The Wailin’ Jennys – Bright Morning Stars
Winnipeg Free Press
By Bruce Leperre
It was 2006 when local Juno winners the Wailin’ Jennys last blessed us with a studio release. Since then, Heather Masse replaced Annabelle Chvostek and, with founding members Nicky Mehta and Ruth Moody, released a critically acclaimed live disc while Moody and Masse both made their solo debuts.
Leaving behind the livelier bluegrass influence of previous recordings, producers Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Neil Young) and David Travers-Smith (Oh Susanna) join musicians Colin Cripps (Blue Rodeo, Kathleen Edwards), Kevin Breit (Norah Jones), Jeremy Penner (Scruj MacDuhk), Christian Dugas (the Duhks) and Richard Moody (the Bills) in entwining guitar, Dobro, banjo, fiddle, viola, ukulele and accordion with the celestial voices of Mehta, Moody and Masse. The trio’s impeccable three-part harmonies drape over gentle, often sparse, yet striking, folk backdrops that include pre-’60s country (Cherry Blossom Love), rapturous pop (Swing Low, Sail Higher) and soulful gospel (Storm Comin’).
Bright Morning Star is a tasteful and beautifully crafted affair of unadulterated sonic bliss. ‘Ö’Ö’Ö’Ö