Tuesday, 08 November 2011 15:42

Scottish Canadian Madison Violet in Swift Current

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By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Both hailing from small Scottish towns in Canada, Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac formed Madison Violet nearly 10 years ago after a chance meeting at restaurant in Toronto.


Since that fateful meeting, the pair have come into a sound of their own, which has been described as both city-folk and Americana.
Madison Violet will perform at the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current on Nov. 24.
“Brenley overheard me in a conversation at the next table, telling someone my last name, and she came over to ask if I was a MacIsaac from the East Coast,” MacIsaac explained. “We found out that not only did our families know one another, but our fathers actually sat next to each other in high school.”
MacEachern was playing with an ambient trip-hop band at the time, and they were looking for a fiddle player. She invited MacIsaac to a band practice, and after the band left the two girls sat around jamming together.
“We realized that our voices worked really well together, and Brenley had been writing folky roots music that didn't really fit with what her band was doing,” MacIsaac added. “We stripped it down to a duo, and we've been on the road together ever since.”
Born only one week apart (but in different years), MacEachern and MacIsaac shared very similar upbringings. Each was heavily involved in team sports, which MacEachern feels prepared them well for a career performing as a duo.
“I'm sure that we could both have solo careers, but we like the sound of our voices together,” she noted. “We hear about all of these singer / songwriters going out on their own, and touring and stuff ... I would rather die than do that. Solidarity is our middle name.”
“We always know where the other is going to go,” added MacIsaac. “Our brains work very similarly, so we can always follow. It's so nice to have that kind of relationship on stage.”
Their music is based around their harmonies and their acoustic instruments, creating an Americana, roots-based sound. It has been successful for the duo, leading to their earning several East Coast Music Award nominations, as well as a Canadian Folk Award nomination as Vocal Group of the Year.
“The fact that I write a song, and somehow we have the privilege to get up on stage and play it and people have paid for tickets to be there and listen — I think that's an absolute privilege,” MacEachern admitted. “I constantly remind myself how lucky I am to have that opportunity, day in and day out. If we wanted to work 365 days out of the year, the offers are there. That's pretty incredible.”
Much of their music is autobiographical, detailing some of the major events that have occurred in their lives — massive breakups, losing family members, dealing with relationships, and moving forward. They find inspiration everywhere.
“No one is really safe around a songwriter,” explained MacIsaac. “We'll be out for dinner and overheard a couple having a dispute ... and we're probably going to write about it.”
Their live performances are a chance for the duo to connect with their audience on a more personal level. For MacIsaac, it's all about what the audience gives back to them after they’ve put their hearts on their sleeves and given it their all.
“You have to engage them, and it’s a challenge,” added MacEachern. “But if you give it to them, they’ll give it right back to you. Night after night, if you can get that then you're satisfied.”
The Nov. 24 concert will have its doors open at 7 p.m., with music beginning at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $25 and available at Pharmasave ticket centre or by contacting Shann at 306-778-2686 or srgowan@yourlink    .ca.

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