International Folk Trio The Wailin' Jennys to Perform at Smothers Theatre
Juno Award-winning folk trio The Wailin' Jennys will bring their achingly perfect vocal sounds to Smothers Theatre in Malibu on Tuesday, March 21, at 8 PM.
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, The Wailin’ Jennys have grown over the years into one of today’s most beloved international folk acts. Founding members Nicky Mehta and Ruth Moody, along with New York-based Heather Masse, create some of the most exciting music on the folk-roots scene, stepping up their musical game with each critically lauded recording and thrilling audiences with their renowned live performances.
In 2004 The Wailin’ Jennys released their first full-length album 40 Days to great critical acclaim, netting a 2005 Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year. Bolstered by their frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s public radio show A Prairie Home Companion, The Jennys exploded onto the roots music scene, performing at packed venues across Canada, the United States, and throughout the world.
The Jennys’ sophomore album, 2006’s Firecracker, served as a powerful follow-up to their career-making debut. Artistically, the record found The Jennys stepping out of the folk realm and into the world of alt-country, pop, and rock. Garnering much attention, it was nominated for a Juno Award and won a 2007 Folk Alliance Award for Contemporary Release of the Year. Firecracker spent over 56 weeks on the Billboard charts.
For their latest album, 2011’s Juno-winning Bright Morning Stars, The Wailin’ Jennys joined the ranks of Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris and recorded with award-winning producer Mark Howard. Coproduced by frequent Jennys collaborator and Juno Award-nominated David Travers-Smith, the album combines fresh and innovative sounds with the band’s signature harmonies—a perfect mix of Americana, pop, and traditional folk that is destined to be a modern classic.
Although known primarily as an acoustic outfit, The Wailin’ Jennys have a diverse musical background that has shaped their musical sensibilities. Soprano Ruth Moody (vocals, guitar, accordion, banjo, bodhrán) is a classically trained vocalist and pianist with a burgeoning solo career. She is an accomplished, versatile singer of traditional and Celtic music, and was the former lead singer of Juno-nominated roots band Scruj MacDuhk. Mezzo Nicky Mehta (vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums, ukulele), a classically trained dancer raised on ’70s morning radio programs and heavily influenced by alternative pop, was nominated for a Canadian Indie Music Award for her striking debut solo album, 2002’s Weather Vane. Alto Heather Masse (vocals, upright bass) is a Jazz Voice graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, who has performed in Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing and Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings.
With varying backgrounds, each of the Jennys is unique in her individual expression. Together they forge a unified folk-pop sound—all delivered with the irresistible vocal power of three.
Ticket prices range between $10 and $45, and are required for attendance. For additional information about the performances, and to purchase tickets, visit the Center for the Arts website.