Canadian singer/songwriter Jenny Whiteley has quite a family pedigree.
Her father and uncle, Chris and Ken, formed the popular Original Sloth Band in Toronto in the 1970s. Jenny and her brother Dan joined them as the Junior Jog Band, and she ticks off the names of brothers and cousins in the liner notes as exceptional musicians.
The Original Jenny Whiteley features a little bit of everything from the bluegrass/folk world, with traditional tunes she learned from her family, a few modern songs and some she wrote herself. Bob Dylan and Uncle Dave Macon are represented here. Fiddles and banjos are heard throughout, and even an actual jug makes its way into the works.
While the traditional tunes like “Groundhog” and “In the Pines” feature fine performances from Whiteley, the modern songs shine the brightest. “100 Dollars” is a clever take on the modern music industry, and Whiteley’s own “Malade” (sung in French) and “Higher Learning” are highlights.
The Original Jenny Whiteley is a loving tribute to her musical family heritage, but it’s also a quiet, melodic folk music gem.