Three of a Kind
Three singer/songwriters were comfortably pursuing careers, recording albums, playing concerts and festivals, until Ruth Moody, then a member of the soon-to-be-defunct folk/bluegrass band Scruj MacDuhk considered the possibility of hooking up and singing with other female artists Trio stacks the deck with talent
Three singer/songwriters were comfortably pursuing careers, recording albums, playing concerts and festivals, until Ruth Moody, then a member of the soon-to-be-defunct folk/bluegrass band Scruj MacDuhk considered the possibility of hooking up and singing with other female artists. That was two summers ago, when she approached Winnipeg musicians Cara Luft and Nicky Mehta at the Winnipeg Folk Festival-and the Flying Jennys were born.
"A mutual friend of ours who owns a little guitar shop in Winnipeg got wind of the whole thing and thought that it would be a fabulous idea," says Mehta. The proprietor of that establishment (Sled Dog Music) offered to stage a show for them in January, and even give them a name (a play on the late Waylon Jennings’ moniker).
The original intent was just a one-off performance, but the response was so persuasive that the three shelved their solo aspirations for the benefit of the collective.
"In the beginning we had our eye on our solo stuff," Mehta explains. "There is still the intention of doing that, but we’ve decided that our primary focus at this particular point is the trio. We’re still able to do original material and there’s just way more work for the trio."
"There’s so much interest in the act that it would be kind of stupid not to follow it."
When the natural soprano (Moody), mezzo (Mehta, and alto (Luft) are combined, the results are dazzling, an effect well demonstrated on the six song CD they put together last year. The record is a nice introduction into their world of folk and country, with a touch of acoustic pop, and their version of Leadbelly’s "Bring Me L’il Water Silvy" is simply breathtaking. Now their next problem is getting together enough material to record a full-length effort, probably sometime this spring.
"We haven’t had a chance (to write together) because we’ve been on the road so much, and if we’re not on the road, we’re planning tours or we’re dealing with business. We actually are going to make it a priority in the next few months. Some will be done independently of each other, but we’re probably going to take a stab at writing together at some point."
However, despite the hectic pace at which the group has evolved, they’ve managed to get their act onto such a solid platform pretty quickly because, as Mehta puts it, they just know what the gig involves.
"It’s kind of like the way our voices are: we’re very different singers and we’re very different people but for some reason it just works when we come together. It’s a nice blend of personalities and a nice blend musically. There’s not a whole bunch of ego happening in this band. We’re all pretty respectful of each other, and by virtue of having done this for a while and our age and just making sure we listen to each other, we do pretty well."