2019 FESTIVAL ARCHIVE - Return to main > site.


August 23, 24 & 25, 2019 ~ Presented by the Friends of the Porkies

2019 Artists


THE WAR AND TREATY - As The War and Treaty, Michael and Tanya Trotter serve up healing and pain robbing with freewheeling joy on their new full-length album, Healing Tide. Funky bass lines, keys, lap steel, acoustic strings, and stripped-down percussion create a swampy Southern soul bed for the couple’s transcendent vocals. A tour-de-force produced by Buddy Miller, the collection swaggers with confidence only gained by artists who are wholly, proudly, themselves.

Michael is a wounded warrior who found his voice while serving in Iraq, when he was pulled from the frontlines to write songs for the fallen. Tanya is a lifelong artist, drawn to singing’s power to take another’s pain away. “You have to have a deep place of love within yourself to be vulnerable,” Tanya says. “With The War and Treaty, we allow people to see two people that are not perfect. We get on stage. We sweat. We’re overweight. We yell. We get ugly, we scream! My hair comes loose. We’re vulnerable––naked––in front of people, and it’s a chain reaction. It allows them to be vulnerable, too.”

The War and Treaty’s music and stories bring tears and goosebumps, but ultimately, more is at work. “I want people to feel like we care,” Michael says. “When you think about artists, you don’t think about that.” He pauses and grins broadly. “But that’s the way I want the world to feel about The War and Treaty.”

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group.


DUSTBOWL REVIVAL - Over the past few years, The Dustbowl Revival has been making a name for itself with a vibrant mix of vintage Americana sounds. Critics have proclaimed that this eclectic eight-piece “would have sounded utterly at home within the hallowed confines of Preservation Hall in New Orleans' French Quarter” (Los Angeles Times) and their “upbeat, old-school, All-American sonic safaris exemplify everything shows should be: hot, spontaneous, engaging and, best of all, a pleasure to hear” (L.A. Weekly). Rob Sheffield, in Rolling Stone, hailed them as a great band “whose Americana swing was so fun I went back to see them again the next day.”

In 2008, Zach Lupetin and The Dustbowl Revival released their debut album, The Atomic Mushroom Cloud of Love. They followed up in 2010 with You Can’t Go Back to the Garden of Eden, which included "Dan's Jam,” a song that won the Independent Music Awards’ “Americana Song of the Year.” The next year, the band, now known just asThe Dustbowl Revival, put out Holy Ghost EP and their 2013 Carry Me Home CD featured more than 25 Dustbowl Revival-ists. That was also the year the L.A. Weekly crowned them the city’s “Best Live Band.”

The Dustbowl Revival found a bigger audience when Signature Sounds released With a Lampshade On in 2015. The video for “Never Had To Go,” starring band fan Dick Van Dyke, became an Internet sensation. The group went on to open for bands ranging from Lake Street Dive to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, while also appearing at such festivals as Delfest, Floydfest, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and more recently, Norway’s Bergenfest and Tonderfest in Denmark.


CONGA SE MENNE - Finnish Reggae - Holy Wah!

Reggae meets Finland, eh? Take a multicultural vacation with Conga Se Menne. Formed in 1994 by Derrell Syria, Conga Se Menne takes Syria’s original compositions and songs, arranges them utilizing elements of both Finnish traditional music and Jamaican reggae, adds in comedy lyrics about “Yoopers” and other facets of U.P. life, and performs them on guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion instruments (and occasionally horns). Whew. So how did they get to this admittedly zany mix of musical styles? “I am 100 percent Finnish - second generation American - and I’m influenced by many different genres of music,” Derrell Syria explains. “Our aim when Conga Se Menne was founded was to perform my tunes in a reggae-slash-traditional Finnish style. The name of the band is a play on words taken from the Finnish phrase ‘kuinka se mene,’ meaning ‘how are you doing?’” Syria says that the band started out as a three-piece, but today has evolved into a “floating cast” of musicians, ranging from two to seven, depending on the gig and venue. They include Derrell and Ethan Syria, Dave Ziegner, Jerry Kippola, Gary Parkonnen, Paul Neumann and Aaron Kippola. Cliff Porter, Kay Smith and Lorie Hayes occasionally join in the fun.

