The Wailin’ Jennys
None of them is actually named Jennys and they don’t play Waylon Jennings covers, either. Instead, The Wailin’ Jennys are the trio of Winnipeg musicians Cara Luft, Nicky Mehta, and Ruth Moody-all of whom are singer-songwriters in their own right, and each with burgeoning independent solo careers None of them is actually named Jennys and they don’t play Waylon Jennings covers, either. Instead, The Wailin’ Jennys are the trio of Winnipeg musicians Cara Luft, Nicky Mehta, and Ruth Moody-all of whom are singer-songwriters in their own right, and each with burgeoning independent solo careers. What started out as a mere folk lark exercise about a year ago has turned into a much bigger concern than any of the individual members’ solitary enterprises.
Within days of performing what was supposed to be a one-off show at a hometown music shop, Luft, Mehta and Moody started fielding gig offers with guarantees well in excess of their usual take. In fact, before the trio had even so much as recorded a demo tape, the Jennys had already been booked to play a half dozen Canadian folk festivals last summer, including those in Ottawa, Guelph, Winnipeg, and Victoria.
To be fair, the unit’s overnight discovery had more than a little to do with the solid reputations the three artists had already cultivated on their own (in Moody’s case, with her former Juno-nominated band Scruj MacDuhk). As well, part of the Jennys’ appeal to folk festivals was the outfit’s ability to package itself as four acts in one-a boon to programmers dealing with multiple stages and workshops. Ultimately, though, it’s The Wailin’ Jennys remarkable three-part harmonies (conveniently, the trio consists of a super-effective alto/mezzo/soprano split) that continue to win over promoters, artistic directors and audience members alike.
The Wailin’ Jennys are currently touring in support of a self-titled debut EP. Fans coming out to their Lydia’s show can expect to hear original material from the disc, as well as some playful covers by the likes of Emmylou Harris, Led Zeppelin, and Kim Mitchell-but not late, great country gentleman Waylon Jennings. Incidentally, the band took its name prior to Jennings’ death earlier this year.