Back again after the festive break what better way to start Blabber’n’Smoke’s year than with a review of this Canadian duo with strong Scottish roots who are appearing as part of the forthcoming Celtic Connections.
Madison Violet moved on from their early pop rock sound (as Mad Violet) to embrace an earthier and countrified approach on their last release, No Fool For Trying. The result was almost universal praise with Americana UK calling them the best thing to come out of Canada since the McGarrigles. While we wouldn’t go so far as to say that there’s no doubt that they seemed set to become one of the bigger names on the Americana circuit.
Two years later The Good in Goodbye revisits territory covered in No Fool For Trying and is again produced by Les Cooper who also contributes various stringed instruments. With such a winning formula the old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” applies and anyone who enjoyed the last album will certainly enjoy this.
Brenley MacEarchen and Lisa MacIssaac, (good Scots names) both sing wonderfully with their voices folding into each other on their harmonies. Cooper’s production is sympathetic and crystal clear while avoiding any sense of an airbrushed studio gloss. The songs themselves range from the country hoe-down of the traditional Cindy Cindy, the Stray Gator thunk of Come As You Are to the relatively unadorned celebration of a centenarian relative called Christy Ellen Francis that is sure to be a crowd pleaser (with the audience singing at the end) at their gigs. With just enough mandolin, Dobro and fiddle to satisfy the folk crowd while maintaining a very radio friendly sound expect to hear songs from this album appear on your favourite Americana, country and folk radio shows. Touring the UK over January and February they appear at Celtic Connections on 31st January and the album is available next week.
Come As You are