The word used most often to describe Jenny Gear is unique. She amazed
audiences with her vocal range and control on the first season of Canadian
Idol, and when she was voted off, the judges said they knew they'd hear her
Lucky for me, I got to hear her first hand. Before attending her show at Ginger's Tavern in Halifax, I listened to as much Jenny as I could. I watched all her performances on Canadian Idol and realized I had something to look
But it wasn't until I saw her in person that I knew I was right. She looked
calm as she prepared for the intimate gig. There were no more than 50 people
there, waiting eagerly and watching her every move.
The show started a little late, but once she got going, the crowd forgot how
anxious they'd been a few moments earlier. That control she had on
television came through every note, and she brought emotion into each song.
In person, Jenny reflects her Newfoundland background. She brings humour to
her performance and is never afraid to show her pride in her home. That
pride is most obvious in her music. Many of the songs she sang were from her
newly released, and debut album, Jenny Gear and the Whisky Kittens. She sang
Mark Bragg's "Bicycle", a song about just what the title says, and "All You
Gotta Do", written by Mike Davis, which Jenny said was very special to her,
and many more in between. She made a point to note that every song was
written by a Newfoundland songwriter, all of whom she is close friends with.
And she was clearly proud to admit that it was recorded at her "Nanny
Gear's" house, where she learned to sing and to love music.
When she wasn't singing a song from her album, she was singing Newfoundland
folk songs or favourites from her appearances on Canadian Idol, like the
Leonard Cohen hit, Tower of Song. Each time she announced which song she'd
perform next, the audience gave a cheer. It was obvious that every person
there was a fan, especially when, during a particularly emotional song, I
could hear people near me saying how amazing she was. By the end of the
night, the crowd was so involved in the music, it was hard to believe so
much time had passed.
When Jenny sings, you can tell she loves the music. The expressions on her
face relate so well to the subject she's singing about that you know she is
connected to the words. She may not be singing for sold-out stadiums yet,
and she may never sing a pop song, but that, and of course her voice, is
what makes Jenny Gear so unique.
Writer: Jennifer Nichols