Hear It First: The Small Glories, 'Assiniboine & the Red'

by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword), Folk Alley

It's a wondrous moment in life when a person finds their place in the world, geographically speaking. Finding one's metaphorical/spiritual/emotional place is a whole other adventure, to be sure, but physical locations can certainly help even so, as different places have different energies. Some folks love the ocean, while others crave the mountains. But everyone has a spot that vibrates at just the right frequency and shimmers with just the right light to make it feel like home.

For the Small GloriesCara Luft and JD Edwards — that place is Canada, and that seems to be about as fine a point as they are willing to put on their new album, Assiniboine & the Red, which wanders across provinces and prairies, from coastal towns to inland cities. The album title, itself, makes a mark on the map at the confluence of those two rivers in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the group's hometown.

The set's scene starts with (and in) “Alberta” with its wide open blue skies stealing the heart of the narrator as none before have managed to do. It closes, nine songs later, back in “Winnipeg” with a celebration of all the things that make life in the Gateway to the West so special from boots and toques to treaties and Métis.

In between those tracks, the Small Glories cover a lot of other ground. There's the sorrowful life of seafaring fishermen in “Long Long Moon,” the hopeful promise of mountain lovers in “Oh My Love,” and the survivor's spirit of valley travelers in “Johnson Slide.”

The Small Glories shift gears for a moment mid-way through the song cycle, with “Sing” and “Don't Back Down.” The former is quite clearly a protest song, but there's an easy argument to make that the latter is, as well, seeing as it echoes out a call to action in the face of unwanted change.

No matter their message, the Small Glories build their lovely melodies and harmonies upon a foundation of clawhammer banjo and acoustic guitar with sturdy support from producer Neil Osborne and a raft of great players.

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Assiniboine & the Red will be released 6/28 on Red House Records and is available now for pre-order - HERE


Upcoming Tour Dates

7/6/2019 Long Island Museum - Stony Brook, NY

7/7/2019 Joe's Pub - NYC, NY

7/9/2019 Middlebury Festival on the Green - Middlebury, VT

7/10/2019 Music on the Green - Saranac Lake, NY

7/11/2019 The Music Hall Loft - Portsmouth, NH

7/12/2019 Riverbend Park - Winston, OR

7/13/2019 McCabes Guitar Shop - Santa Monica, CA

7/14/2019 Hound Dog House Concerts - Santa Barbara, CA

7/19/2019 Stewart Park Music Festival - Perth, ON, Canada

7/20 -7/21/2019 Home County Music & Art Festival , London, ON, Canada

7/26 -7/28/2019 Stan Rogers Folk Fest - Canso, NS, Canada

7/31/2019 Summer Concert Series in Caseley Park - Riverview, NB, Canada

8/2/2019 Indian River Festival - Kensington, PEI, Canada

8/3/2019 Blue Skies Music Festival - Clarendon, ON, Canada

8/8 - 8/11/2019 Edmonton Folk Festival - Edmonton, AB, Canada

8/12-8/16/2019 The Song School - Lyons, CO

8/16- 8/17/2019 The Folks Festival - Lyons, CO

8/18/2019 Bear Creek Folk Festival - Grand Prairie, AB

8/24/2019 Thrasher Opera House - Green Lake, WI

8/25/2019 Porcupine Mountains Music Festival - Ontonagon, MI

8/30/2019 Oak Harbor Music Festival - Whidbey Island, WA

9/4 -9/7/2019 Arts Midwest Conference - Minneapolis, MN

9/11 -14/2019 Americana Conference / AmericanaFest- Nashville, TN

More tour dates and details - HERE.

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