Off the Charts: Billings-bound Wailin’ Jennys Return to Fine Folky Form
The Billings Gazette – US
By Chris Jorgensen
It’s been up, up, up for the Wailin’ Jennys since forming for a one-off show in a tiny Winnipeg guitar shop eight years ago.
Their 2004 debut, “40 Days,” won a Canadian Juno Award and their “Firecracker” follow-up spent more than a year on Billboard’s folk charts and landed them a string of appearances on “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Where “Firecracker” veered tentatively into a harder-edged alt-country territory, “Bright Morning Stars” gets them back to their traditional folk roots.
That’s not to say it’s all hummin’ and strummin’, however.
The trio of Ruth Moody, Heather Masse and Nicky Mehta each contribute their own songs to the album of 12 originals varying from the gospel-tinged “Storm Comin’” to the jazz-tinged “Cheery Blossom Love” and the ready-for-country-radio “Swing Low, Sail High.”
As sweet and soothing and expertly played as these songs are, above all else are the trio’s immaculate harmonies, which shine brightest on the a capella title cut and the yearning “Across the Sea,” their voices soaring with an aching trumpet.
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