The concept of a “folk supergroup” sounds strange, sort of like “the folksinger’s Porsche.” But no musical amalgamation deserves this moniker more than The Wailin’ Jennys. With three world-class lead vocalists who are equally accomplished songwriters, The Wailin’ Jenny’s deliver polished folk music that still has soul.
Bright Morning Stars highlights Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta, and Heather Masse’s strong songwriting chops as well as their impeccable pipes. Each contributed four original songs, and Mehta’s anthemic “Sing Low Sail High” leads off, setting a high standard with a delicate ascending melody that soars above the textured backing vocals. Moody’s “All The Stars” has a more intimate feel and a melody that lends itself to harmonic embellishments, which the Jennys add with impeccably good taste. Masse’s “Bird Song” was the title track from her latest solo album. For the Jennys’ version, she changed the key, added more acoustic instruments, additional harmony parts, and doubled lead vocals. In the Jennys’ arrangement, she also appended a “round” to the end of the song.
Returning to their Canadian roots, the band used mostly Canadian session players including multiinstrumentalist Bill Dillon, electric guitarist Colin Cripps, Ruth Moody’s brother, Richard (viola), and Jeremy Penner (ﬁddle). If you love the sound of three beautiful folk voices blending in perfect harmony, music that is sweet without being cloying, and voluptuous acoustic arrangements, Bright Morning Stars will start your day right.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.