Living along the chilly shores of Lake Superior has kept this band focused on their music - and the remote location hasn’t kept them from being noticed. Beat Magazine tapped them for one of their “Best Of” lists, and the musicians’ excellent skills often surprise those who arrive expecting to hear nothing more than a novelty act. But these are serious musicians who simply enjoy being... well, quirky. “The Yooper influences were intentional when I wrote my lyrics,” Syria says. “They’re based on the lifestyles of the people who live in the North - not only in the U.P. - so I threw in some subtle humor.” Subtle, perhaps, to the Yoopers who live directly within Syria’s tales of life in the North country. But to those based elsewhere, the songs sing of scenarios only seen in movies. “I write humorous lyrics about taking saunas then jumping into the snow, or drinking a couple of beers and playing a little cribbage,” Syria chuckles. Other Conga Se Menne tunes delve even further into U.P./Finnish culture, relating tales of working in the woods or the mines, trapping and fishing, and even the legend of Heikki Lunta, a mythological Finnish hero of the U.P. who is said to make it snow when he dances.

Things really get wacky when Conga Se Menne puts music to those lyrics; first, being the Finnish influence. “The story lines about the culture and geography in the U.P. are blended with the Finnish Schodisch and Polka,” Syria explains. Then, he says, reggae rhythms and melodies are added in, taking both the band and audience on a musical vacation... to your choice of Finland or Jamaica, depending on which musical elements you choose to focus on. “I’ve always been fond of music from the islands, so I’ve used that tropical musical feeling with help from my band mates,” Syria continues, “most of our material is presented with a calypso/reggae feel, with added percussion breaks and some experimental vocals.” Syria’s unique musical blend is definitely working for Conga Se Menne. They’ve recorded four albums, and are working on their fifth, and are in-demand as performers around the region, throughout the U.S and in parts of Canada.

THE PAPERBOYS - Mexican Son Jarocho mixed in with Irish Jigs and Reels and a good dose of Country and Bluegrass. It has healthy servings of Ska, Soca and African Highlife and we've been known to throw in a little White Boy Reggae. Of course it also has strains of Soul, Pop and Funk although we are by no means a funk band. It is mostly Acoustic although we also like Electric guitars. It is Singer-Songwriter based but not the coffee house variety. It is definitely FOLK music, but not in the Kumbaya style. It has a deep respect and appreciation for tradition (Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Son) but it's by no means Traditional. It Rocks incredibly hard and is extremely danceable, but that is not to say it can't be mellow and slow and beautiful. It can be heart breaking, but also joyous. It is never dark or angst ridden, and always full of hope - but not in the 'Up With People' kind of way. It's not Jazz, although we like Jazz a lot. It's not heavy metal or punk or grunge, although we love Rush and AC/DC. It is World Roots Music. It's POP music. It is GOOD music. It has a tendency to connect people and means a lot to many folks the world over, and for that we are very grateful. It is the only multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-lingual, multi-instrumental, genre bending, co-ed band you will hear today!!


MAY ERLEWINE & THE MOTIVATIONS -May Erlewine, usually known as a tender songwriter from the Americana scene, takes a few dates out of the year to front ‘the Motivations’ and bring you original boogie jams and classic cuts. The shows are all about coming together and celebrating each other, wherever we are at. If you are feeling the weight of the world, these concerts are meant to get you moving your body and feeling connected. Intentionally. The Motivations feature, Phil Barry on guitar and vocals, Joe Hettinga on synth, keys and vocals, Eric Kuhn on guitar and vocals, Max Lockwood on bass and vocals, Mike Lynch on organ and keys, Terrence Massey on trumpet and vocals, and Michael Shimmin on drums, percussion and vocals. Let’s Dance!


CARY MORIN - Described as “one of the best acoustic pickers on the scene today,” Cary Morin brings together the great musical traditions of America and beyond like no other. With deft fingerstyle guitar and vocals that alternately convey melodic elation and gritty world-weariness, Morin crafts an inimitable style often characterized as acoustic Native Americana with qualities of blues, bluegrass, jazz, jam, reggae, and dance.

“Cary Morin is a unique and brilliant guitar player, songwriter and singer”,  says renowned folk musician David Bromberg.

Morin’s sixth release, When I Rise, follows close on the heels of an international tour that spanned the U.S. and reached as far as Italy, France, and Germany.

