We are searson
Giving Canada’s old time sounds a renewal into modern roots; seamlessly blending spirited fiddling, energetic dancing and gorgeous harmonies.
For over a decade now, Searson has toured the world with their unique blend of high energy fiddling, passionate vocals and intricate step dancing. At the core of Searson, are Colleen and Erin Searson, two sisters who hail from the Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada. Their spirited live shows feature Colleen on fiddle and Erin on piano & tenor guitar, interspersed with the incomparably rich sounds of sibling vocal harmonies, and both sisters “pounding the boards" with Ottawa Valley step dancing. Searson tours as a trio and their talents are complimented by alternating multi-instrumentalists that include acoustic & electric guitars, bass, mandolin and percussion. This talented trio performs sets that feature their original style of “Canadian Celtic Pop”, which includes a mix of traditional and original instrumental and vocal selections.
Colleen and Erin have been immersed in the Ottawa Valley music tradition their entire lives. Erin trained classically through the Royal Conservatory of music in piano beginning at age 4. Colleen has been studying violin and fiddle methods from many styles around the world since age 9, and both sisters began step dance lessons before their 9th birthdays. They began performing locally and competing at step dance and fiddle contests throughout Ontario as children, which gave them the invaluable experience they needed to become accomplished performers and musicians. While the girls were in High School they performed across Ontario and Quebec at various events which garnered them the opportunity to gradually begin touring at a variety of events across Canada, the United States and Europe. A love of incorporating the Ottawa Valley style music with Celtic, East Coast, Scottish and various other genres caused them to expand their musical horizons, and the result is a sound all their own, which includes poignant compositions by both women. “The most satisfying part of performing live is seeing our fans singing along to songs that we’ve written and requesting fiddle tunes that we wrote,” Erin says, and Colleen chimes in, “absolutely, there’s nothing better than seeing the audience emotionally involved in your live show.”
Like their live shows, Searson’s recordings reflect their eclectic tastes, while maintaining strong roots in the tradition they grew up in. In 2017 they released, Homegrown, to honour their Canadian heritage and to celebrate Canada’s 150 years since Confederation by featuring songs by Canadian artists, songwriters (Bryan Adams, Neil Young, Chantal Kreviazuk, Robbie Robertson), and instrumentalists (Natalie MacMaster, Denis Lanctot) who have influenced Searson in meaningful ways.
This year, Searson will release their milestone tenth full length album, as well as their first live performance DVD. Both recordings document their performance in front of a live Ottawa Valley audience at the historical Neat Coffee Shop in Burnstown, Ontario. There is little overlap in musical selections between the full length audio CD and 60 minute live performance DVD from this celebration concert, and the DVD also includes “behind the scenes” clips and interviews with the band.
In May 2015, Searson filmed a brand new national series for CBC called 'Still Standing’. Concurrently, they ran a successful crowdfunding campaign in support of their 2015 album Stars Above the Farm. They’ve hosted three bus tours in Ireland with their Kansas City friends, The Elders. They continue to tour across Canada, the United States, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain. Wherever they travel and whatever projects they undertake, their passion for their music and their roots shines through and connects with audiences in a memorable way.
Giving Canada’s old time sounds a renewal into modern roots. Seamlessly blending spirited fiddling, energetic dancing and gorgeous harmonies.
News & Updates
We Are Getting Ready To Record Our 10th SEARSON Album!
Here's your chance to be a part of this project in the most unique way possible. We are recording our 10th album, live, at the beautiful & historical NEAT COFFEE SHOP in Burnstown, ON. We want to share our little corner of the world with you. But, even more exciting, is that we are also filming a live DVD of this special day & performance. We would love to see familiar & friendly faces in the crowd, so we can watch & re-watch & re-watch this special moment forever! We will be performing 2 separate shows for this event! A matinee, and an evening performance. So join us, for what is sure to be one of the most memorable events in our musical career!
Searson will be ringing out 2017 by celebrating Canada's 150 with a new album and a special hometown concert.
Home for the holidays, Canada's pre-eminent Celtic pop group is in the midst of releasing their ninth studio album, “Homegrown,” a tribute to those Canadian artists, songwriters and instrumentalists who have influenced the band. To close out the year, Searson will be hosting an album release show at the Wilno Tavern on Saturday.
“We love composing our own tunes and songs, and that’s still a big part of our live performances even with this new album coming out,” said Colleen Searson, who plays fiddle and provides vocals. “But there’s something special about putting together this mix of Canadian favourites that represents what we’ve grown up with and aspired to.”
“Homegrown” features six tracks in which Searson covers songs from Bryan Adams, Neil Young, Chantal Kreviazuk, Robbie Robertson, Natalie MacMaster and Denis Lanctot. The album aims to take the listener on a journey from coast-to-coast with the soaring vocals, rich string arrangements, and exquisite piano that Searson has become known for. Produced and engineered by Colin Wylie at the Old Church Recording in Douglas, “Homegrown” includes Richard Irwin on drums, Fraser Gauthier on bass, and Wylie on guitar.
“We've never done cover songs before so it was really interesting to delve into other people's music and do our own version,” explained vocalist Erin Searson, who plays piano and tenor guitar. “It was more nervewracking than I expected because there are such high expectations.”
With 2017 being the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation, the group wanted to do something unique. The project was quickly put together beginning in January when the sisters went through a list of artists and narrowly their choices down to six. The tracks were laid down over a few sessions in June.
“We feel so strongly about our Canadian heritage and where our roots have come from,” remarked Erin. “We are proud of our country so this was our small part to do something special.”
Each one has positively influenced them not only in their decade-long career but growing up in the Ottawa Valley as well. For instance, the sisters still remember going to the Pembroke Oldtime Stepdancing and Fiddling Contest to see Denis Lanctot perform. They have also toured the world, primarily the United States, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland and the Caribbean, and seen the impact that Natalie MacMaster has made.
“Natalie has done so much for celtic music around the world,” added Erin. “She's a strong female musician, a really good influence and she embodies everything we believe in.”
The next year will be a busy one for the sister act. In February, Searson will attend the Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, Missouri. The annual conference is the world's largest gathering of the folk music industry and community. They will be returning to Alaska in the spring and are also scheduled for some dates in Europe over the summer. While their Ontario dates are still up in the air, the group will be back at the Neat Coffee Shop in Burnstown in the fall.
“We loved that venue,” noted Erin. “It's always nice to a local show. We grew up here and it's great to play for a hometown crowd.”
“Homegrown” is available on iTunes. Copies can be ordered on the Searson website at: www.searsonband.com. Searson will be perfoming at the Wilno Tavern in Wilno on Saturday, Dec. 30. Showtime is 8 p.m.
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TO WATCH THE ENTIRE STILL STANDING EPISODE CLICK HERE