CD Reviews 

Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House 

The Wailin’ Jennys are based out of Canada The Wailin’ Jennys are based out of Canada (except Heather Masse, the new vocalist from America, and whose Alto voice has complimented the band and allowed it to grow to where it is today). Their second release Firecracker in August 2006 had heads turning and their shows wooed audiences in Northern America and Canada.

This live album is purely acoustic, no electric guitars or keyboards and the album features eighteen songs for the fans to sink their mouths into. This is also the first album that features Heather on vocals. Heather met the other Jennys in Philadelphia and, as it happened, the girls got along so well they all agreed an album with a third Jenny vocals would be a new possibility; yes it had to be done.

This live album starts off with Deeper Well which takes on an acoustic vocal start followed by acoustic guitar bringing up the beat until the violin greets us . Welcome to the start of The Wailin’ Jennys live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House (in Pennsylvania, one of America’s oldest Vaudeville Theatres). Next up is Summertime with faultless harmonies by all girls Heather Masse (Alto), Nicky Mehta (Mezzo) and Ruth Moody (Soprano), and this is a lovely acoustic number that shows off the vocals with not much wailing present!

In the song Driving we find out by Heather that this song came about when she went to visit an old boyfriend which was a long drive away and to keep her occupied this song came to her head and she sung it along the way to fill in the time on her journey – lush vocals and banjo take the song to a spirited level. Bold Riley has the lovely accordion sound and Glory Bound is sung by Ruth Moody and has a gospel flavour saturated in violin (Jeremy Penner).

Arlington has a gorgeous start with guitar that mixes well with Nicky’s vocals. One More Dollar (Gillian Welch/David Rawling) is a folksy harmonious tune and has that rock beat given by the snare drum whilst Calling All Angels is a slow tempo song with Nicky on vocals mixed with plenty of violin- a nicely elevated tune. Racing With The Sun is a sexy song with beautiful vocals from Heather Masse and harmonised by Nicky and Ruth and incorporating instruments like the upright bass and ukulele.

Their music is reminiscent of The Waifs and a bit of The Corrs, so if some neo-traditional folk music is up your alley spiced with honey and violin then check them out.