Crow tribal member and son of an air force officer, Morin was born in Billings, Montana. He spent the bulk of his youth in Great Falls, where he cut his teeth picking guitar standards at neighborhood get-togethers, before relocating to Northern Colorado. There, his musical career hit the ground running with The Atoll, a band he founded in 1989 and that toured nationally, gaining a devoted following. Later, he achieved international acclaim with The Pura Fé Trio, for whom the single “Ole Midlife Crisis,” which Morin wrote and performed with Pura Fé, placed at number 17 on France’s iTunes
blues chart. With The Atoll and The Pura Fé Trio, and as a solo artist, Morin has played celebrated venues across the globe, including Paris Jazz Festival, Winter Park Jazz Festival, Folk Alliance International, River People Festival, Shakori Hill Festival, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and most recently Rochefort En Accords festival in France and The Copenhagen Blues Festival. Cary has won numerous awards for his work, particularly for his 2017 release, Cradle to the Grave, which has received the 2018 Independent Music Awards for Best Blues CD, a 2018 International Songwriting Competition Honorable Mention, a 2018 Native Arts and Cultures Fellowship, a 2017 First Peoples Fund Artist in Business Leadership Fellowship, and the 2017 Indigenous Music Awards for Best Blues CD.


IVY FORD BAND - Ivy Ford, The Chicago Blues Kitten, is a red lipstick wearing guitar slinging entertainer you’ll never forget. She kick started her career opening for the living blues legend Buddy Guy in 2015 and since then has been a staple there at his club  is becoming “the fresh face” of blues and roots music. Ivy Ford released her first original album, “Time to Shine,” in 2018 and it was so well received it was nominated for soul blues album of the year for the 2018 Blues Blast Music Awards; she herself nominated for the “Sean Costello, Rising Star award.” Among their various travels and performances, The Ivy Ford Band took to the top 8 bands in the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN where they performed her newest original work, “Harvesting My Roots.” Releasing the studio recording  in March 2019, Ivy Ford’s single “Harvesting My Roots,” is one of her tools to accomplish the ongoing mission of hopefully bridging the generation gap between Blues/Roots/Americana music and younger generations like herself and those to come; With a delta blues inspired arrangement that has a urban and hip-hop backbone she thinks it is sure to do the trick.

Ivy Ford, The Chicago Blues Kitten, plans on being an encouraging example and icon not just for the blues but to female entertainers and more importantly the generations of audience both young and “seasoned.”


CHARLIE PARR - An easily confused and very shy individual, Charlie Parr has been traveling around singing his songs ever since leaving Austin Minnesota in the 1980's in search of Spider John Koerner, whom he found about 100 miles north at the Viking Bar one Sunday night. The experience changed his life, made him more or less unemployable, and brings us to now: 13 recordings, 250 shows a year or more, 200,000 miles on a well broke in Kia, and a nasty fear of heights.

Fans who have been following Charlie Parr through his previous 13 full-length albums and decades of nonstop touring already know that the Duluth-based songwriter has a way of carving a path straight to the gut. On his newest record, Dog, however, he seems to be digging deeper and hitting those nerves quicker than ever before. It turns out Charlie’s been grappling with quite a bit over these past few years. “I had some really, really bad depression problems over the last couple years,” Charlie explains. “These songs have all kind of come out of that. Especially songs like ‘Salt Water’ and ‘Dog,’ they really came heavily out of just being depressed, and having to say something about it.”

In the album’s quieter moments, Charlie confronts these issues head-on, using only an acoustic guitar or banjo to light the way. But the incredible thing about Dog is that it digs into dark matter and contemplates serious topics like mental illness and mortality while embracing a pulse of persistence and forward motion; throughout the album, more and more musicians seem to be joining in the fray as the tempo builds, keeping the overall vibe upbeat. In the album’s more raucous moments, Charlie turns from contemplating his inner struggles to examining his connection to other living creatures. The album’s title track, “Dog,” and the blistering “Another Dog” were inspired by some of the lessons he’s learned from his own pet, and wondering about the way dogs interact with humans and the outside world.

Despite the album’s darker moments, the listener is left hearing Charlie in a more optimistic and defiant headspace, reflecting on how far he’s come — and how content he is to accept that some things are simply unknowable.


EVAN BARTELS AND THE STONEY LONESOMES - Evan Bartels has continued to learn and collect stories following the release of his 2017 debut album, The Devil, God, & Me. His experiences of touring throughout the United States and becoming a father have enhanced his perspective and widened his lens of the world. The past two years of his life have offered deeper insight and empathy toward the struggles of the human experience, and he clearly expresses this in his poignant and personal songwriting.

