Festival of Small Halls shake up regional NSW

TOURING: Canadian duo The Small Glories made up of Cara Luft and JD Edwards. The two will join Claire Anne Taylor for the Festival of Small Halls. Photo: supplied.
TOURING: Canadian duo The Small Glories made up of Cara Luft and JD Edwards. The two will join Claire Anne Taylor for the Festival of Small Halls. Photo: supplied.

Canadian folk duo The Small Glories and Australian singer Claire Anne Taylor will headline the Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour for 2018.

The tour celebrates folk and contemporary acoustic artists with a focus on regional cities. 

This year, the international act includes The Small Glories, made up of Cara Luft and JD Edwards as they make their inaugural journey to Goulburn on January 24 at St Saviour’s Hall. 

The two were brought together unexpectedly about five years ago for an anniversary show in Winnipeg. Coupled up for a performance, both Luft and Edwards were soon eager to pursue a musical union. 

“We’ve never heard eachother sing before that time,” Edwards laughed. “The two songs we did went well. No one saw it coming, no one would have put us together.” 

Playing acoustic and showcasing their unique harmony singing, Edwards said the genre of folk music was special. 

“Where we come from folk music talks about where we’re from and our community. The themes and ideas we sing about reflects that,” he said.

“It’s good music, it’s an old music.”

Their debut album ‘Wondrous Traveler’ ranked on top 10 lists in both the US and Europe. 

Edwards described the tour so far as “wonderful” and voiced the two were “really thankful and grateful” to perform in Australia.

“We want to keep coming back to Australia, we think it’s a great place,” he said. 

Bluesfest Buskers competition winner Taylor said the tour, which started last week, connects her to her audiences. 

Playing shows in regional places makes me feel more connected with my audience, and I love the way that there is more opportunity for talking with locals.

Singer Claire Anne Taylor

“If I had to choose, I would play in regional towns rather than big cities, every time,” Taylor said. “Playing shows in regional places makes me feel more connected with my audience, and I love the way that there is more opportunity for talking with locals and getting a feel for the place.This kind of intimacy and connection is rare in big cities.”

The group will travel 3000km of regional NSW over the month.

“’Harmony’ is probably the word that springs to mind when thinking about this tour”, Festival of Small Halls Producer Eleanor Rigden. “The voices, the friendships, the Halls – everything just fits together perfectly,”

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