The last time the Wailin’ Jennys played in town, bassist Heather Masse, guitarist–percussionist Nicky Mehta and guitarist–accordionist Ruth Moody stepped into the spotlight on a small stage before a small audience at Proctors in Schenectady under the Eighth Step’s banner.
Back then the Jennys’ acoustic mix of roots-Americana, contemporary bluegrass, country, folk and even gospel was just right for the coffeehouse circuit.
Well, it’s almost two years later, and last Saturday night the Wailin’ Jennys were headlining at the Troy Saving Bank Music Hall.
It’s amazing what a handful of appearances on Garrison Keiller’s “A Prairie Home Companion;” winning a Canadian Juno Award (our northern neighbours’ version of a Grammy); and appearing on stages around the country with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Meryl Streep can do for a band’s career.
Starting off with “Bird Songs,” the Jennys (joined by Ruth Moody’s brother Richard on violin) delivered their patented three-part vocal harmonies and inspired instrumental-prowess to an appreciative audience of well over 600.
“Arlington” from their “40 Days” album and “Glory Bound” from their hugely successful “Live At The Mauch Chuck Opera House” were played beautifully alongside new tunes from their latest release, “Bright Morning Stars.” Throughout the evening, the three songbirds magically transformed the acoustically magnificent 100+-year-old TSBMH into an intimate coffeehouse – complete with audience sing-a-longs.
Canadian singer-songwriter Rose Cousins opened the show with an inspired set of songs from her debut album, “The Send Off.”
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Michael Eck’s review at The Times Union