Storytelling has always been a fixture in his writing, and Bartels continues to evolve his narratives by digging deeper beneath the surface and clinging to an authentic message. He captures a moment and fleshes it out to its barest, rawest form, thereby creating a piece of art that — regardless of genre or setting — moves the listener. Bartels’s most current work embodies this action and directly reflects his mission to convey truthful narratives.

2019 will see the release of a new five-song EP: Promised Land. Divergent from his previous work, this release marks a transition into a new artistic phase and applies his aforementioned understanding of the world. Promised Land is a collection of songs centered on the art of breaking down one’s belief systems, habits, personality, and rebuilding a new person. This EP launches Bartels onto a new stage. After having music featured on comedian Theo Von’s hit podcast, This Past Weekend, Bartels has found a global audience. Von said of Bartels, “I hear it all in his voice, sometimes people have that special gift and you can hear the whole world in them… there’s a lot of beautiful music out there but that boy’s got something in him. In his voice I can hear it all…I can see the whole timeline of everything. Sometimes that’s the gift of music, a voice and some lyrics come along and put it together for me. He did it.”

Evan Bartels isn’t holding back. With a full tour schedule, the release of his Promised Land EP, and a new full-length LP on the way, 2019 looks to be a promising year. During a time when we’re all looking for something to believe in, Bartels is preaching a much-needed gospel: live a life that doesn’t shy away from difficulty, but rather uses every aspect of the journey, its joys, and sorrows, to grow into the best version of ourselves.


CHICAGO FARMER - The son of a small town farming community, Cody Diekhoff logged plenty of highway and stage time under the name Chicago Farmer before settling in the city in 2003. Profoundly inspired by fellow midwesterner John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. His small town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are turning heads North and South of I-80.

“I love the energy, music, and creativity of Chicago, but at the same time, the roots and hard work of my small town,” he shares. Growing up in Delavan, Illinois, with a population less than 2,000, Diekhoff’s grandparents were farmers, and their values have always provided the baseline of his songs.  He writes music for “the kind of people that come to my shows. Whether in Chicago or Delavan, everyone has a story, and everyone puts in a long day and works hard the same way,” he says. “My generation may have been labeled as slackers, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t work hard - many people I know put in 50-60 hours a week and 12 hour days. That’s what keeps me playing. I don’t like anyone to be left out; my music is for everyone in big and very small towns.”

He listened to punk rock and grunge as a kid before discovering a friend’s dad playing Hank Williams, and it was a revelation. Prine and Guthrie quickly followed. The name Chicago Farmer was originally for a band, but the utilitarian life of driving alone from bar to bar, city to city–to make a direct connection to his audience and listener, took a deeper hold.

THE CRANE WIVES - In Japanese folklore, the crane wife is a bird disguised as a woman who spins fine silks from her own feathers, until her identity is discovered. The Crane Wives spin fine songs from whole cloth, and you will never want the melodies to leave your head.

From murky origins in Chinese restaurants, high school ska bands, and dorm room jam sessions, the band came together in 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and immediately began gathering a following with intricate melodies, sister-harmonies, and compelling songcraft. Initially part of the indie folk boom, their sound has grown and broadened with each new recording till categorization becomes difficult: rock, pop, folk? Just call it really good music. Audiences and critics agree: seven "Jammie" awards from influential radio station WYCE in ’11, ’12, ’16 and ’17; winner of Best Folk/Country song from international competition ArtPrize for "Easier" in ’12; and selection as one of ten "Entries We Loved" from the renowned NPR Tiny Desk Contest for "High Horse” in ’17. 

Kate Pillsbury: guitars, vocals, a twinkle in her eye that tells you she sees through your BS but chooses to be amused by it. Emilee Petersmark: guitars, banjo, vocals, boots that will stamp out injustice wherever it may lurk. Ben Zito: bass, occasional howls, secret production weapon. Dan Rickabus: drums, harmony vocals, engineering, relentless and frankly exhausting levels of positivity. Four albums released to date: Safe Ship, Harbored (2011), The Fool In Her Wedding Gown (2012), Coyote Stories (2015), and Foxlore (2016), plus a series of new singles in 2017, all available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Bandcamp, CDBaby, and hell, even Myspace.

