Cara Luft Leaves Wailin' Jennys, Search Underway for New Jenny

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Change is underway for Winnipeg folk darlings The Wailin’ Jennys. One third of the award-winning trio, Cara Luft, has left the group to return to her solo career. The remaining members, Nicky Mehta and Ruth Moody, will continue the group and have started a search for a new Jenny.

Luft, affectionately known as “Jenny Van Halen” due to her exceptional guitar talent, has been the alto voice of the trio since it began two years ago. Her first full-length solo album, Tempting the Storm, was nominated for a 2001 Prairie Music Award for Outstanding Roots Recording. Two years earlier, Luft performed at Calgary’s Lilith Fair and the International Guitar Festival in England. Luft’s songwriting style added a percussive edge to the trio’s sound, as well as some traditional flavour with her popular reworking of British folksongs.

Luft performed her final show with the Jennys at the October 28 taping of CBC’s “The Vinyl Café” in Surrey, BC. The band’s remaining concerts for 2004 have been cancelled to allow the group to reorganize.

“I'm grateful for all the amazing opportunities that came my way as a result of helping to form and be a part of the Jennys,” Luft said in a press release from the Jennys’ management. “It was a great learning experience. Leaving was a hard decision to make but my creative vision is leading me in other directions. I wish the Jennys well.”

“It's sad to see this chapter come to a close,” said Moody and Mehta in the release from Mainstage Management, “but don't worry, it's not going to end here. We look forward to an exciting future with a new Jenny! We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our friends and fans for all they have done to support us and our music. We wish Cara all the best in the future and continued success as she pursues her solo career.”

Established solo singer/songwriters in their own right, Moody, Mehta and Luft took a one-off performance with each other at Sled Dog Music and developed it into one of Canada’s most sought-after folk ensembles. The trio released its first full-length CD, 40 Days, on BC’s Jericho Beach in May 2004 to critical and popular acclaim. The Jennys took recently home a Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Roots Recording at the awards gala in Calgary in October 2004.

According to management, Luft intends to spend the winter writing, intending to demo new solo material in spring 2005. The remaining Jennys have already started searching for the new Jenny while taking time in the next two months to write new and rework old material. Moody and Mehta intend to return to the road with their new addition on January 5, 2005 to tour northern BC and then the UK.

For more information, please visit The Wailin’ Jennys and Cara Luft online.

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