It’s been five years since award-winning singer/songwriter Cara Luft released her critically acclaimed album, The Light Fantastic, and also appeared in her former hometown.
After plenty of hard work and many months spent on the road touring North America and abroad, the former Vernon resident is back with a new album, and show.
Luft is independently releasing her third solo album entitled Darlingford this month and is touring western Canada, including a concert at Vernon’s The Hub Arts Collective Friday, April 27.
The album is the Calgary-born, Winnipeg-based folk and roots performer’s most intimately personal and fully realized collection of songs to date.
Recorded primarily in the tiny rural southwestern Manitoba community of Darlingford (blink and you’ll miss it), the album shines a bright light on Luft’s skill at turning personal heartbreak into universal themes that resonate with listeners.
“We all need to know that we’re not alone when we experience difficult circumstances in our lives,” she said. “When I sing these songs, audiences connect with them on an intimate level.”
Luft’s last album was recorded following her departure from well-known folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys. At the time, Luft said her reason for departing the Jennys was to focus on her own path.
“The direction (the Jennys) were going was in a way that didn’t go with mine,” she told The Morning Star. “It was a hard decision… It was toy with fame or fortune or follow what I love to do.”
Luft soon bounced back with 2007’s The Light Fantastic, produced by 5440’s Neil Osbourne and featuring Spirit of the West’s multi-instrumentalist Hugh McMillan. The album drew praise from across North America, Europe and the U.K.
Raised by professional folk singing parents in Calgary, Luft grew up with music, playing autoharp and dulcimer in her family’s band and later turning to the guitar.
“It was a very natural thing for me to pursue,” she said.
At age 20, she moved to the Okanagan to take part in a community living program at the Naramata Centre, and after the program was over, she decided to move to Vernon. She spent four years in town and became a familiar face on the local music scene.
Now touring across the country, with frequent visits to the U.K. and Germany, Luft has earned a solid reputation not only as a singer-songwriter, but as a talented acoustic guitar player. Her stage presence is engaging, and her down-home style is wrapped in a delicious sense of humour.
A recent review of Luft’s appearance at The House of Blues in Germany notes, “Cara’s songs are a snapshot of life. In good singer-songwriter style she brings real life situations into her songs but isn’t shy of bringing classics such as Led Zeppelin’s Black Mountain Side into her own funky style. She has no reservations either in music or her own life. During the break she stood in front of the audience and chatted with them as though it was the most natural thing in the world to do.”
Locals will be able to welcome Luft back to Vernon when she plays The Hub, located in downtown Vernon next to the Towne Theatre, Friday at 7:30 p.m. Opening for her will be special guests The Creeks.
For more information and the most up-to-date tour information, visit caraluft.com.