Double the fun with live music Upstairs

Recreation Oak Bay’s Friday series hosts double the folk/roots performance

Lizzy Hoyt

All Lizzy Hoyt asks of her audience is to come with “open ears” as her self-titled trio comes to Oak Bay Friday.

“I just like to share music with people,” Hoyt said. “I love to play for audiences that like to listen. I love audiences that want to hear stories, that are interested in catching some new music if they haven’t heard me before. I’ll be honest, we do like a little bit of rowdiness for our fiddle sections if they want to clap along.”

The trio is one half of the double-bill concert and CD release party featuring folk/roots bands Lizzy Hoyt Trio and The Small Glories – Cara Luft and JD Edwards – who will each officially launch their new albums.

“It’s a belated CD release. The album’s over a year old but it’s the first time it’s been performed here in Victoria,” Hoyt said.

It’s her first visit to the region to share her music steeped in Canadian and family history, particularly the New Lady on the Prairie album filled with tales sourced from visits with gran.

“I’m so thankful that I got to an age where I appreciated hearing those stories from my gran,” Hoyt said. “Having that personal connection makes it very rich somehow. I don’t tell stories that don’t mean something to me. It’s pretty honest. I feel like the stories that I’m telling have affected me or influenced me in some way.”

New Lady on the Prairie follows the story of her great great aunt immigrating from Ireland in the 1800s

“I have a couple of songs on this album that I wrote based on stories my grandmother has told over the years,” she said. Those tales of resilience and courage follow the young woman on a boat to Montreal, travelling west to Edmonton. There she met up with her husband and they travelled by buggy north to a log cabin in the middle of nowhere and “she sat on the porch and cried.”

“I thought she must have been so brave,” Hoyt said. “That’s what inspired the song, it’s story people can relate to in their own family tree and for more recent immigrants to Canada.”

Hoyt is an award-winning vocalist and songwriter who is also among the top Celtic instrumentalists in Canada.

Her first instrument in the “high-energy show” is the fiddle but she’ll bring out the guitar, Celtic harp and offer a little step dance.

“There’s a lot of variety in our show. We make sure the first song isn’t going to sound like the third song and the fifth song,” she said.

Dynamic prairie duo Cara Luft and JD Edwards make up The Small Glories. The veteran singer/songwriters are building a buzz around their tight harmonies, authenticity and visceral performances. Luft is a Juno Award winner, co-founder of folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys, and a touring road warrior. She has earned a solid reputation as an exciting live performer, accomplished guitarist, clawhammer banjo player and insightfully honest songwriter. Edwards has a voice that defies categorization, that easily ranges from gentle and melodic to fierce and powerful.

The double release concert is Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Lounge at Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 1975 Bee St. Tickets $20 in advance and $25 at the door available at Ivy’s Bookshop, Oak Bay Recreation Centre and online at beaconridgeproductions.com.

Get a taste of the music at lizzyhoyt.com and thesmallglories.com online.