KEN mode and The Wailin' Jennys Bring Home JUNO Awards

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Two acclaimed Manitoba trios will be coming back from Ottawa with a little extra something after this weekend. KEN mode and The Wailin' Jennys picked up honours at the 2012 JUNO Awards during the invite-only JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on March 31.

Noisecore outfit KEN mode won their first JUNO in the new Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year category for Venerable. The album, the band's fourth, topped critics’ best-of lists and got high praise from American tastemaker music site Stereogum. The trio logged a lot of hours on the road, including a European tour, landed coveted showcase spots at SXSW earlier this month, got a nod from The Indies, and have a post-win peformance at Cafe Dekcuf for JUNOFest. Winnipeg audiences can catch the band live on May 17 at The Lo Pub. Click here to download KEN mode's "A Wicked Pike" off JUNO-winning album Venerable.

Roots act The Wailin' Jennys picked up their second JUNO for Bright Morning Stars, their fourth album. They had a hometown win at the 2005 JUNO Awards for their debut, 40 Days, and landed a nod for their 2006 release, Firecracker. The critically-acclaimed Stars has spent 57 weeks on Billboard's Bluegrass Albums chart, including time in the #1 spot, and won the band a Western Canadian Music Award last fall. The trio brought their signature three-part harmonies to the JUNO Gala, performing their cover of Dolly Parton's "Light of a Clear Blue Morning" during the in memoriam tribute to music industry professionals and artists who have passed away.

Manitoba artists had a strong showing at the 41st annual awards. Country rockers Doc Walker were nominated for Country Album of the Year for their latest effort, 16 & 1. Rock act BODM, who were in Ottawa to showcase at JUNOFest, got a nod for Aboriginal Album of the Year for Speakers of Tomorrow. Texas-based Manitoba duo Twilight Hotel were up for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year - Group while Brandon-born violinist James Ehnes was nominated for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment for Bartók Voilin Concertos. Read the full story on this year's JUNO nominees.

The big ticket event, the 2012 JUNO Awards, will be broadcast on CTV on April 1 with host William Shatner.

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