Madison Violet No Fool For Trying

The Toronto, ON duo formerly known as Madviolet recently softened their name but certainly not their sound. This, their third album, digs deep emotionally, with such haunting songs as "The Woodshop" and "Crying" reflecting the grief and sorrow that surrounded singers/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac prior to its making. Musically, it's their rootsiest effort yet, with lap steel, slide, upright bass, mandolin, banjo and fiddle all used judiciously. Producer/guitarist Les Cooper (Jill Barber, Meaghan Smith) helps Madison Violet craft a clean and sparse sound, and he captures the duo's signature vocal harmonies effectively. The inherent beauty of two pure voices singing together helps shine a little light on the oft-melancholy material, as album highlight "Small Of My Heart" illustrates. To date, Madison Violet have had more impact in Europe and Australia than at home. No Fool For Trying deserves to change that. (True North)