Madison Violet will play a concert at Knox United Church in Parksville on Nov. 27. (Submitted photo)

Madison Violet will play a concert at Knox United Church in Parksville on Nov. 27. (Submitted photo)

Madison Violet to bring the sounds of Cape Breton Island to Parksville Nov. 27

Juno-nominated musicians to perform at Knox United Church

Madison Violet will bring the sounds of Cape Breton Island and Canada’s east coast to Knox United Church in Parksville on Nov. 27.

This will be the first time the Juno-nominated female musical duo, consisting of Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern, perform in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

The concert, called ‘It’s That Time of Year!’ will include a few Christmas pieces, including a brand-new song ‘Behind the Christmas Lights’, which is inspired by people who don’t necessarily look forward to going home for the holidays, according to MacEachern.

“I wanted to do another song that might be a little more inclusive, because there’s a lot of people that go home for Christmas with their families and they’re terrified because they can’t be who they want to be,” she said. “They may not have been able to discuss their sexuality in the past with their friends and family. Or maybe they have and it didn’t go over very well.”

MacIsaac and MacEachern identify as members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and are advocates for social justice.

Categorizing the band’s music is difficult, with elements of folk, singer-songwriter, pop, indie, bluegrass and country interwoven throughout.

Madison Violet will also play selections from their latest work, Eleven, which the band’s first self-produced album, and was recorded during the pandemic in a 1972 Airstream travel trailer on a farm outside of their home base Toronto.

They renovated the trailer to make it work as a recording studio, but initially did not feel comfortable about producing the album themselves. MacIsaac and MacEachern spent three months studying production and audio engineering online at the Berklee College of Music and mixed the record themselves, the band’s eleventh album.

“We actually realized that we did know a whole lot more than we thought and felt really quite secure going into making our record,” MacEachern said.

The songs on Eleven are about relationships, heartache, trauma and loss. MacEachern said the record is about what they’ve encountered on their journeys as songwriters and it is also them telling their truth.

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“When you are really fine-tuned in on what’s specific about what’s happening with you, or what’s happened with you, you kind of feel like everybody feels it more,” she said. “It’s a more universal thing.”

After spending a lot of time touring on the road for 20 or so years, MacEachern said she initially loved being off the road when the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly shut down live music.

“I didn’t really realize how much I missed it,” she said. “I was loving my new Airstream, my new country life.”

But she realized playing a virtual concert does not compare to being in front of a live audience.

“When I get up there there’s nothing else happening,” she said. “When you’re with an audience, you’re in flow, really. It’s almost like meditation. You’re in there with the audience and it feels like it’s coming back at you and you can feel it in the room.”

The pandemic gave MacEachern and MacIsaac a chance to embark on a different recording journey together in the Airstream. MacEachern said she was concerned about working together on the album in such a close environment.

“Lisa and I get along like a house on fire, but we can also be a house on fire,” she said, adding they ended up getting along very well. “We realized what my skill set was, what was her best skill set and it was a dream. It was really, really fun.”

Eleven is considered their most candid album to date, filled with deeply personal stories of love and loss.

“It’s a bit of a snapshot into our lives every time we sit down and write,” said MacEachern.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available online and at Parksville retailers Close to You Ladies Fashions and Fireside Books.


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