The Wailin’ Jennys – a beloved international folk act – returns to Montana for concerts Nov. 1 at the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings, Nov. 2 at The Ellen in Bozeman, Nov. 4 at the new Wachholz College Center in Kalispell, Nov. 5 at The Wilma in Missoula, and Nov. 6 at The Myrna Loy in Helena.
“The Wailin’ Jennys are more than just impeccable bluegrass harmonizers; they’re also terrific bandleaders who give their traditional roots music a sense of real reverence,” notes NPR.
The Wailin’ Jennys are Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody, and Heather Masse — three distinct voices that together make an achingly perfect vocal sound.
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 Moody and Mehta, along with New York-based Masse, continue to 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.
n 2017, The Jennys turned 15 years old. To mark the occasion, the band took time away from the demands of motherhood to record and release a celebratory album for their fans: Fifteen. The Juno-nominated release is a carefully curated collection of some of their favorite songs, recorded with their beloved side players, Richard Moody and Adam Dobres. Steeped in the artistry and elegance that has defined their career, the album highlights their heartfelt vocals, otherworldly harmonies, and sophisticated arrangements.
About The Wailin’ Jennys
Although known primarily as an acoustic outfit, The Wailin’ Jennys have a wide range of backgrounds that have formed their musical sensibilities. Soprano Ruth Moody (vocals, guitar, accordion, banjo, bodhrán) is a classically trained vocalist and pianist known as an accomplished, versatile singer of traditional and Celtic music. She was the lead singer of Juno‐nominated roots band Scruj MacDuhk. Red House Records released her first full‐length solo album The Garden, whose title track was the #4 most played song of 2010 on folk radio, followed by 2013’s These Wilder Things.
Mezzo Nicky Mehta (vocals, guitar, drums, ukulele) is a self‐taught musician and classically trained dancer raised on ‘70s AM radio. She was nominated for a Canadian Indie Music Award for her solo album Weather Vane and is working on a follow‐up. She’s also preparing for the release of a new children’s book, based on the lyrics of her song “Away But Never Gone” from Bright Morning Stars.
When at home she splits her time between composing for contemporary dance and engaging in various social justice initiatives. With the Jennys, she spearheaded their ongoing relationship with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
Alto Heather Masse (vocals, upright bass) is a Jazz Voice graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and was a regular guest on A Prairie Home Companion. She has also toured with her own band, supporting her 2009 Red House release Bird Song. Masse hasreleased two jazz collaborations with Red House: Lock My Heart, a collection of standards pairing her with keyboard legend Dick Hyman, and August Love Song, which found Masse united with free jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd.
The Montana Tour
Billings: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Alberta Bair Theater; tickets are $27-$52 and available at the ABT Box Office, by phone at 406-256-6052; and on the ABT website.
Bozeman: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at The Ellen Theatre (sold-out).
Kalispell: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at the new Wachholz College Center at Flathead Valley Community College; tickets are available online.
Missoula: 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at The Wilma; order tickets online.
Helena: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at The Myrna Loy (sold out).