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The Wailin’ Jennys – Bright Morning Stars
Rock ‘N’ Reel – UK
By Dave White
Album number four from Canada’s Wailin’ Jennys and it’s their best yet. While each of its predecessors offered some truly memorable moments, earning the band awards and fans around the world, Bright Morning Stars is by far their most cohesive collection of songs to date.
The Jennys’ gorgeous harmony vocals are present and correct, of course, gracing a variety of material – a dozen self-penned numbers that encompass folk, pop, jazz (a deliciously retro ‘Cherry Blossom Love’) and even gospel (an atmospheric ‘Storm Comin’). The title track, performed a cappella, is a traditional Appalachian hymn mourning the passing of loved ones.
Most recent recruit Heather Masse has clearly settled in will alongside original members Ruth Moody and Nicky Mehta. The trio is augmented here by regular sideman Jeremy Penner (fiddle) and an array of fellow Canadian musicians for a full-band sound, though one that remains as light as air and thoroughly refreshing.