Indie love: Madison Violet coming to Humboldt

HUMBOLDT — Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern will be performing in Humboldt as Madison Violet for a March show by the Humboldt Area Arts Council.

“It’s singer-songwriter, Indie folk. We have crossed genres for sure over the last nine records,” MacEachern said. “Now it’s a little more stripped back, more eclectic style for this tour that we’re doing in Saskatchewan.”

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The duo has received a Juno nomination, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Vocal Group Album of the Year and a Critic’s Choice Award from Country Music People’s Magazine. The two write all their own songs.

MacIsaac and MacEachern first met in 1999 in Toronto.

“I overheard Lisa say her surname MacIsaac and having spent my summers in Cape Breton Island at my dad’s mom’s house, my grandmother’s house, you would hear the MacDonalds and the MacIsaacs and the MacEacherns. Everyone’s a Mac down there but you don’t hear that so often in Toronto.”

MacEachern asked MacIsaac if she was from the east coast, starting a conversation and they immediately fell in love with one another.

“One thing led to another and we started a band,” MacEachern said. “She actually joined my band... Then the band split up and we started Madison Violet together.”

The two stayed a couple for about ten years before splitting up. Despite their relationship ending a decade ago, the two continued making music together.

“We were already contracted out for the next 18 months, like we broke up and went on a 16 week European tour – we can’t really cancel those contracted,” she said. “So we had to fulfill those contracts and that was a blessing in disguise because what it did was it forced us to navigate our way through it.”

MacEachern said the name “Madison Violet” came from a story early in their career.

“We bought a camper van and we went straight south to New Orleans and then straight across 10 through Arizona, New Mexico.”

While in New Mexico, the couple went to a small community near Roswell.

“We met this woman. She owned one of the campsites/hot springs and she was seemingly not of this world. We had a really, really bonkers mad experience there – and her name was Violet. We just came up with the name ‘Mad Violet’ after that.”

After years of having their name misconstrued and mispronounced as “Mad Violence” they started to go by “Madison Violet.”

Madison Violet will be performing at the Humboldt and District Gallery on Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.

MacEachern said people should come to the show because of the memories.

“We tell a lot of stories onstage and we share the stories behind the songs and the stories from our lives,” MacEachern said. “If people want to go out and have an experience they should come.”

If people like their music, she recommends that they vote for Madison Violet at the East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) Fans Choice Video of the Year for their song “Tell Me.” Tell Me is about MacEachern’s and MacIsaac’s early relationship, and having to hide it at the beginning. Voting can be done at ecma.com/news/fans-choice-video-of-the-year-voting-now-open.

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