The Trishas with Nancy Dutra on Tue, June 4, 2013

Writers love phrases with multiple meanings; they’re so much handier than mere single-idea word strings. That’s why it’s so perfect that The Trishas’ first full-length album, High, Wide & Handsome, kicks off with a track titled “Mother of Invention.” Not only does it hint at the four members’ capacity for resourcefulness and their entry into motherhood, it also, by extension, suggests the concept of family itself. And family not only describes the sisterlike tightness of their bond, it’s literally what drew them together in the first place. (The Zappa nod is just icing.)

It’s a testament to Nancy Dutra‘s talents as a singer, performer, and especially as a songwriter, that the Toronto roots and country music community embraced her so quickly and wholeheartedly. Like most people who hear Dutra’s music, they were drawn to her simple, poignant country songs of quiet dignity and uncommon grace. In heartbreaking pieces like “I Cry” and “Weak, Weary and Worn,” Dutra had equalled the work of some of her strongest influences, like Iris DeMent, Lynn Miles, Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch. The songs are timeless; they find the eternal truths in heartbreak, family, and the real substance of people’s lives, and they’d be just as affecting 50 years ago, or 50 years from now.