Cara Luft continues to be one of the most innovative artists on the Canadian music roots scene. Since first making a mark some years ago as a member of the Wailin Jennys, she has carved out a successful solo career alongside some crafted collaborations. Among several visits to the city of Birmingham over the years, Cara appeared with Brandy Zdan and Awna Teixeira in the momentarily branded ABC of Canadian Music. Just under eighteen months ago, she introduced a new musical partner in JD Edwards during a Kitchen Garden Café visit and now the partnership has been anointed in the guise of a recording and performing duo billed as The Small Glories. In the slipstream of a Celtic Connections appointment, Cara and JD slotted in another Birmingham visit with many old friends heading to the Kitchen to give them the usual warm welcome.
Across the two sets allotted to them, The Small Glories gave a decent representation of the past, present and future. Of course the past pre-dated the pair’s union, but JD easily slipped into support mode to help Cara deliver ‘No Friend of Mine’ and ‘Bring ‘Em All In’ from two of her previous records. The duo also collaborated expertly on the traditional tune ‘Black Water Side’, another from Cara’s THE LIGHT FANTASTIC album and an individual take on the Bert Jansch/Jimmy Page inspired version. Two other covers that were introduced as The Small Glories interpretations were Woody Guthrie’s ‘Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key’ and Dirk Powell’s ‘Water Bound’. The latter had the usual unplugged/off mic treatment to end a Kitchen Garden Café show, while prior to the former, JD reminisced about his own grandfather’s life in Oklahoma.