JD Edwards came to be.

“JD and I were partnered together back in 2012 for the 25th Anniversary of the West End Cultural Centre here in Winnipeg. The idea was to invite as many Winnipeg or Manitoba-based artists to return to the venue for this one big 25th Anniversary show,” Luft explains. “But instead of everybody doing two songs on their own, the artistic director decided to partner people up who didn’t sing together or who were even from different genres. It was very interesting and somewhat daunting. Then to make it even more challenging, we were asked to sing songs written by other Manitoba artists.”

“It was a huge creative challenge,” she adds . “So JD and I hung out together for a week and got to know each other. We started rehearsing a couple of songs. When we performed together at the concert, out of all the collaborations that night, our’s felt the most natural.”

“We had the opportunity to play again together a year and a half later- ended up going on the road and forming the Small Glories – it’s been an amazing journey.”

Since their last appearance in Vernon, The Small Glories have been busy folks. They’ve been to several countries in Europe, including England where she was presented with three birthday cakes at one of her shows.

“It was amazing. Three different people came to show with birthday cakes- all homemade. During the break, they cut and served them to the whole audience- and one cake was even in the shape of a banjo,” she says with a laugh. “It was such a sweet gesture.”

They toured Australia last year as well.

“We were there for six weeks,” Luft says. “We did three major festivals and a traveling festival called the ‘Festival Of Small Halls’ which took us to more remote communities all around Tazmania and New South Wales. A lot of them were multi-generational shows where the whole family- seniors and kids would be dancing. It seemed like the Australians would all just get up and dance. It was awesome to see people express their joy physically.”

See: Roots artist Cara Luft returns to her former roost

In between touring, the Small Glories found time to land a record deal.

“We’ve signed with a record label out of Nashville called Compass Records,” Luft says.” I’d say our new album coming out celebrates a lot of Canada. We have songs written about different parts of Canada and different communities. All the songs on the album were co-written with different artists we’ve worked with for the past year and half.”

Luft feels there is a different theme to the new album which will be titled, Assinonoine and The Red.

“Whereas our previous debut album- The Wondrous Traveler had the theme of going home, this new album is more about other people’s homes and going to other communities and sharing stories from those communities.”

Luft is looking forward to doing some songs from the upcoming album and to sharing a night a music and stories – especially live on stage with JD Edwards.

“I think the cool thing about the two of us performing live is that we have a lot of fun together,” Luft explains. “We have a really good rapport with each other and with the audience. There’s a lot of good-natured banter between songs which the audiences really seem to enjoy.”

At times, the on stage banter can very much add to the show.

“We had a gentleman come up to us after the show a couple of weeks ago,” Luft says. “He said, ‘I get such a kick out of your banter, I wait ’till you start singing to go the men’s room because I don’t want to miss the laughs.'”

Luft laughs wholeheartedely at the comment.

“Oh yes, there’s something about laughing and singing- they’re both releases of energy. There’s a shift that happens with in us and we feel it too when we’re on stage. I feel like it’s a win-win situation for everybody in the room.”

“We pride ourselves in having a well-rounded show,” Luft adds. “We want people to come out-set aside their problems for a bit and share in a winderful evening of stories, laughter and singing. and maybe even some dancing!”


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