September 16, 2016

Jenny Whiteley: The Original Jenny Whiteley

photo: Ali Eisner

Canadian singer Jenny Whiteley lives and breathes old school country and folk. Her fifth album The Original Jenny Whiteley pays tribute to her roots with a mixed bag of tried-and-true classics and originals - one them sung in French. With her slightly nasal twang she has been compared with Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, but her overall approach is more purist, sticking to acoustic instruments and no drums.

She is the daughter of Chris Whiteley and she got her first taste of being a performer playing washtub and washboard alongside their dad and uncle Ken in The Junior Jug Band. Their material became part of her musical DNA, allowing to cut down-home versions of traditionals like In The Pines, Groundhog and Morning Blues. Her own songs don't pale in comparison. The tongue-in-cheek Higher Learning should be playlisted by roots radio stations all over the globe. The defiant Banjo Girl is all call to arms for women to play the Hell out of their instrument and not to take shit from anybody.

She comes full circle in the final track, when her dad and uncle join her singing the traditional Things Are Coming My Way. With an album like The Original Jenny Whiteley, that shouldn't be a problem. Backed by two multi-instrumentalists from the Toronto folk scene, Teilhard Frost and Sam Allison (who also took care of the production), Whiteley could focus on her singing and guitar parts, resulting in her most confident sounding album to date. Kudos to engineer Hugh Christopher Brown, Canada's current go-to roots music sound wizard, capturing the music with an uncanny intimacy.

The Original Jenny Whiteley is released via Black Hen Music.

  1. $100
  2. In The Pines
  3. Banjo Girl
  4. Log Cabin In The Sky
  5. Malade
  6. Groundhog
  7. Stealin' Stealin'
  8. Higher Learning
  9. Oxford Town
  10. Morning Blues
  11. Things Are Coming My Way

Live dates:
  • 09/17 MERA Sunday Schoolhouse Concert Series, McDonalds Corners
  • 09/22 Burdock, Toronto
  • 09/23 House Concert, Lavender
  • 09/29 Donaleighs Irish Public House, Barrie
  • 09/30 Gallery in the Attic, Peterborough
  • 10/01 The Loft at Harden & Huyse Cafe, Cobourg
  • 10/13 South in Milford, Milford
  • 10/14 NAC Presents/CNA Présente, Ottawa
  • 10/15 Casa del Popolo, Montreal


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