DIARY - 12 JULY 2005 - WAILIN JENNYS
JENNYS NOT QUITE WAYLON
me to the breaking of a beautiful dawn/ take me to the place where we
came from/ take me to the end so I can see the start/ there's only one
way to med a broken heart." - Beautiful Dawn - Ruth Moody.
country folk trio Wailin' Jennys are proud to be mistaken for the
late outlaw country star Waylon Jennings.
It has won them plenty of publicity - especially when they play Ottawa.
"We were booked in a hotel for Ottawa Folk Festival," singer
Nicky Mehta revealed, "and they couldn't find us on the register.
We were going through our last names and Jennys and Wailin' and everything.
They found us under Waylon Jennings. Someone from the hotel actually
phoned the festival asking if Waylon Jennings was playing."
group revelled in the mystique caused by their sobriquet from a Winnipeg
guitar shop café owner who found they had no name when he booked
them for their debut concert in 2002.
"It's a play on Waylon Jennings," says mezzo Mehta, "which
some people don't get immediately, but it also causes tremendous confusion
because people think they're hearing Waylon Jennings."
Mehta, Annabelle Chvostek and Ruth Moody, aged 29-33, are in the vanguard
of the Canadian country folk revival.
Mehta and former singer Cara Luft cut solo discs before teaming with Moody
who made an EP while she did her time in folk mines with Scruj MacDuhk
- the band that morphed into The Duhks.
Winnipeg trio cut an indie six track EP before releasing its debut
album 40 Days (Jericho Beach-Shock).
Luft wrote three tunes but left the band in October after its release.
The trio wrote individually but collaborated on revamps of traditional
songs on a disc that features covers of Neil Young's Old Man
and John Hiatt's Take It Down.
Moody, a soprano, studied classical piano and voice and wrote apt
entrée One Voice, Heaven When You're Home and
the single Beautiful Dawn whose video is on Nu Country TV.
wrote the lyrics first and built it thinking about the Jennys that
this would be a really great song to sing all together," says
Moody of One Voice.
sure if they'd like it, but immediately Cara said 'That's a Jennys' song.'
We left it for a while and then we were at a festival in Mission, British
Columbia, and we said 'Let's work this up,' and it just all came together."
Mehta wrote Ten Mile Stilts about a girl shying away from commitment,
believing it to be the route to freedom but discovering it leads only
The title is a metaphor for self-induced alienation and stark contrast
to Luft's Come All You Sailors.
"I had this spiritual force in mind that is an image of peace and
love and compassion," Luft revealed.
SKATE ON GEORGIA ICE
couldn't get the keys but we sure could sing along". - Petty Song
It was a humble skateboard that first linked the two founders of country
roots band Shurman at school in Georgia at 13.
Singer-guitarist Aaron Beavers borrowed the cheap transport from drummer
Damon Allen to get home from a party in Fayette County.
The party resumed for the garage graduates when Texan Beavers, who fled
to Hawaii, hooked up with Allen, guitarist Jason Moore and bassist Keith
Hanna in L A.
"I was sending songs to Damon," Beavers revealed after Shurman
released its debut album Jubilee (Vanguard-Shock).
"He had moved to L.A. and was playing around town. He said, 'You've
got to come out here.'"
Shurman recorded two EPs, 5 Songs to Tell Your Friends About and
Superfecta, as a prelude to the album Beavers produced with Dusty
Wakeman and Andrew Williams.
Skip Edwards organ and Ben Peeler on lap steel add country soul in entrée
Drownin', Impossibilities, Red Eyes, Tex Mex flavoured Tonight
I'm Drinkin' and gritty finale 2 A.M.
And the Byrds guitar sound is recreated faithfully in Tom Petty eulogy
Petty Song and hook heavy Stay.
Doug Pettibone's pedal steel give the title track a genuine country flavour
- the major flaw is generic rocker I Got You Babe Pt 3.
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