Mad Violet, The Front Row, Foldback Wedges and a Zoom H4

About a year ago I wrote a quick review over at duggup of Mad Violet, a killer duo from Canada.

So I was absolutely chuffed when I got a note from Harmony Row @ Albert Park announcing that Mad Violet and Kristina Olsen were going to be playing there. A quick call secured tickets and then it was just wait…

Mad VioletFirst up on the night was Mad Violet. After waiting over a year to see them play, tonight’s the night (good title for a song). Soundcheck was just finishing when we arrived and the sound straight off the stage bodes well.

Albert Park Lounge is a squarish room with a low ceiling, the stage is a small riser and the PA speakers are set wide, in front of the stage were 2 powered foldback wedges. So where did we sit? That’s right… front row centre just behind the gap in the wedges and where did I put the Zoom H4? On the top of my bag angled up towards the mics. Going well isn’t it?

The funny thing is, that live the show sounded great. Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac are just fantastic performers. From the moment they started the first song they just owned us. The audience went wherever they wanted to go.

The track I picked to put up is the last one of the set. Brenley is playing a 1957 Harmony semi acoustic tenor guitar and Lisa is on her Taylor for the song and fiddle for the set of tunes.

Never Saw The Ending” and Tunes [audio:MadVioletLive@AlbertParkFeb2008.mp3]
There is a lot of the room in the recording but it will give you an idea of just how much fun they were. The tunes especially are just awesome.

If you get a chance to see them ask them to sing “Ransom” it’s a nice shiny new song that they were playing for the second time and it will break your heart when you hear it. This one sounds amazing as a duo, and when they record it with the band… wow .

Second Bracket is Kristina Olsen & Steven Tabener on double bass
Kristina is an engaging performer with a deep throaty blues voice and brilliant guitar skills, I fell in love with her bright red fibreglass body “Beltona Hi-Life” resonator guitar (Yes I want one). Her bracket like the “Mad Violet” bracket before it went so quickly. Head to her MySpace site and have a listen to “How I Love This Tango”, it was my favourite song on the night.

Steven Tabener on upright bass and occasional vocal gave Olsen’s songs a broader dimension, especially on the blues pieces. He gave them a punch that allowed Kristina to stretch a bit.

So the lesson from the evening? Zoom H4’s don’t like sitting on foldback wedges (go figure), Mad Violet were fantastic and Kristina Olsen is a great performer and I want to hear more of Steven Tabener playing bass.

All in all a good one.

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