CD Reviews 

Concert review 

It’s always nice when Winnipeg is included on a band’s world tour schedule. But it’s even better when the group playing town is one of our own returning home after touring the world. Home’s worth Wailin’ about for sweet-sounding Jennys

It’s always nice when Winnipeg is included on a band’s world tour schedule.

But it’s even better when the group playing town is one of our own returning home after touring the world.

Last night, The Wailin’ Jennys made a triumphant stop in their hometown to hold a CD release party for their sophomore offering, Firecracker, dazzling a crowd of 850 at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre with their unique brand of contemporary folk.

Since the female trio have taken their show on the road — spreading their sweet sounds from Australia to Europe — soprano Ruth Moody, mezzo Nicky Mehta, and alto Annabelle Chvostek have become a dangerously precise musical force; the group is best known as a vocal trio, but each member is a master at a variety of instruments, providing every song its own distinct spark.

ImageWhat all songs have in common, though, are gorgeous three-part harmonies. Moody, Mehta and Chvostek were each given a chance to show off her dynamic voice during solo spots, but when they sang in unison they had the ability to send shivers up your spine.

They started things with Firecracker’s opening track, Devil’s Paintbrush Road, a poppy number with Moody on the bodhran (an Irish frame drum), Mehta on harmonica and Chvostek plucking a violin. Local journeyman Gilles Fournier was along for the ride, handling double bass.

They did their first of many instrumental changes (Moody on accordion and Mehta and Chvostek on acoustic guitars) for Avila, a melancholy tale about the dream of peace.

Their showed off their incredible vocal prowess during an a cappella version of Bring Me a Little Water Silvy before shifting back into up-tempo territory with Beautiful Dawn off their debut album 40 Days.

"This is a song about being in the moment and trusting that’s where you need to be," Mehta said before the haunting ballad Begin, featuring Moody’s ex-Scruj MacDuhk bandmate Jeremy Penner on violin.

Firecracker tracks Starlight, a mid-tempo shuffle written about Saskatoon police officers leaving aboriginal men outside of town to walk home in the winter, and Long Time Traveller followed before press time came during the uplifting gospel number Glory Bound.

4 out of 5