The Wailin’ Jennys

“The Wailin’ Jennies” by seniwati is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. 

Members: Heather Masse, Nicky Mehta, and Ruth Moody • Canadian Band • Year formed: 2002 • Folk/Bluegrass

Fast Facts

  • Based in Winnipeg, Canada
  • Although they’re known as a Canadian-based band, only Nicky Mehta was born there. Heather Masse is American and Ruth Moody was born in Australia and moved to Canada at eight months old
  • Group’s name is a pun on the name of country singer Waylon Jennings, although Jennings never influenced the group; someone else actually gave them the name!
  • All three contribute to the writing of their songs
  • In addition to their successful band career, each is also an accomplished solo artist 
  • They perform a cappella and with instruments; collectively, they play acoustic guitar, accordion, banjo, bodhran (Irish drum), ukulele, upright bass, and piano
  • The group became increasingly famous through their appearances on Garrison Keiler’s Prairie Home Companion radio program
  • The Wailin’ Jennys have won awards for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year, and several songs have topped the Billboard Bluegrass Charts

“I feel as strongly about the importance of music and the arts, as well as music and arts education, as just about anything. My mom is an amazing music teacher and so [my family] grew up with her [educational] influence and I think she probably is my greatest influence.”

–Ruth Moody

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