The Wailin’ Jennys — the Canadian bluegrass trio known for three-part harmonies — have got it covered.
The Jennys, who’ll play a sold-out show Saturday in Olympia, have always done covers, all the way back to their first album, 2004’s “40 Days.”
For their latest, 2017’s “Fifteen,” the band puts its stamp on numbers ranging from the traditional “Old Churchyard” and Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock” to Dolly Parton’s “Clear Blue Morning.”
“We love doing them,” said Nicky Mehta, a founding member of the trio, which got its start in 2002 as a one-time collaboration among singer-songwriters. “Arranging a cover and making it our own is a great creative process.
“Most of these songs don’t have three-part harmony,” she said in a phone interview. “It’s a chance to see how that fits — to make it a Jennys song.”
Indeed. the Jennys — Mehta, fellow founder Ruth Moody and Heather Masse, a New England Conservatory-trained jazz singer who joined in 2007 — have long been critical darlings.
“Most people simply can’t sing like these women, who are hiding behind not an ounce of studio magic,” Paste Magazine’s Jim Vorel wrote in 2014, when the magazine included “40 Days” on a list of “20 Great Folk Albums to Add to Your Indie-Rock Collection.”
The group has been dubbed “a band of female Wilburys,” referencing the British-American supergroup Traveling Wilburys consisting of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. The Jennys also have won two Juno Awards (the Canadian version of the Grammy Awards).
The all-covers “Fifteen,” celebrating 15 years of the Jennys, was a good fit for the group’s tight schedule — all three are mothers — but it also came as the result of years of fan requests, said Mehta of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“People really respond to the Jennification of covers.” she said.
The band’s name is, of course, a twist on the name of the country artist Waylon Jennings, who died in 2002 (after the name was chosen), but the Jennys have never covered a Jennings song.
“We talked about that a few years ago,” Mehta said. “It would have been a funny play on the name. We looked at a few options, but we just never got around to it.”
Though it appeals to fans of the pun, the name wasn’t intended as either a tribute to or poke at Jennings, whose brand of outlaw country is pretty far from the Jennys’ bluegrass.
Someone threw out the suggestion when Mehta, Moody and original third member Cara Luft got together for a performance, and the name stuck.
But though the Jennings connection says little about the trio’s style and substance, fans and critics alike would agree that these Jennys sure can wail.
The Wailin’ Jennys
The Juno-winning Jennys, whose three-part harmonies have made them bluegrass stars, will play a sold-out show Saturday in Olympia.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia
Tickets: $45 general admission, $40 for Olympia Film Society members. The show is sold out, though, but tickets are available from third-party sellers.