CD Reviews 

Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House 

The Opera House is located in the oddly named borough of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania and this fourteen song/eighteen track collection was recorded during the Jennys’ performance at the venue on Saturday 30th August 2008. A live album that features more “new” songs than retreads of past studio works.

The Opera House is located in the oddly named borough of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania and this fourteen song/eighteen track collection was recorded during the Jennys’ performance at the venue on Saturday 30th August 2008. Founding member Cara Luft departed after one EP and album, and was replaced by Annabelle Chvostek who appeared on FIRECRACKER, the trio’s 2006 Juno nominated sophomore effort. This live collection marks the debut of Chvostek’s replacement, Maine bred, Brooklyn based Heather Masse (vocals, upright bass). The girls are augmented throughout by Jeremy Penner (Scruj MacDuhk, The Bills) on violin and mandolin.

Rather than settle for concert stage interpretations of studio recorded material, eight songs are new to this Canadian trio’s recorded canon. An alternate arithmetic solution relates that there are eight cover songs and half a dozen band (member) composed originals. The girls launch the disc with Deeper Well which appeared on their self-titled 2003 debut EP, and from the same collection Ledbetter’s Bring Me L’il Water Silvy is also reprised. Heather takes the lead vocal on half a dozen selections including Gershwin’s Summertime, and there are band arrangements of the traditional Bold Riley and Motherless Child. Racing With The Sun was penned by children’s music composer Ella Jenkins, and the penultimate cut is a six-minute plus rendition of Canadian Jane Siberry’s classic Calling All Angels.

Ruth Moody (acoustic guitar, banjo, accordion, bodhran) takes the lead vocal on four cuts including two of her own (already familiar) compositions One Voice and Glory Bound. Nicky Mehta (acoustic guitar, ukulele, drums, harmonica) also leads on a quartet (of tracks), her own contributions being Arlington from 40 DAYS (2004) and Begin from FIRECRACKER. As for talented newcomer Heather Masse, her compositions are titled Driving and Paint A Picture.

The girls are in great voice ǃ