If you want to hear about love, life, fear, hope, pain, and the occasional natural disaster, this band, and these songs, are for you.

RAY BONNEVILLE - Acclaimed raconteur Ray Bonneville strips his bluesy Americana to its essentials and steeps it in the humid grooves of the South, creating a compelling poetry of hard living and deep feeling. His ninth release, At King Electric, delivers more than his trademark grit and groove. Rich guitar and harmonica lines resonate over spare but spunky rhythms, while Bonneville’s deep, evocative voice confesses life’s harsh realities. Whether performing solo or fronting a band, playing electric or acoustic guitar, Bonneville allows space between notes that adds potency to every chord, lick, and lyric. Often called a “song and groove man,” he began writing his own music after two decades working as a studio musician, playing rowdy rooms with blues bands, and living hard. He’s since released nine albums, won Canada’s Juno award and other prestigious honors, earned wide critical acclaim, and garnered an enthusiastic following in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.


EMILY SCOTT ROBINSON - North Carolina native Emily Scott Robinson has traveled a quarter million miles and counting, paying her dues along the dusty highways of America’s wild country in the RV she calls home. Along the way, she’s captured the stories of the people she met and expertly crafted them into the songs featured on her gorgeous debut studio release, “Traveling Mercies.” Named one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Country and Americana Artists to Watch in 2019,” Robinson received critical acclaim from Billboard, No Depression, and American Songwriter for the stories captured on her new album.

The diner where the waitress knows everyone by name. The World War Two veteran reflecting on the end of his life. The windswept trailer park where people prefer to keep their curtains closed. As she meditates on human frailty and the power of resilience, Robinson is at times vulnerable, at others, defiant and absolutely free. Rolling Stone called “Traveling Mercies” a collection of “country-folk songs about America in all its pain and glory with the literate, Southern gothic sensibility of Flannery O’Connor.” Robinson is on the rise with her new record— a tour de force from an elegant chronicler of her own existence and those of her fellow humans.

MELODIME - Melodime is a Virginia-based band with influences in both country and rock that features emotionally charged anthems, piano driven hooks, and energetic guitar solos for a dynamic, organic sound.

Melodime, featuring Brad Rhodes (lead vocals, guitar), Sammy Duis (piano, organ, bass), Tyler Duis (drums), and Jon Wiley (guitar, mandolin, dobro), has performed over 100+ shows annually throughout the continental United States, sharing the stage with such well-known acts as Sam Hunt, Eli Young Band, A Thousand Horses, and Sister Hazel.

The band has also left its mark internationally with performances in Mexico, Canada, and Europe, all while founding and running a charity, ‘Now I Play Along Too,’ which provides musical instruments and lessons to underprivileged children in the DC area, Florida, Nepal, Kenya, and Haiti.

The band is quickly becoming a fan-favorite in the festival scene, playing five consecutive Rock Boat cruises, as well as Musikfest, Herndon Festival, Mile of Music, and other events. In their hometown of Northern Virginia, the group has performed at popular venues such as The State Theatre, 9:30 Club, The Hamilton, and Baltimore Soundstage.

Melodime will be rolling out their new album in 3 EP installments starting with the first single "Song of the Summer" on June 29th.


ELIZABETH MOEN - With a sultry and intoxicating voice, Elizabeth Moen lures you in. Paired with introspective lyrics that echo both bitter and sweet, her music will captivate you then stay with you. “Moen is one of those rare artists whose voice, from the first moment you hear it, consumes your entire being, doing away with all previous thoughts and concerns, and leaving you short of breath.” The Culture Trip.

On her sophomore LP A Million Miles Away, Moen tackles the complexities that coincide with the basic need for growth. At points lighthearted and somber, and even wry, her lyrics mirror what it’s like to be alive: to wake up each day and attempt to balance the myriad of emotions that go along with being human. In “Triple Scoop” this all perfectly comes together in relation to the age-old problem of sweet, melting ice cream meeting concrete (“Triple scoop sorbet splattered on the sidewalk / Bit of cherry pie hanging off your lip / Why wipe it away, it's just you and me talking? You're the cherry on top of my double chocolate chip”). Throughout the album's eight songs, you are reminded that it’s possible (and ok!) to feel broken and carefree, nostalgic and hopeful, to be utterly content but still have an incredible sense of longing.

