Bio & Press

About Cara...

Juno award winning singer-songwriter-musician Cara Luft is that rare artist steeped in folk and traditional roots music almost from birth, yet willing to alter the fabric, stretch the boundaries and fearlessly bend genres and styles.  A founding member of Canadian folk super-group The Wailin' Jennys and the brainchild behind  Winnipeg's acclaimed powerhouse duo The Small Glories, Luft deserves her solid reputation as one of Canada’s finest live performers, armed with amazing tenacity, vision, energy and a contagious hilarity. To quote the roots magazine No Depression, “Luft has a rich tradition in folk music – it’s safe to assume that she knows her stuff – and upon listening it becomes quite clear that she is indeed a formidable songwriter and performer... [The] lovely Ms. Luft sets the bar for the talented few who’ll follow in her footsteps.”  

Cara has a spirit that drives her to connect with people, and for this she is loved everywhere she goes. Reviewers of her live shows talk about her compelling vocals, superb musicianship, humorous anecdotes, accomplished songwriting, ability to switch between styles and the charm of her stage presence. Cara’s the real deal, there’s nothing pretentious about her. And that sense of honesty, integrity, personality and spontaneity permeates both her music and her live shows. “Long may she reign!” (Lonesome Highway)

What People Say

“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…”

“Luft is the perfect blend of lightness and gutsy rock chick.”

“Winnipeg singer and musician Cara Luft has come a long way since her days as a Wailin’ Jennys stalwart - and from her more recent work as one half of the iconic power-duo Small Glories. But it is as a multi-tasking single artist with diverse musical benefits and a grab bag of fun friends where Luft really delivers the goods. Personable. Excellent vocalist. And Superb band-leader. Need we say more?”

We are still glowing from Cara Luft's recent 50 for 50 concert at the Mary Winspear Centre here in Sidney, BC!  Cara surrounded herself with a varied cast of brilliant performers and proceeded to create highlight after highlight with her instrumental prowess, powerful yet subtle vocal deliveries and the kind of songwriting that really hit home with our steeped, folk listening audience. Definitely a highlight of our season!"

“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.” 

"[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.”

“Luft is really the personification of what folk music should be, a blend of musical artistry, storytelling, and just plain fun. Our audience lapped it up and revelled in the joy of the evening. Cara proved once again she has the best laugh in Canadian music.”

“Luft is a Wailin’ Jennys alum whose work on the clawhammer banjo is to die for…”

“… you can’t help but be drawn in by Luft’s soulful vocals and the instrumentation that is quietly powerful.” 

“Consummate musician and engaging raconteur, Luft is the ultimate travelling minstrel. Packing an emotional punch as she sang songs delivered straight from the heart, Cara easily connected with her audience... All of this was served on a bed of superb musicianship: a backdrop of brilliant guitar playing and many delightful moments of simply wonderful banjo playing.”

“...the strongest and most interesting release that Luft has put out yet, either as a member of the Wailin’ Jenny’s or as a solo performer… [Darlingford] showcases the myriad aspects of Luft’s musical personality, be it spiritual singer-songwriter, the folk rock guitarist or the traditional (and neo-trad) folkie… a powerful, uplifting album...”

“Cara Luft is FANTASTIC! You would be foolish not to snap her up!”

“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.”

"Cara's record [The Light Fantastic] is great, real, and heartfelt - as she is. No fluff or extra notes - just the good stuff!"  

“The intimate yet understated feel of [Darlingford] accentuates Cara’s own intense degree of accomplishment... this is an album you need to hear and treasure while seeking out the next opportunity to catch Cara’s incomparable presence in a live setting.”

“When Cara Luft breezes into the room and positions her multi-coloured vibrant self onto centre-stage, you somehow know that you are in safe hands by her presence and grin alone. After a musical trip taking in everything from Alaska to the Blackwater, insistent riffs still jangling in your ears and melodies stuck with you forever, you are a now a part of her world and she a part of yours.”

“Cara Luft [has written] the best album of her career... [Darlingford] is a journey from heart- break to recovery, treading the line between the personal and the universal. The rawness of Luft’s emotional state is plain, but it is framed in terms anyone can understand. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Luft’s talent stretches beyond writing and singing. She is by any measure a fantastic guitar player, and Darlingford is a how-to manual for aspiring folk players.... [it’s] a showcase for Luft’s considerable talent, and one of the best folk records of the year.”

“One third of the founding members of the Wailin’ Jennys, [Cara’s] delivery is too gutsy, her material too close to the bone for the Jennys’ fluffy repertoire... Most impressive are the consistently excellent sonics of Darlingford. The recordings are warm and filled with the resonant isolation and emptiness of old wooden sacred spaces, betrayed only as each last note rings out, decaying into the natural ambiance. Cara’s Darlingford story should generate interest… she sure doesn’t wait to deliver the goods.”

“Darlingford is so much more than anything Luft has done before... she turns a bit of personal tragedy into songwriting gold, exploring themes of love, loss, faith, recovery and choosing a new direction with lyrical aplomb and a near-perfect understanding of musical setting, mood and composition. It is easily one of the finest collections to cross this desk in 2012, and can be nothing less than a Wildy’s World Certified Desert Island Disc. 5 stars"

“Any banjo aficionados out there had best take a few minute and check out The Small Glories’ video for 'Had I Paid.' Watching Cara Luft’s fingers fly on the instrument is certain to convince you it’s time for some serious banjo love in this world…”