If you go

What: The Wailin' Jennys

When: 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19 (sold out), and 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 20

Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder

Cost: $35-$40

Info: bouldertheater.com

When The Wailin' Jennys aren't rearing sons, they're spreading sisterly love — in perfect harmony.

Sounds like Boulder's kind of humans — which they clearly are: The Canadian-based vocal trio added a Monday show at the Boulder Theater after quickly selling out their Sunday show.

The Jennys have performed along the Front Range only a couple times in their 15 years as a band: a 2011 show at Loveland's Rialto Theater, a 2015 sold-out Boulder Theater show and a stint at Lyons' Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in August.

To be fair, the ladies have each been busy raising a quartet of boys: Nicky Mehta's twin 8-year-old sons, Ruth Moody's nearly 1-year-old son and Heather Masse's 5-year-old son. Although all of the kids separately came along on the tour ride when they were younger, Mehta's twins, at their age, stay home.

"That would be insane," she said, laughing. "They have so much energy, I don't know how we would do it."


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Striking a family and work balance is tricky, she said, but the ladies figure it out. Even if that means waiting six years to release a new album while they take family breaks.

"We all have to check in with each other to see what makes each other feel sane," said Mehta. "We've learned to figure out how to satisfy everyone's needs in terms of how long we need to be gone. It's a constant balancing act. Things are really always in a state of flux, so we just have to figure out what works and change things when need to change."

The Wailin' Jennys are fresh off the October release of "Fifteen," an album of covers — source material on the album includes Tom Petty, Emmylou Harris, Paul Simon and Dolly Pardon — in conjunction with their 15 years together as a band. "Fifteen" is already sitting at No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart.

"Well, 15 years is a long time, to have made it this far feels really great," said Mehta. "It's exciting for us ... it's a different life, and I think a lot of people who have families find it hard to sustain a band, but we've been so fortunate that we've got a really strong following and very loyal fans."

Their favorite songs

The mezzo Mehta and soprano Moody, both of Winnipeg, Manitoba, snatched the alto Masse after a couple of lineup changes, and Masse, who lives in New York, has been with the group since 2007. The band has garnered critical acclaim and awards, including coveted Juno awards for "40 Days" (2004) and "Bright Morning Stars" (2011).

"Fifteen" is simple, allowing the trio's immaculate three-part harmonies to shine. The ladies, through a cappella tributes to full-band renditions, stay fairly true to the originals, offering a euphonious collection of some of their favorite songs — including a wistful version of Petty's 1994 song "Wildflowers." ("We lost Tom Petty just before we released the album," said Mehta. "Such a tragedy.")

Mehta, who also plays guitar, snare drum, ukulele and harmonica, was excited to cover Canadian singer-songwriter Jane Siberry's "The Valley."

"It's my favorite song to begin with," said Mehta. "What we did with it in keeping with the emotion of the original — it's really hard to replicate that. It's different than the original, but we really wanted to keep that yearning nature of it."

"Fifteen" may be the Wailin' Jennys first album since 2011, but keeping a healthy family balance is what makes the trio remain so grounded. Moody and Masse embarked on successful solo careers, and Mehta, who said she's been working on her second solo album, "forever" (2001's "Weather Vane," was nominated for a Canadian Independent Music Award in 2002), is about to release a children's book, "Away But Never Gone," based on the lullaby of the same name from "Bright Morning Stars."

Mehta, who has long been a mentor to at-risk youth and an activist for mental health and stigma reduction, said she helps balance her love for advocacy with her family life by simply taking her boys and husband with her. Just a couple hours prior to this interview, she and her boys were aiding the hungry and disenfranchised population of Winnipeg by volunteering with an organization to serve breakfast.

"The boys really like it," said Mehta. "That's a situation where I can combine parts of my life. I am drawn to trying to make sure there is support and resources for the disadvantaged in our city. It's always been an interest of mine."

'Women are being believed'

As a powerful female musician, Mehta said she has hope for the future. Aside from a little mansplaining and pandering while working in the male-dominated music industry, she said The Wailin' Jennys have been fortunate with their encounters as a band.

As for women who have come face-to-face with lewdness, Mehta said she applauds the more recent movement of women speaking out.

"Women are not believed by certain segments of the population, so it's a real big change to see what's happening," she said. "I think it's very encouraging. It makes me think that the first time, that I've seen, that women are being believed."

Mehta said the Boulder shows will feature a mix of some old and some new stuff. She said that in a whirlwind tour, they usually don't have time to explore but are happy to have a chance to step out in Boulder before their second show Monday night.

"It's just so beautiful there, the scenery is amazing, it's a gorgeous place," said Mehta. "We've really enjoyed everybody we've met there and the audience is very friendly and always excited. It's really hard to find anything wrong with Colorado."

Christy Fantz: 303-473-1107, fantz@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/fantzypants