Maddison Avenue
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Maddison Avenue

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Halifax's Maddison Avenue: Maroon 5 Meets Steely Dan"

Halifax-based rock quartet Maddison Avenue are the lastest entry to the East Coast's musical sweepstakes.

And while the band has been around for a couple of years - they managed to score a much-desired showcase when the Junos were held here two years ago - it has only recently gotten around to laying down some serious tracks in the recording studio.

It's been worth the wait, because unlike most of the vaunted Halifax Alternative scene, this is a band that can actually play, write, sing, and tune their instruments.

For more than a decade and a half the Nova Scotian indie rock scene has been dominated by inspired amateurs who regularly get cover stories in the Alternative Free Weekly The Coast. The result has been a musical milieu that is openly disdainful of the professional standards that drive the industry everywhere else.

With a band like Maddison Avenue, the thoughtfully arranged songs, the passionate singing and careful production all combine to make this particular six-song release sound like something from Toronto rather than Halifax.

With an impressive musical pedigree - lead singer Keith Maddison has a degree in music from Dalhousie University while others in the band have played with groups such as The Mellotones - Maddison Avenue will probably not be appearing on the cover of The Coast Magazine anytime soon.

That's too bad because this is a group that can certainly go somewhere. They have a sound that sits comfortably somewhere between the classic '70s jazz-pop of Steely Dan and the more current emo-funk of Maroon 5. Daring to utilize a battery of lush keyboards - courtesy of bandmember Jody Lyne - along with driving guitar figures and some very impressive six-string solos - these guys' musical chops are abundantly on display on just about every track.

And while the disc gets off to a good start with the chugging, statement-of-purpose rocker Look How Far We've Come, I find the band's real forte reveals itself on the slower numbers. Each Passing Day builds up a real head of steam with layered vocals accompanied by snapping guitar licks. Maddison displays some real keening emotion his vocals, which achieve a determined sense of controlled passion.

I can't help but think how this compares with the standard Halifax indie approach to singing. Usually that means a laughingly off-key, 'we-don't-really-mean-it' style that betray's the alleged musicians lack of commitment to his or her craft.

On later tracks on the CD such as Gypsy Girl and Fool In the Street Maddison Avenue channel the spirit of artists like Van Morrison and John Hiatt, reaching for a tough, rootsy sound that comes off very nicely indeed.

Ultimately, Maddison Avenue's self-titled debut CD functions as a tasty appetizer for recordings to come. Already the band has reached the level of 'Halifax's Most Promising Up-And-Comers'. I look forward to real greatness in their future.

Maddison Avenue will launch their CD at the Marquee Club on Friday, June 13th, with their friends Silver Gun and Sean Ashby also on the bill. The recording should be available in time for the gig.


"Sweet Renegade is one Sweet release"

Halifax musician Keith Maddison isn’t afraid to think big. Or to feel big emotions for that matter.

The singer/songwriter/guitarist heads up the East Coast Americana/R’n’B outfit Maddison Avenue, who will shortly release their blazing first full-length CD, entitled Sweet Renegade, by the middle of November.

Evoking the early 1970s when the likes of Joe Cocker and Van Morrison led widescreen pop/soul ensembles such as the Mad Dogs And Englishmen across North America or the epic Caledonia Soul Orchestra gigs that stretched clear over the Big Pond to Europe, Maddison Avenue have captured a joyous, unapologetically passionate, and very, very big sound on their new disc.

Each of the ten songs is blessed with a bevy of industrial-sized hooks, from large back-up choruses to gigantic guitar figures to some lingering and very attractive catch-phrases (Upon A Dream, I Threw Stones At Her Window).

The result is an album that is so full of direct emotions that it seems like a revelation. After all, Halifax’s insular indie music scene has made its reputation on small emotions, coy inferences and tiny ironies.

The fact that Keith Maddison and the rest of the crew in Maddison Avenue can deliver their big-hearted music completely in tune helps immensely; the alternative milieu in Halifax has always been plagued by musicians who have a reputation for throwing things together at the last minute, often with a few sour notes clanking in the background.

On Sweet Renegade, the quality of the musicianship is astounding. Guitarist Aaron MacDonald, for example, maintains a huge Robin Trower-like sound that powers each song with some very impressive lead lines, along with a clutch of incendiary six-string solos. Bassist Jeff Mosher, keys expert Jody Lyne and sticksman Mark Reid round out the band’s finely-tuned roster.

When you’re summoning up the spirit of unfashionable artists like Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen and Stephen Stills, it’s clear that Maddison Avenue are in it for the music, not just the ‘Halifax Cool Factor’.

Whether it’s the rolling title track Sweet Renegade, or the breathless faux-outlaw opener I’m On the Run, Maddison Avenue make music that aims at the gut while capturing your heart and your brains.

And while the ensemble playing is pointed and precise, for me it’s controlled emotions that really put this disc over the top.

Sweet Renegade is one sweet release. Launch is Nov. 19th at the Seahorse.

- Ron Foley MacDonald, Reviewer -

"Surfing on Maddison Avenue"

Are musicians drawn to the rhythm and flow of surfing? Or does surfing’s mysterious harmony pull musicians out of surfers?

The answer is probably yes to both questions, and that may explain why there is an abundance of musical talent within Nova Scotia’s growing surf community.

From acoustic guitar aficionados strumming on the beach to rock stars playing to packed bars and sold-out arenas, Nova Scotia surfers are making noise.

