Puremusic readers may be well aware that we were very big on the debut of this Canadian supagrupe, originally composed of Ruth Moody (who came from Scruj McDuhk, forerunner of The Duhks) and singer songwriters Nicky Mehta and Cara Luft. 40 Days ended up with the Juno for Best Folk recording. So, like any fan and the group members themselves, no doubt, everyone wondered what the fate of The Wailin' Jennys was, after it was known that Cara Luft (who among other things was the hot guitar player in the trio) was leaving to pursue her solo career.

Through many channels and avenues, a search for a suitable replacement began, and this is one of many topics I take up with the newest member of the band, the keenly talented Annabelle Chvostek.

Not from Winnipeg like her bandmates, Annabelle is originally from Toronto, and moved to Montreal some years back. Check out some of her previous solo releases on iTunes and you will hear the jazzier and edgier influences she brings to the table, by which the trio is well served. In fact, Annabelle's song "The Devil's Paintbrush Road" opens the new record Firecracker with an unmistakable strength and a new voice.

Having interviewed the elegant and engaging Nicky Mehta on our first pass, it was just like us to want a go at the new member of the group, and we're grateful to our friend Jill Brooksbank at Mainstage Mgt. in Vancouver for hooking us up. Hope to get out that way in the Fall, and we'll post some photos or video clips if we do.

Like their paisans Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, The Wailin' Jennys are far more than the sum of their very significant parts, and no credible counterpart for either act in the States comes to mind. Both are very popular in their own country, and are slowly but surely gaining a wide and devoted following in the U.S. Don't even think about missing the Wailin' Jennys when they come to your town. And after you enjoy the conversation with the alluring Ms. Chvostek, check out the mighty clips on the Listen page and buy Firecracker, here.           

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