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Album Review

Canadian folkies the Wailin' Jennys aren't opposed to throwing down the occasional sea shanty or English drinking song. Multi-talented singer/songwriters Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta, and Cara Luft — the latter left the group soon after the album's release and was replaced by Annabelle Chvostek — formed the group in 2002 after sharing the stage as soloists at an in-store in a local record shop, and their intoxicating blend of country, Celtic, and folk has cast a spell on not only the Great White North, but much of the U.S. as well. Like Gillian Welch or Alison Krauss, they can make new songs feel traditional ("Arlington") and old songs sound brand new ("The Parting Glass"). Their perfectly rendered harmonies swoop into choruses like a murder of crows, supplying involuntary goose bumps to even the most hardened skeptic. 40 Days is full of sparse arrangements and top-notch songwriting from all three members. Other highlights include a rousing version of the seafaring tale "Saucy Sailor" — made famous by British folk-rock pioneers Steeleye Span — Moody's beautiful title track, and Luft's rollicking (an obvious show opener) "Come All You Sailors." Fans of the Dixie Chicks, June Tabor, and even Heart will find much to love here. A most infectious first record, and highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

Spine-tingling Harmonies from the Great White North

Did you ever sing in choir, or play in a band? Remember that feeling when you are blending in to something that just gels, and a shiver goes down your spine? That's what happens as I listen to every cut on this album. I normally go to the a cappella section of my collection when I feel the need for really good vocal harmonies, but I seem to have wandered a way as of late to keep listening to the Jennies. In fact, I think I am going to listen again should too.

Next best thing

I was sitting in the audiance of McCabes Guitar shop in Santa Monica waiting for Lawrence Juber to start playing listening to 3 women sing their hearts out. I asked everyone who they were and finally got the answer, Wailin' Jennys. They appeal to me as the DIxie Chicks without the dixie. The songs are great and the vocals brings a smile on your face. The bad thing is I didn't find their CD in the stores and was going to wait for them to come to Los Angeles. The good thing is iTunes had it. This is a must buy for those who like sweet sounds. The song "One Vioce" is worth it alone. In a year, I bet they will be in every store.

A religious experience???

The blending of these voices being shotgunned into my head through the earbuds gave me the feeling that angels were singing inside my head. You can't miss their cover of Neil Young's Old Man. But Come All You Sailors reminded me of the Irish ditties my grandfather sang to me as a child. This is a special album.


Formed: 2002 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Canadian folk trio the Wailin' Jennys began as a onetime-only grouping of three singer/songwriters, but musical chemistry and audience response turned them into an ongoing band. Alto Cara Luft, the daughter of professional folksingers, had played with the Lilith Fair tour in Calgary and released her own album; mezzo-soprano Nicky Mehta also had her own disc, Weather Vane; and soprano Ruth Moody, the lead singer for the roots band Scruj MacDuhk, had issued Blue Muse. But when they played together...
Full Bio

Customer Ratings