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Event Archive - Exploding Trio from Winnipeg - 2005 Juno Winners: Wailin' Jennys, Outlaw Social

Fri. September 8th 2006 Alix Goolden Performance Hall (All Ages)
8pm - 11pm doors at 7pm
$23 Adv. / $25 Door
Tickets at: Lyle's Place (Cash Only, 770 Yates St.) 250-382-8422, High Tide Box Office online at
The Wailin' Jennys
Friday, September 8th, 2006
Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 907 Pandora St. (Conservatory of Music)
Doors 7pm - Showtime 8pm
Tickets: $23 Advance / $25 Door
Available at: Lyle's Place (cash only) 250-382-8422 or the High Tide Box Office online at or charge by phone 250-478-1888

For more info:
Wailin' Jennys website:

When chance shakes hands with discovery, it earns itself a new word: serendipity.
How serendipitous, then, has been the career of the Wailin' Jennys?

Looking at the current incarnation of the Jennys, soprano Ruth Moody, mezzo Nicky
Mehta, and alto Annabelle Chvostek, it would seem like few groups could be so perfectly
aligned, by fate or by design. It is no wonder that music critics are inclined to phrase
their descriptions in honeyed phrases. The Jennys, music reviewers say, make music
that is "lush," "luscious" and "sweet." Their masterful three-part vocal harmonies are
"haunting" and they "shimmer."

Behind the words, however, there are the songs: an informed mix of original and
traditional tunes that visit a variety of roots styles, focusing on harmony but grounded
by a moving and intricate instrumental base. And behind the songs, there is a tale worth
the telling. So let's begin, as all good stories do, at the very beginning.

On a cold Winnipeg night in January of 2002, three of Winnipeg's most accomplished
singer-songwriters prepared to take the stage at a cozy music store and erstwhile
concert venue. Nicky was a folk scene veteran (her debut album, Weather Vane, would
soon be nominated for a 2002 Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Roots Recording),
as was Ruth, who had been a member of the Juno-nominated roots act Scruj MacDuhk.
The third member of the trio was Cara Luft, who had been making waves in Winnipeg
since arriving in the city in 2000.

As the three sat down to strum and sing for a one-night-only trio performance, they were
excited about a playful departure from their solo careers. When they began to weave
their voices together, however, it would seem that serendipity was dealing them a
different hand. What they began separately, they would continue together.

Fans would later describe the sold-out first show as divine: an enchanted union of three
powerful voices that made the kind of melodic magic that audiences yearn for, but rarely
get to witness. A second performance was swiftly added, and when it became clear that
the magic was there to stay, Sled Dog Music owner John Sharples stepped forward to
offer the three women a name that would seal the deal: the Wailin' Jennys.

Within a month, the newly christened trio was a bona fide Canadian sensation. In
February of 2002, they showcased at the North American Folk Alliance to
shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. Artistic directors from festivals across Canada came
knocking, and the Jennys suddenly found themselves looking at a jam-packed summer
tour schedule.

As the momentum built, the Wailin' Jennys seemed a group destined to rise to the top of
the North American roots scene. Buoyed by a passionately loyal fan base, the Jennys
toured for two years before releasing their debut album, 40 Days, in April of 2004.

The record was an instant hit with critics and fans alike, being hailed across North
America as one of the finest roots records of the year. It was praised for its
accomplished musical depth and the artistry of the three dazzling voices, celebrated for
its sparkling original compositions and delightful traditional jaunts. The three Jennys
seemed to be embarking on an incredible journey together, bringing their unique and
powerfully moving sound to audiences around the world.

But even the most enchanted fairy tale meets with sadness before progressing to its
happy ending: for the Jennys, that moment came in October of 2004. Fresh from picking
up a Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Roots Recording (40 Days had
also been nominated for Outstanding Album - Independent), Cara decided to leave the
group and announced that she was hanging up her Jenny hat to return to her roots as a
solo artist.

The blow to the group's momentum was a hard one. In saying goodbye to Cara, Nicky
and Ruth were faced with more than just the tough challenge of finding another alto:
where could they find the kind of vocal, musical, and personal chemistry that existed
with the first incarnation of the trio?

As Nicky and Ruth began the search for a new Jenny, one name began to stand out
amongst the rest. Friends were raving about the sound of experimental
singer-songwriter Annabelle Chvostek, and the Jennys were curious: at first glance, the
Montreal-based Annabelle seemed almost too good to be true. She was a graceful
vocalist, an accomplished guitarist and violinist, and came from a broad musical
background: all things that were integral to the Jennys' sound.

When the three women met up in Toronto to try singing together, the magic that had
begun on a cold January night was rekindled. The blend of their voices was serene, the
energy in the room undeniable: serendipity had once again played its part.

Filling Cara's shoes would be impossible; instead, Annabelle brought her own. As she
began to settle into the group's sound, the singer-songwriter brought with her a wealth
of fresh perspectives. Her experimental flair and background in traditional Slavic
rhythms and cabaret singing brought a unique edge, while her roots influences were an
instant fit with the Jennys' repertoire. Rehearsing with Ruth and Nicky, Annabelle led the
trio to throw open new musical doors, exploring exciting melodic avenues and breathing
new life into the old.

That's how it came to be that, at the beginning of December, 2004, Annabelle was
officially named as the new Jenny. Reinvigorated, the trio once again began to fill up
their calendars with tour dates, paving the path for 2005 with a new member, a fresh and
yet familiar sound, and the proof that the tale of the Wailin' Jennys would indeed lead to
a happy ending.


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Wailin' Jennys

The Wailin’ Jennys are pleased to announce the release of Bright Morning Stars, the band’s highly anticipated new studio album. One of today’s most popular folk-roots bands, the trio has made a name for itself releasing three award-winning albums, two of which spent over a year on the Billboard Charts. Now The Wailin’ Jennys join the ranks ... more info

Outlaw Social (alt.old.time music)

They play old time, folk, country blues, gospel, jug, and other quirky bits they write or find. Featuring Catherine Black (on banjo, bass, and singing), Kendel Carson (fiddle), Adam Dobres (guitars), Pharis Patenaude (guitar, singing) and Oliver Swain (on banjo, bass, and singing too). more info
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