306567

Whiteley, Jenny - Hopetown

Format: CD
Label: Black Hen Music
Year: 2004
Origin: Toronto, Ontario - Elkins, Ontario
Genre: folk, roots
Keyword: 
Value of Original Title: 
Make Inquiry/purchase: email ryder@robertwilliston.com
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: 2000's, Canadian Folk, Ontario

Tracks

Track Name
Burning of Atlanta
Hallelujah
Halls of Folsom
Needle in a Haystack
Spin it Round
No Reason Blues
Circus is in Town
Drive Anywhere
I Never Knew (That You Cared)
I Know How to Say Goodbye
Day to Day

Photos

306567

Hopetown

Videos

Information/Write-up

Canadian chanteuse Jenny Whiteley plays the kind of traditional yet sophisticated country music that predecessors like Emmylou Harris and Loretta Lynn have made their name on, and her roots in roots music run fairly deep in the Great White North. Her dad, Chris Whiteley, is a respected roots music figure in Canada, and Jenny herself started out in Heartbreak Hill, a celebrated traditionalist bluegrass act that took home a Juno (Canadian Grammy equivalent) in 1998. There's more of that burnished, well-crafted stuff on Hopetown, which also establishes Whiteley as a top-notch songwriter in her own right. The slow, beautiful simmer of "Burning of Atlanta," with its lashes of dobro and downtrodden sentiments, kicks off the album, while "Halls of Folsom" dares to confront a songwriting Goliath but lives up to the challenge, evoking the kind of loping drive and limber vocals of Lucinda Williams at her best. "Circus in Town" has the kind of slow, hazy, beautifully obtuse feel of early Gillian Welch, while the nimble "Needle in the Haystack" is straight-up traditional bluegrass. Hopetown is evidence enough that Whiteley is an expansive roots music talent, able to stand with the best of the American No Depression set. There's not a loser in the bunch on this album, and Canadian songwriting giant Fred Eaglesmith (often considered a sort of Maple-leafed Springsteen) offers his stamp of approval here with the co-write "Hallelujah."
-Erik Hage

Personnel:
Jenny Whiteley: vocals
Steve Dawson: whistling, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, dobro
Chris Gestrin: whistling, accordion, melodica, piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ
Joe Wright: guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals
Chris Coole: claw hammer banjo
Daniel Whiteley: mandolin, background vocals
Andrew Downing: double bass
Elliot Polsky: percussion
Amy Milan: background vocals

Recording information:
Canterbury Music Company, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Found Sound, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Henhouse, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Hotel Room, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada; Whiteley's House, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Photographer: Neil Graham.

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