The Wailin’ Jennys – Bright Morning Stars
CBC Music Matters
BRIGHT MORNING STARS is the first studio album from Winnipeg-based roots trio The Wailin’ Jennys since 2006 and first non-live recording to feature its third configuration: Heather Masse (pronounced “Massey”), Ruth Moody, and Nicky Mehta. “The Jennys 3.0”, as they humourously call themselves, bowed with 2009’s LIVE AT THE MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE, which peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album chart. The trio’s three previous albums sparked numerous awards, including Junos, North American Folk Alliance, and Western Canadian Music Awards, in addition to earning the praises of media from Exclaim! to Penguin Eggs to the Toronto Star. It’s been an impressive run for the group, which is not even a decade old, and all the more remarkable given the principals’ ongoing careers outside the band. Indeed, previous members Cara Luft and Annabelle Chvostek have also thrived as solo performers. The songwriting is divided equally on BRIGHT MORNING STARS, which was produced by Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young) and David Travers-Smith (Jane Siberry, Oh Susanna). The large cast of supporting players includes some of the top names in Canadian roots music. As usual, everything here is first rate, but go with (in order) “Swing Low Sail High”, “Last Goodbye”, “All the Stars”, “Cherry Blossom Love”, and “Across the Sea”.