Harmonic trio set to take the stage Sept. 15 at CSB

Bookmark and Share

August 30, 2018

By Connor Kockler '22


What happens when three highly successful solo singer/songwriters decide to form one “folk super-group”?

The three members of The Wailin’ Jennys - Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta and Heather Masse - have each been lauded for their great individual work in music. But when they come together, the result is truly extraordinary.

“If you are new to the Wailin’ Jennys, their three-part harmony sound fits somewhere between the slickness of The Dixie Chicks and the folk-cool of The Be Good Tanyas,” wrote Rich Barnard of the group on the website redguitarmusic.com.

The Wailin’ Jennys will be performing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Escher Auditorium on the College of Saint Benedict campus as part of the Fine Arts Series at CSB and Saint John’s University. A limited number of tickets remain for this show (the last time the Wailin’ Jennys appeared at CSB during the 2013-14 FAS season, they sold out).

From their roots in Canada and New England, each member of the Wailin’ Jennys brings varied talents and influences to the group.

“The three M’s swap the (vocal) lead often like a band of female (Traveling) Wilburys,” wrote Associated Press writer Steven Wine, referring to the famous supergroup of George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.

Founding members Moody and Mehta started the Wailin’ Jennys in Manitoba in 2002, after they came together for what was supposed to be a group one-off performance, according to the band’s website. It was a hit, and soon after released the new group’s first full album “40 Days” in 2004, winning a Juno Award, Canada’s most prestigious award for music.

After touring and appearing on “A Prairie Home Companion,” their profile only continued to grow with the release of their second album “Firecracker.” Peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts in 2006, it was considered to be both a great follow-up to their original album and an expansion of their music from folk into areas as diverse as alt-country, pop and rock, according to the band’s website.

Masse joined the group in 2007, and the Wailin’ Jennys won a second Juno award in 2011 for their album “Bright Morning Stars.”

Coming off these award-winning efforts is their newest album, “Fifteen.” Celebrating the number of years the group has been active, it combines many of their favorite songs from throughout their run, and features tracks by writers such as Petty, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton.

“This is an album of great tunes, rearranged by a seasoned trio who know how to bring out the best in a song. It grows on song by song,” wrote Ken Abrams on the website Folk Radio UK.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $27 for seniors and $23 for CSB/SJU faculty and staff. Youth and students (with ID) get in for $15, and CSB/SJU student tickets are $10.

For tickets, call the Benedicta Arts Center Box Office at 320-363-5777 or order online.

This performance is sponsored in part by Bernick’s, D.J. Bitzan Jewelers and Proviant Group.

The activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.