We are searson
Searson has toured for well over a decade and have the confidence and drive to continue with their musical careers more than ever before. Sisters, Erin and Colleen Searson have developed their own original style of high energy fiddling, passionate vocals and step dancing.
The sisters perform on a variety of instruments throughout their live show which includes Colleen on fiddle, vocals and Ottawa Valley Step Dancing while Erin performs on piano, vocals, Ottawa Valley Step Dancing and tenor guitar. Rounding out the live show is bass/guitar player Fraser Gauthier, who has studied at Humber College and Capilano University, gradually gravitating towards roots music. Dave MacDougall is a drummer and percussionist who brings creativity and groove to a variety of styles of music.
In May 2015, Searson did a National Television taping for a brand new series with CBC called 'Still Standing'. Searson will be featured representing the history and culture of The Ottawa Valley Fiddling & Step Dancing. In the episode, the host Johnny Harris (Murdoch Mysteries) speaks with Searson about their new release 'Stars Above The Farm' and showcases Searson's raw talent
In the past 10 years, Searson has toured throughout Canada, the United States, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland and the Caribbean. They have brought hundreds of fans with them on various bus tours while performing throughout Ireland.
Growing up in the Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada these sisters began to study music at a very young age, performing locally and competing at Step Dance & Fiddle Contests. Since the age of 4, Erin has been classically trained through the Royal Conservatory of music in piano. Colleen has been studying violin and fiddle methods from all styles around the world since age 9 while both began step dance lessons before the age of 9. This prepared the sisters to grow and expand as they became accomplished performers and musicians and increasingly began to tour across borders and overseas.
A love of incorporating the Ottawa Valley style music with Celtic, East Coast, Scottish and various other styles can be heard throughout the live show.
“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, “There’s nothing better than seeing the audience emotionally involved in your live show.”
Vocals, Piano, Tenor Guitar, Ottawa Valley Stepdancing / Erin Searson
Fiddle, Vocals, Ottawa Valley Stepdancing / Colleen Searson
Bass, Tenor Guitar / Fraser Gauthier
Drums, Percussion / Dave MacDougall
Giving Canada’s old time sounds a renewal into modern roots. Seamlessly blending spirited fiddling, energetic dancing and gorgeous harmonies.
News & Updates
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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