Wailin’ Jennys prove there’s strength in numbers
What was billed less than a year ago as a one-time-only concert featuring three of Winnipeg’s best known female singer/songwriters has become one of the hottest new acts on the Western Canadian roots music scene How new act blends great chemistry with a sense of humour
What was billed less than a year ago as a one-time-only concert featuring three of Winnipeg’s best known female singer/songwriters has become one of the hottest new acts on the Western Canadian roots music scene.
Working under the banner The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta, and Cara Luft made the right decision when they realized there was indeed strength in numbers following an overwhelming reception at two sold-out shows in their hometown kast January. Moody had just finished watching her band Scruj MacDuhk implode after a four-year run when she approached Luft and Mehta about pulling a concert together that would feature both traditional folk material and originals from each performer.
"Those two shows went so well that we decided to team up for a few impromptu shows at the Folk Alliance Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., a few weeks later," says Luft.
A mandolin and guitar player who has recorded three solo albums, including last year’s Tempting The Storm, which was nominated for a Prairie Music Award, Luft quickly saw the writing on the wall after the four-day blitz of solo and group performances at the major roots music showcase.
"We were getting a lot of support from people like Rick Fenton, the artistic director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival."
Luft said the chemistry between the three was particularly strong on the vocal front.
"Our voices work well in terms of ranges. We all sound different but the combination makes for one unified voice, plus we had fun with it right from the start."
The Jennys played a number of major folk festivals this past summer, and lately have opened some dates for Zubot and Dawson and played a few A-circuit roots rooms like Vancouver’s Railway Club.
One component of the Wailin’ Jennys’ game plan is to begin writing as a team, or in pairs, once they’ve pulled off the road. But there’s no pressure to rush into an album.
Joining The Wailin’ Jennys this evening on the double bill at the Westwwod Unitarian Church Hall will be harpist and singer Keri Lynn Zwicker.