Hailing from the small town of Vinton, Iowa located in the middle of the heartland, Moen taught herself how to play guitar as a teenager. It was peer pressure that caused her to write her first song and shortly thereafter, she immersed herself in the writing community of Iowa City while finishing up her studies in French and Spanish at the University of Iowa. Inspired by a mix of modern artists such as Alabama Shakes, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen and Lake Street Dive (who she has supported), and older influences like Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell, Moen isn’t locked into a single style.

On A Million Miles Away her songs shift fluidly; Opener “Red” and “Best I Can Do” portray the soulful side of her voice while “Triple Scoop” and “Matilda” recall folky, summer pop. “Don’t Say I” and “Bad to Myself” pull in heavier tones, augmented by her 1968 Gibson ES-340, while the final tracks, “Time is a Shitty Friend” and “Planetarium,” act as closing arguments for the album. The two tracks encapsulate aspects of each preceding track, at times both heavy and soft - equal parts whimsy (“Cuz I’m high and I’m reading about stars and shit”) and sadness (“...and it’s feeding / My thoughts about us together in some other universe”), while the echo of a longing to be “a million miles away” plays out.

A Million Miles Away follows Moen’s 2016 (self-titled EP) and 2017 (That’s All I Wanted LP) releases that took her on tour throughout the Midwest and Western United States alongside Europe. During this time she has acted as direct support for Lake Street Dive, Margaret Glaspy, Lucy Dacus, Becca Mancari, Houndmouth, William Elliott Whitmore (featured on her 2017 LP), Lissie, Buck Meek and has had her music placed in films including the Netflix original movie “Candy Jar.” In support of her new album, Moen embarked on her first national headlining tour with dates in major cities including Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Denver, and Nashville.

Released September 1, Moen’s new album is a testament to its theme: growth. A Million Miles Away is a moving, passionate exploration of internal and external change. In Moen’s own words, “the base of the eight tracks revolves around the idea that there needs to be and will be growth. That can be for someone you love, for yourself, for a new relationship, or for closure from an old one. I’ve grown a lot writing these. I hope that these songs will make you feel that way or another too.”


THE SMALL GLORIES- Roots powerhouse duo The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a musical tour-de-force partnership planted on the Canadian Prairies. Thrown together purely by accident for an anniversary show at Winnipeg’s venerable West End Cultural Centre, The Small Glories could almost make you believe in fate. 

With a stage banter striking a unique balance between slapstick and sermon, these veteran singer-songwriters have a way of making time disappear, rooms shrink, and audiences feel as they are right there on the stage with the band — writing the songs, living the songs, performing the songs. It’s not uncommon for listeners to find themselves laughing, dancing, crying, or caught up in a good ol’ fashioned sing-along. “We’re folk singers, we try to write stuff that people can relate to,” says the multi-instrumentalist Edwards, whose looming stage presence and penetrating eyes find him the yin to Luft’s petite, snort-laughing yang. The material of a Small Glories concert is welcoming in terms of subject, folk-pop melody and instrumentation — songs of love, loss, and environment, delivered with soaring, interwoven vocals on various combinations of stomping clawhammer banjo, guitar and harmonica. However, a Small Glories performance is really about what happens in-between the songs. “The feedback we get from a lot of audiences is that it’s not just about the music for them,” Luft says. “It’s the whole package.”

On record, The Small Glories take the musical synergy honed from hundreds of shows together, and expand it into a new soundscape amplified by pounding drums and other textural embellishments which only reinforce the magic of Luft and Edwards’ innate chemistry — a chemistry labeled the “Lennon-McCartney syndrome,” by Americana UK, writing, “Some things just work together… to witness a performance by The Small Glories is a rare opportunity to experience that indefinable quality that creates perfection.” But don’t just take a European reviewer’s word for it — the band’s debut album, 2016’s Wondrous Traveler was also praised in Pitchfork by legendary American rock critic Greil Marcus, who wrote, “…in moments (The Small Glories) find the darkening chord change the best bluegrass — from the Stanley Brothers to Be Good Tanyas — has always hidden in the sweet slide of the rhythm, the tiny shift where the person telling the story suddenly understands it.”

The Small Glories duplicate and reinforce each others’ many strengths and yet allow their distinct personalities to shine through, resulting in a live show that is as heartwarming as it is hilarious, as finger-picking proficient as it is relatable, and as Canadian as, well… it’s very Canadian. But that hasn’t stopped them from winning over audiences from Nashville to the Australian outback.