The Snoring Sasquatch will be hosting a double header, with Cara Luft and Cam Penner playing on April 4.
Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter-guitarist extraordinaire Luft is that rare artist steeped in folk and traditional roots music almost from birth yet willing to alter that fabric and stretch the boundaries, not afraid to bend genres and styles. Her much-anticipated third solo album, Darlingford, is a stunning new collection of songs drawn from her recent life experiences and informed throughout with her indomitably optimistic spirit and impeccable musical instincts.
Recorded primarily in old wooden churches and home studios across the Canadian prairies, the album shines a bright light on Luft’s skill at turning personal heartbreak into universal themes that resonate deeply with listeners. Luft deserves her solid reputation as one of Canada’s finest live performers. Her engaging, down-home style comes wrapped in a warm and delicious sense of humour. A co-founder of folk trio the Wailin’ Jennys, Luft was the spark behind the group.
Her spirit and innate musicianship were instrumental in their rise to the forefront of the North American roots music scene. Since leaving the trio, Luft has wowed audiences and critics across North America and Europe with her solo performances. She’s the real deal, there’s nothing pretentious about her. And that sense of honesty, integrity, personality and spontaneity permeates and resonates throughout both her music and her live shows.
Singing uncompromising songs about redemption and truth, Penner’s is a voice for the disenfranchised, a storyteller for those who never reach their destination. The symphony of sound and lyricism showcase the inevitable evolution of a growing artist. It’s folk, it’s rock n’ roll — it’s Penner breathing fire into every note and lyric.
Look no further than the title track of the new album, To Build a Fire, to understand Cam Penner: “I’ve got to know that you’ll make it through the night, make it through the day, that you’ll make it out alive, that you’ll always have water running down the mountain side, always have shelter, know to build a fire.” This album is a rallying call. It reaches out, boldly and courageously into present-day existence.
His fifth and soon to be released new album finds Penner exploring new textures and bolder sounds. Though more stripped down than 2011’s Gypsy Summer, Penner finds new textures and bolder sounds on his fifth release. The fractured rootsy persona still creeps in but this is not a depressing album. To Build a Fire is full of hope. It’s full of love. It’s electrifying and provoking. It’s full of everything we should be looking for, not only musically, but in life.
The lush beauty of the opening brass track lures you in but leaves you wondering what is to come — then it begins. Ukuleles, guitars, banjos strummed. Floorboards stomped. Kick drums kicked. Feet stumbled. Thighs, knees, hands slapped and clapped. Voices strained and bent. Fingers gripped, grabbed and picked. Arms and hands flung. Body and sound thrown against wood and metal.
The live show is as fragile as it is grand. Like watching a tightrope walker or a trapeze artist at work. The chemistry between Penner and his musical companion Jon Wood is a spontaneous mix of sound and lyrics.
Penner’s last album, Western Canadian Music Award-nominated Gypsy Summer, debuted at number 16 on the folk Billboard charts. It was featured along with a full interview on NPR’s All Music Considered and toured the through both eastern and western Canada, the U.K., Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany and France.
At 18, Penner left small-town life to wander the highways and back roads of North America. A year later, he found himself in Chicago serving mystery soup and stale bread to 250 homeless men a day. Next, a women and children’s shelter, then youth shelters and detox centers. For 13 years, he immersed himself in this subculture absorbing as much raw humanity as he could. When the shift was over he would spend endless cathartic hours writing and playing his guitar, exorcising his emotions through music. After becoming a self-taught expert on homelessness, he decided to become a full time touring artist, meanwhile becoming homeless himself.
For more information, visit caraluft.com or www.campenner.com. Doors to the April 4 show open at 6 p.m.; the show begins at 7. Tickets are $15 in advance at Kingfisher Used Books and Black Bear Books, and $18 at the door.