Madison Violet celebrating a successful year


It’s been 10 years on the road, but  all of the hard work is starting to pay off for Toronto based folk duo Madison Violet, who play the Slice with Ottawa roots rock band the John Henrys, May 6.
This year the girls, Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern  not only received a Juno nomination for their latest CD ‘No Fool For Trying,’ (which they lost to the Good Lovelies) but won the John Lennon Songwriting competition for the CDs first trMadison Violet play the Slice with the John Henrys, May 6ack ‘The Ransom.’
“We’d never entered anything  before, but Yoko Ono started the competition so it is reputable and besides, our friend Gordie Sampson, who’s a Billboard chart topper entered it too and if Gordie gets involved with it we thought maybe we should too,” said Lisa MacIsaac.
“We started getting feedback from people about songs like ‘Ransom,’ ‘Small of My Heart’ and ‘Lauralee and decided to enter  ‘Ransom,’” added Brenley MacEachern.
“There’s a lot of heartache and loneliness on this CD, but those were the songs that spoke to us the most. We entered into the contest and  then forgot about it, ” she continued.

“Which is strange because  arts and music is pretty subjective,” MacIsaac added.
“And I just got an e-mail from Jimmy Rankin, lead singer of the Rankin Family, who said  ‘The Ransom’ should be the theme song for all traveling musicians,” she continued adding response to the new CD has been great, receiving accolades all over the world including  reviews in Mojo Magazine, and Penguin Eggs Magazine.
“Mojo Magazine said ‘Small of My Heart’ was the third best song in December, even above Bob Dylan,” MacIsaac enthused.

The Juno nomination was a bit of a shock as they had never entered the competition before.
“There’s a big submission process and we had never submitted before. But the Good Lovelies, who won,  are friends of ours. It was a tough category this year,” MacIsaac said adding they flew in on Friday to play a couple shows and to attend the awards dinner where most of the awards were presented.
“We saw a lot of great performances by musicians we had never heard of. I think we’re going to have to fly back and find my liver,” she laughed.

“We have had a lot of success over the last year. But then we have been at this for 10 years, so it feels really great that things are starting to flourish,” MacIsaac continued.
“It feels like you’re doing the right thing when these accolades start to come in,” MacEachern added.
“When you fly into a small town  in Germany and they  are singing along with your lyrics and English isn’t their first language, it’s pretty amazing,” she added.
“I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’d be terrible at any other profession,” MacIsaac continued. Madison Violet spends a lot of time touring overseas. They are really popular in Germany, Denmark and Australia.


“Germany is a huge country. There are  80 million people and but they don’t really have a roots base or scene, but there are several thousand people who really enjoy the kind of roots music we do,” she continued adding they have never toured Western Canada.
“ We’ve always gone where the work has taken us . And it seems like the work always takes us overseas. So we keep touring over there,” MacEachern observed adding they are enjoying their tour with the John Henrys.
“They’re great guys and great musicians and easy to get along with. We usually take our own vehicle, but this time it’s seven of us in a van, so it’s like were a real touring Canadian band,” she said adding MacIssac plays guitar, fiddle and mandolin while MacEachern plays guitar and tenor guitar.
“The focal point of the live show is the vocal harmonies. We usually have a stand up bass, but we couldn’t fit it into the van, so we left Adrian (Lawryshyn) at home,” MacEachern laughed.

If you want a copy of their latest CD  ‘No Fool For  Trying,’ just be the first to e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 May 2010 11:21 )