The Original Jenny Whiteley (Black Hen Music)
If you didn’t know her as the next generation of the musical Whiteley clan, you could be forgiven for thinking that Canadian Jenny Whiteley is from Appalachia rather than Ontario, as this record showcases her musical roots spanning from traditional bluegrass to hillbilly hollers. Her original tunes connect closer to home, including singalong chorus Malade, sung in French. Backing her up on a veritable jug band full of instruments are Sam Allison and Teilhard Frost (a.k.a. Sheesham and Lotus). The lo-fi, live-off-the-floor sound of the record sounds like she’s performing an intimate set right in your living room. This is a diverse and enjoyable collection of roots music that is sure to show up on some best-of lists, and perhaps could garner the two-time Juno winner another nod for folk/roots recording of the year.