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THE WAILIN' JENNYS Bright Morning Stars (2011)

The Wailin Jennys

While they might not be a familiar name on the UK scene, on the other side of the pond The Wailin' Jennys are one of the most popular folk/roots bands. And having 'crossed over' with their last album to the more the more popular alt country / pop / rock scene, Bright Morning Stars looks likely to expand the band's appeal.

With 3 award winning albums already under their collective belts (two of which spent over a year on the Billboard charts) Ruth Moody (vocals. acoustic guitar, accordion, banjo), Nicky Mehta (vocals, acoustic guitar, ukulele) and Heather Masse (vocals) have teamed up with Grammy nominated producer Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris) and long time collaborator David Travers-Smith to record this 13 track album of Americana, folk and country pop.

Accompanied by some of Canada's finest session players the album is packed with crystal clear vocals and sweet harmonies that falls squarely in the backyard of Court Yard Hounds (i.e. The Dixie Chicks minus the 'bite' of Natalie Maines).

Ranging from acapella to sultry jazz, it's an excellent set that's never less than an absorbing listen. But the highlight is undoubtedly when the girls spread their wings on the Ruth Moody penned Storm Comin' - a sultry smokin' gospel blues piece. More of the same please, girls. ***1/2


Review by Pete Whalley


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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