Archive for the Madison Violet Category

Weekend YouTube: Catherine MacLellan & Madison Violet

Posted in Catherine MacLellan, Madison Violet on January 29, 2011 by AmericanaPulse

In this week’s ReviewShine feature, I spotlighted Amelia Curran and Dala, two artists who were recently honored at the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards in December.  Today, I’d like to take a look back at two favorites of mine who were honored at the 2009 CFMA’s.

Catherine MacLellan was the Solo Artist of the Year in 2009.  Here are a couple of videos of unreleased MacLellan songs from the wonderful Music Fog blog.

I also have a couple of videos of the 2009 Vocal Group of the Year Madison Violet… also from Music Fog.

Once again, much love to Music Fog for filming and documenting so many great performances from so many talented and overlooked artists.  I still miss Jessie Scott (and X-Country) on XM Radio (Mojo just doesn’t do it for me), but I’m glad she’s still working in the Americana field.  The Fog is a tremendous resource.

North Americana Week: My Interview with Madison Violet

Posted in Canadiana Week, Madison Violet on February 18, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

As mentioned yesterday, Madison Violet made their way through Knoxville Wednesday on their way to the Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis. They appeared on the Blue Plate Special in the afternoon and were nice enough to stick around town and join me in the studio last night.

What you’ll find here is my full interview with Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIssac from Madison Violet along with live performances of “Laura Lee,” “The Woodshop,” “Crying,” and “No Fool For Trying.” The girls discuss the origins of the band, their desire to play more shows in The States, and Brenley’s general dislike of the term “Canadiana.” She suggested the term “North Americana” instead since we’re all one big continent anyway. As you can see by the title of today’s post… I have taken her suggestion to heart. For today at least…
Madison Violet: Interview and Performance Live at WDVX (Buy No Fool For Trying)

Canadiana Week: Madison Violet in the Studio Today at 6:00

Posted in Canadiana Week, Madison Violet on February 17, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Forgot to mention this earlier today… but you can catch me interviewing Madison Violet live on WDVX today (Wednesday) at 6:00 PM Eastern Time. The reigning Vocal Group of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards is passing through Knoxville on their way to the Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis.

You can listen in to the interview/performance live at the WDVX website. If you miss it, don’t worry… I’ll try to post the whole thing here later.

Top 20 of 2009: 18-16

Posted in Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Madison Violet, Sarah Borges, Top 20 of 2009 on December 18, 2009 by AmericanaPulse
#18 – No Fool for Trying by Madison Violet

Madison Violet was one of my favorite new discoveries of 2009. I was completely unaware of the duo from Canada when their No Fool for Trying album showed up on Reviewshine’s website (another one of my favorite things of 2009). It was one of the first albums I received and reviewed through Reviewshine, and I’m glad I took the time to give this one a listen… it’s easily one of my favorite folk records of the year. In fact, they were recently named Vocal Group of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

This album is full of lush harmonies and beautifully heartbreaking lyrics that create the perfect album to listen to during a relaxing evening at home. This is the third album for Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIssac as Madison Violet, and the first to draw so heavily from acoustic folk and bluegrass influences. It’s a direction I hope they continue to follow.

Madison Violet: No Fool for Trying (Buy Album)

#17 – Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

I noticed this album back when it was first released in February, but I didn’t truly come to appreciate it until I went back to listen to it again before the Americana Honors and Awards. I’ve said here several times that Jason was my favorite member of The Drive-By Truckers during his time with the group. Of course, when he was with the Truckers, only two or three of his songs would make each album. Now that he’s on his own with two solo albums under his belt, Jason has really had the chance to grow and expand his sound.

This album finds Jason building on the southern rock sound that has been at the core of most of his previous work and adding a bit of country soul. The guiding hand of Lynyrd Skynyrd is still present, but there’s something extra here that elevates this album over his previous effort Sirens of the Ditch. Jason’s backing players, The 400 Unit provide a fine framework for his lyrics with keys present nearly throughout the album and drums mixed way up in the front. A promising second effort for this amazingly gifted songwriter.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit: The Blue (Buy Album)

#16 – The Stars Are Out by Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles

I was very open on this site about my process of growing to like this album. I started with excitement, moved on to trepidation, experienced some slight disappointment, and finally took a step back and learned to enjoy it. I had read some early reviews and and heard one overly polished track before the album was released. I let that color my expectations and taint my initial perception of the record. I shouldn’t have.

Once I took the time to regroup and listen to the album again with fresh ears, however, I was able to appreciate the album for what it is. Some of the country flavors from her previous work has been replaced in spots by a harder rock edge and a Joan Jett like energy on several tracks. That edge is present on several tracks including the Borges originals “Do it for Free” and “I’ll Show You How.” It also shows up on her cover of Any Trouble’s 1980’s Brit rock tune “Yesterday’s Love.”
Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles: Yesterday’s Love (Buy Album)

Random Weekend Post: Madison Violet

Posted in Madison Violet on December 5, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Back in May, I introduced you to a Canadian folk duo by the name of Madison Violet. I’ve started to see their name pop up more and more around the blog world lately, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to revisit their sound. The girls were recently nominated for “Vocal Group of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for their new album No Fool for Trying.

Here’s a live version of one of the songs on the album along with the band’s electronic press kit for the new album.

Madison Violet

Posted in Madison Violet on May 18, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Quick post today to introduce you to a Canadian band I discovered recently called Madison Violet.

Madison Violet is primarily composed of singer/songwriters Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac. The two both had similar upbringings in small towns in rural Canada and began singing and playing together a few years ago after a chance meeting in a Toronto bar. The two musicians bonded over a shared desire to shed their country music roots and branch out into something new.

After playing together in other projects for a while, MacEachern and MacIsaac formed Madison Violet in 2004 and released a pop-flavored debut that garnered some Top 40 airplay on Canadian Radio. It wasn’t long however, before the duo’s country roots began to show once again. The pair’s sophomore album Caravan received a nomination for “Folk Album of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2006.

That folk influence carries over on their upcoming release No Fool For Trying. The two blend beautiful harmonies over gently strummed acoustic melodies and atmospheric steel guitars on songs like the album opening “The Ransom.” For eleven tracks, Madison Violet delivers solid melancholy folk that covers similar ground as their Canadian compatriots The Be Good Tanyas. I don’t think I can give a much higher endorsement than that.

No Fool for Trying from Madison Violet will be released June 23 from True North Records. You can pre-order (and stream) the album now on the True North website.

Madison Violet: The Ransom (Buy Album)