REVIEWS!! They keep pouring in… :) 0

What a spectacular tour it was in Europe, albeit a marathon one… Thirty shows and now I’m ready to sleep for a month.  I am honoured that there were several amazing live show reviews, and more incredible album reviews keep pouring in (including a review with NO DEPRESSION, the largest online source for North American roots music!  Whoo hoo!).  I also received a beautiful post on the site from a new Superfan in Wales which made my heart swell.  Here are a few snippets from the reviews…  Just have to share the love with you all  🙂

“Cara Luft knocks my socks off with her latest album Darlingford.  [The disc] marks [Cara’s] third release as a solo artist, and finds the lovely Ms. Luft continuing to hit her stride and setting the bar for the talented few who’ll follow in her footsteps… upon listening it becomes quite clear that she is indeed a formidable songwriter and performer. Her amiable vocals and simplistic, lush instrumentation follow that of the long honored folk tradition with a modern twist.  Lyrically Ms. Luft is like fresh linen on a Brooklyn clothesline.  Her writing strikes me as 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.  I, for one, am glad I’ve been reintroduced to her music and I offer Cara congratulations on what I feel to be her best recorded work to date.” – Mathew DeRiso 

“The erstwhile Wailin’ Jenny and Juno Award winning songwriter Cara Luft is back with her best album yet; Darlingford is a powerful, personal statement and a triumph built on tragedy. Luft is unquestionably wearing her heart on her sleeve and the current biography makes it clear that the record follows the breakdown of her most personal long term relationship. Some of the songs deal unflinchingly with the fallout of that, but it also seems to have awoken a wider sense of conflict for Cara and there is a battle for the soul taking place as good and evil wage war. With all of this comes the obvious wish for succour, healing and ultimately redemption. There are flashes too of an indomitable spirit and surges of optimism, Cara is bowed but not crushed and broken. In the final act she even seems to have got her sense of humour back. The record has a big, bold sound and that in part is down to an impressive guest list of 20 musicians who have added their talents to Cara’s multi instrumental skills and powerful voice.  This is a real life laid bare in all of its richness and complexity. It’s also great, art, a memorable record packed full of great songs, an album to share in and one to treasure.” – Simon Holland

“… what an excellent piece of work [Darlingford] is. Generically [it] sits very firmly in the ‘folk’ music racks, but contains variations on this style that stretch the boundaries to their outer extremes… [It] is very much [an album] full of darkness but with glimmers of light and a natural sense of drama in every song…  [Luft] has a hugely appealing attitude and openness over any situation that may arise, allowing her to put thoughts about events into words no matter what upset she has suffered, and all done with an appealing honesty that few other songwriters can match. Cara’s excellent production always ensures the lyrics have enough space to make their impact.  And ‘impact’ is exactly the impression that most of these songs make on the listener, with an overriding darkness to many of the lyrics but with several songs having a realism and more than just a glimmer of light that ensures that whilst the depths may have been plumbed, the way forward is now clear and optimism is starting to arrive. [Darlingford] contains a power and honesty that very few can match… Terrific album!”

LIVE SHOW REVIEW – Porthcawl, Wales June 2013
“Listening to Cara Luft in concert at the Pavilion in Porthcawl took me back to some of the most cherished moments of my childhood; like dancing round the living room to Simon and Garfunkel, family holidays, warm cosy evenings with home-cooked meals and bedtime stories…  It’s the pathos in her voice and the warmth and charm of her stage presence that draws a person in.  The chemistry between Luft and Poley is a delight to watch; there’s a soft deference in his voice and a wit and charm between them that’s infectious.  I hadn’t heard anything as pure since watching Tift Merritt on Jools Holland and yet even Merritt, or the likes of Caitlin Rose, cannot engender the pathos that Luft does; the honesty of a hardworking musician is palpable.  I hope the burnout doesn’t last this time and you come back to Wales soon.”

LIVE SHOW REVIEW for LONESOME HIGHWAY – Whelan’s, Dublin (Ireland) June 2013
“Blessed with amazing musicianship, this is the first time that Cara Luft has played in Dublin and her enthusiasm is energizing as she plays an impressive set across a diverse range of songs. With a confident onstage presence, Cara regales the audience with stories of her right wing aunt in Idaho, her bust up with American Customs and her song-writing collaborations with co- writer, Lewis Melville, by e mail. There is plenty of fun and laughter when she breaks a string mid song and continues singing, while attempting to change the broken string, all with hilarious consequences and a sound engineer who saves the day (you had to be there.)!! A founder member of the much-feted Wailin’ Jennys, Cara has released three wonderful solo recordings that would grace any discerning music collectors armoury. Her skill on guitar and banjo is of the highest quality and with an ability to switch between traditional arrangements, English Folk songs and country tinged tales of love and loss, [she] shows an impressive musicality and deep knowledge of tradition. Luft has a great gift in taking the personal and turning it into a universal feeling and message that reaches out to all who listen. Long may she reign.”

LIVE SHOW REVIEW for THREE CHORDS & THE TRUTH UK – Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham (UK) June 2013
“There are certain moments attending gigs when all the ingredients are blending so well that you wish the whole experience could be bottled and savoured for future consumption. In what was certainly one of the highlights so far of this busy year, Cara Luft managed to create such a moment with her subliminal mix of high quality musicianship, enchanting stories, well crafted songs and engaging personality. When you throw into the pot the enhancing input from musical sidekick Scott Poley and the magical atmosphere of a near full Kitchen Garden Café, the desire to seek ways to capture the atmosphere intensifies. Those present will always have the memory while others hopefully can visualise and perhaps experience for themselves one of Cara’s UK shows, which are likely to proliferate in the future.  With a pedigree background from a family steeped in folk music back home in Canada, Cara has managed to evolve a sound that pays respect to the traditional song from both sides of the Atlantic. However as well as connecting with folk fans, the contemporary twist from her song writing expertise as well as banjo and guitar playing reaches out to the wider Americana fan base and you can’t go wrong with the subtle Dobro playing which Scott adds to equation. For nearly two hours, spread across a pair of sets, this value for money evening met and surpassed expectations…”

LIVE SHOW REVIEW for FATEA MAGAZINE – The Atkinson, Southport (UK) June 2013
“If you have not seen Cara play live before, you have missed a treat because, as well as being a superb lyricist, singer and musician, she really engages with the audience in a warm and personal way. Her humorous introductions to her songs are legendary and are almost as popular as the songs themselves.  Cara and [sideman] Scott Poley blew the audience away with a dazzling rendition of one of Cara’s best-known songs, “Come All You Sailors”… The audience were suitably moved and demanded more. It was great to have Cara back in Southport!” – Peter Cowley