Wailin’ Jennys bring folk-roots music to Edmonds

  • Wed Apr 9th, 2014 6:05pm
  • Life

By Gale Fiege Herald Writer

Portland holds the Wailin’ Jennys biggest fan base, but Western Washington loves the trio, too.

The Canadian folk group, represented by Red House Records of Greg Brown fame, is set to perform at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Edmonds Performing Arts Center, 410 Fourth Ave., Edmonds.

Tickets range from $22 to $32 and are available by calling 425-275-4485.

They also are playing two shows Saturday, April 12, at the Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon.

“Starting as a happy accident of solo singer-songwriters getting together for a one-time-only performance at a tiny guitar shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba,” as their story goes, the Wailin’ Jennys — founders Ruth Moody and Nicky Mehta along with New York-based Heather Masse — continue to create folk-roots music in recordings and live performances 12 years after that first show.

Their most recent disc, the Juno Award-winning “Bright Morning Stars” united the Jennys with Grammy-nominated producer Mark Howard, known for his work with Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, for an album that combines innovative sounds with the band’s signature harmonies, a great mix of Americana, pop and traditional folk.

The album takes its name from a traditional tune that the Jennys cover: an a capella tune about the passing of loved ones.

“Amidst songs about loss, there is a quiet elation underpinning the album that is present in such tracks as “Bird Song” giving hope and courage to weary souls and the brokenhearted,” according to Red House Records.

Nicky Mehta called last week from the road to talk about their current tour.

“We’re actually appreciated all along the West Coast,” Mehta said. “It’s interesting because we’re from the Canadian prairie. Red House Records and appearing on Garrison Keillor’s NPR radio show ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ really opened a lot of doors for us in the states. Our audiences are so great and so committed.”

People can expect tonight’s show to include a mixture of the trio’s tried-and-true repertoire and the relatively new stuff off the “Bright Morning Stars” album.

“It will be our first time at the Edmonds venue,” Mehta said. “We plan to send our best wishes to everyone in the Oso area of north Snohomish County.”

Now that Mehta and Masse each have children, touring is a little more occasional, she said.

“We are fortunate,” Mehta said. “We really like what we are doing.”

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.