CD Reviews 

Falling in love with the Wailin’ Jennys 

Imagine if the crazy scientists from Jurassic Park put Gillian Welch, EmmyLou Harris, and the Dixie Chicks in a blender, and then formed a musical trio from the resulting puddle of DNA. Imagine if the crazy scientists from Jurassic Park put Gillian Welch, EmmyLou Harris, and the Dixie Chicks in a blender, and then formed a musical trio from the resulting puddle of DNA. That’s where we’re going to start talking about the stunning songwriting, sweet harmonies, and sultry sound of Canada’s The Wailin’ Jennys.

The band’s second and most recent effort, Firecracker, was released in 2006 but didn’t make its way into my hands until earlier this year. My first thought was, “what a great band name,” immediately followed upon first listen by just, “what a great record.” This is roots music with an easy-listening appeal. This is harmony so tactile you’ll be quivering in your boots. This is the best CD by a new artist I’ve heard in ages.

There isn’t a bad song on this disc. Standout tracks include the rollicking opening track, “The Devil’s Paintbrush Road,” and the perfect close-the-record-with-the-title-track, “Firecracker.” I’m also partial to track #9, “Long Time Traveler” ǃ