The Wailin' Jennys

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The Wailin' Jennys
OriginWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
GenresFolk, bluegrass
Years active2002 – present
LabelsJericho Beach
MembersRuth Moody
Nicky Mehta
Heather Masse
Past membersCara Luft
Annabelle Chvostek

The Wailin' Jennys are a Canadian music group. They have released several albums and received two Juno Awards. The group has been featured several times on the American Public Media program A Prairie Home Companion and their album Firecracker peaked at number two on the Billboard Bluegrass charts, in 2006. Their album Bright Morning Stars peaked at number one on the Billboard Bluegrass charts, in 2011, and Fifteen peaked at number one on the Billboard Bluegrass charts, in 2017.


The group was founded in 2002, when a Winnipeg guitar shop called Sled Dog Music brought Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta and Cara Luft together for a joint performance. The show was well received and the owner, John Sharples, scheduled a follow-up performance[1] and suggested they "go on tour and call themselves the Wailin' Jennys."[2] The group's name is a pun on the name of country singer Waylon Jennings.[3]

The band released a self-titled EP and an album, 40 Days, in 2004;[4]

The group now consists of soprano Ruth Moody, mezzo Nicky Mehta and alto Heather Masse. In previous years, the Jennys have also toured with fiddler and mandolinist Jeremy Penner, who is from Ruth's former band, Scruj MacDuhk. Other band members have included Annabelle Chvostek, a singer/songwriter from Montreal and Ruth Moody's brother Richard on viola and mandolin. Both Penner and Moody have appeared on The Wailin' Jennys' albums. In 2007, Chvostek left the group and was replaced by Heather Masse, a Maine-born singer and member of the band Heather & the Barbarians.

The Wailin' Jennys have won two Juno Awards for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year (Group) in 2005 for 40 Days and in 2012 for Bright Morning Stars They were also nominated for the same award for Firecracker in 2007.[5]



Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Grass US Heat US Indie US Folk
40 Days
  • Release date: August 10, 2004
  • Label: Red House Records
  • Release date: June 6, 2006
  • Label: Red House Records
2 23 27
Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House
  • Release date: August 11, 2009
  • Label: Red House Records
3 25
Bright Morning Stars
  • Release date: February 8, 2011
  • Label: Red House Records
1 7 24 10
  • Release date: October 27, 2017
  • Label: Red House Records
1 1 17 12
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak positions
US Grass
The Wailin' Jennys EP
iTunes Session
  • Release date: November 1, 2011
  • Label: iTunes
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ "Sled Dog Music". Sled Dog Music. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  2. ^ Notes the 2005-05-21 episode of A Prairie Home Companion, viewed 2006-10-10
  3. ^ "Wailin' Jennys overcome name confusion | The Wailin’ Jennys | Singers / Songwriters". 2002-08-14. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  4. ^ "Folk Fest - Wailin' Jennys' Cara Luft Breaks Folk-Fashion Rules". Georgia Straight, by Shawn Conner on July 15, 2004
  5. ^ "Yearly summary: 2005 to 2012". Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 2014-12-31.

External links[edit]