The Wailin’ Jennys – Fifteen

  • December 28, 2017

Folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys (Nicky Mehta, Heather Masse, and Ruth Moody) are back after a six-year recording hiatus with “Fifteen”, marking their fifteen-year musical collaboration with a covers collection curated from road tested-fan requested songs by iconic artists such as Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, Emmylou Harris, and Tom Petty. Fifteen opens with an airy, luminous rendition of the English traditional “Old Churchyard” sung in the same signature seamless acapella that weaves much of the album together. Instrumentation is spare, with restrained but warm and refined accompaniment by bandmates Richard Moody, Sam Howard, Adam Dobrev and Adrian Dolan. A jubilant, if not bittersweet, cover of the late Tom Petty’s “Wildlfower” gently layers banjo and strings in a bluegrass interpretation of the tune filled with hope and optimism. In Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock”, the sole accompaniment is the stripped down, rhythmic clapping of the singers as the they take the song back to its most elemental gospel roots. The album’s final track is a nod back to the accidental beginning of the Jennys’ decade and a half long journey – an achingly mournful version of Hank Williams’ “Weary Blues from Waiting” which the trio sang together upon first meeting, ducking into a bathroom at Philadelphia’s World Cafe and singing it to see how their voices blended. Fifteen is a soulful and sweet tribute to both the polish and artistry of The Wailin’ Jennys, and the artists whose songs they’ve made their own. – Written by SLynch



SIMILAR | The Be Good Tanyas, Patty Griffin, Sarah Jarosz, Ruth Moody, Aoife O’Donovan