CD Reviews 

Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House 

Vocal trio the Wailin’ Jennys have developed into one of the most exciting and polished acts in folk music. Its third release was recorded live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Vocal trio the Wailin’ Jennys have developed into one of the most exciting and polished acts in folk music. Its third release was recorded live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. This is the first CD featuring the latest addition to the band, Heather Masse, the first non-Canadian Jenny, who does a splendid job of filling the slot vacated by the departure of Annabelle Chvostek; her voice entwines with those of veteran Jennys Ruth Moody and Nicky Mehta to create the most exquisite harmony blend the group has produced to date.

For this recording, the group is also augmented by the violin and mandolin work of Jeremy Penner, which allows Moody and Mehta to diversify their instrumental contributions, with Mehta moving to drums to provide some additional kick for a few tunes. The disc emphasizes Jennys staples, such as Moody’s “One Voice” and Mehta’s “Arlington,” along with numerous covers, including their lush adaptation of Jane Siberry’s “Calling All Angels” and a jazzy interpretation of Ella Jenkins’ “Racing with the Sun.” Masse contributes two originals, the introspective “Driving” and the playful doo-wop number “Paint a Picture.” Beautifully recorded in an intimate theater with an appreciative audience, this live disc succeeds admirably at capturing the essence of the Wailin’ Jennys in concert.