The Small Glories
If you’re going to cut Billy Bragg at his own game you’d better know what you’re doing. Musical vagabonds Cara Luft and JD Edwards have long known what’s up, both in their solo jaunts and now in their newest collaborative venture, The Small Glories.
The Bragg track they cover is Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key, from the collection of Woody Guthrie co-writes that Bragg did with Wilco, and they nail it. While Bragg’s version is thoughtful and sly in its boastfulness, The Small Glories up the energy a few notches and go for full, clattering band stomp.
They mix in a sweet cover of fellow Winnipegger Greg MacPherson’s 1,000 Stars with a scattering of Luft and Edwards originals (Luft’s Something to Hold Onto is particularly notable) traditionals (Wondrous Traveler) plus a few co-writes between the two, layering their own banjo, guitar, harmonica among guest bass, piano, accordion and violin turns from a number of friends.
Whether it turns out to be an excellent one-off or the start of even greater musical accomplishments, Wondrous Traveler is well worth your investment.