Among those surfers is 30-year-old Dalhousie grad Keith Maddison, who fronts a rock band called Maddison Avenue. A stalwart member of the Halifax music scene, the five-member band is set to release its second album this week.

The band will be celebrating the new album with a CD release show this Friday (November 19) at the Seahorse Tavern in Downtown Halifax. For more on the event, click here. recently caught up with Maddison for a brief interview about the band, the album and surfing. Where are you from?

Keith Maddison: I was born on Vancouver Island and raised between Nova Scotia and Ontario. How long have you been surfing?

Keith Maddison: Eight years. Favourite spots?

Keith Maddison: I love Martinique in the summer. Just spending all day on the beach with friends. But I’m goofy so I normally prefer lefts. When did your band form?

Keith Maddison: We formed in 2006 but weren’t really a band for another year or so. Who are the members and what do they play?

Keith Maddison: Lead vocals, songwriter, rhythm guitar, sax
Aaron MacDonald: Lead guitar, vocals
Jody Lyne: Keyboards, vocals, trumpet
Jeff Mosher: Bass, vocals, sax
Mark Reid: Drums Any other surfers in the band?

Keith Maddison: Aaron and Jeff have both tried it. Jeff actually grew up on the hill behind the Moose and keeps a horse there in his Dad’s barn. How many albums have you recorded?

Keith Maddison: This is our second album but first full length. How long did it take for you to record this album?

Keith Maddison: Almost two years. Ugh. Who wrote the songs?

Keith Maddison: Me, with the exception of ‘I’m on the Run’, which was written by Aaron and myself. Where do you get your inspiration? Does surfing influence your music?

Keith Maddison: I’m really inspired by the accomplishments of local musicians, some of whom are surfers like Matt Mays and Andrew Hunter. It’s great to see someone from here achieve success and are recognized in other parts of the country and beyond.

But for me as a songwriter and performer I’m really influenced by guys like Stephen Stills, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteem, Tim Buckley, Joe Cocker. Although they played with big bands a lot of the time they are folk singers when you get down to it. My band is made up of accomplished musicians and draw a lot of influence from R&B, funk, soul and rock ‘n roll bands. I guess I’m the folky one.

I’ve always been drawn to things that make the world fall away. You know, trying to keep it in the moment, where you’re so caught up in it that one thing that nothing else really matters. I get that from surfing and music so I guess there’s a connection there. Is there a song on the album you feel could be a hit? Are you hoping for a hit?

Keith Maddison: Well, if it means more people are going to listen to the tunes then sure, that would be great. But it’s hard to say. I’m still torn on what song to release as a single. But I’ve gotten great feedback on Burnin’ Soul, How It Will Stay, At Your Mercy, and Sleep Here. Will you get airplay on terrestrial radio? Does this matter anymore?

Keith Maddison: Yeah for sure. CBC, Q104, CKDU etc., are great at supporting local music. I think (radio) stills plays an important role and is something that shouldn’t be ignored, especially local and college radio. Will you album/song be available on iTunes? When?

Keith Maddison: Yes. Any day now! What sort of advice do you have for surfers who have a band and are thinking about getting into the music business?

Keith Maddison: Gig. If you’re an original band you can’t really expect to make money for a while, if ever. Get out there. Meet more musicians, go to shows, meet promoters, bar managers etc. Opening for established bands is a great way to get exposure.

Outside of making music and surfing, Maddison is a volunteer with the Surfing Association of Nova Scotia (SANS) and is one of the founders of the Canadian Surf Film Festival. In his day job, Maddison works for the Atlantic Film Festival.

To learn more about Maddison Avenue, visit the band’s MySpace page.

- Scotia Surfer


Maddison Avenue EP, 2008



Keith Maddison has always marched to the beat of a rambler's heart. Growing up, the Navy kept his family roving through Canadian cities but after spending his youth experimenting with different styles and mastering saxophone, guitar and piano, music brought Keith home. 

Dalhousie University's music program led the way back to Halifax, where he befriended some of the city's accomplished  musicians. Building on his work as a singer-songwriter, Keith began working with the undeniable talent of Aaron MacDonald (lead guitar), Jeff Mosher (bass, sax and vocals), Jody Lyne ( piano, organ, vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn) and Mark Reid (percussion). Together, they formed  a mosaic of musical chops that fused to deliver warmly familiar, but fresh melodies.

The culmination of these musicians and their various backgrounds  is  Maddison Avenue--
a classically satisfying country infused rock-and-roll band, peppered with hints of R&B instrumentals. Keith's lyrics follow a folk structure of honest story-telling, a style that he's been honing since a childhood introduction to the likes of Woody Guthrie and Wilf Carter. His narrative song-writing is complimented by a classic and reliable sound reminiscent of Van Morrison, Bob Seger, the Black Crowes and Bruce Springsteen.

It was a performance at a Junofest showcase in 2006 that got the ball rolling for Maddison Avenue, who went on to release an acclaimed  self-titled EP in 2008. They have since shared the stage with renowned Canadian party band April Wine and Dartmouth's rock-and-roll golden boy Matt Mays and collaborated with local greats Dale and Brian Murray, Ian Mosher and  fellow up-and-comer Laura Merrimen.

Though still a fairly young band, their veteran musicianship resonates with every rich harmony that Maddison Avenue belts out. Their forthcoming full-length album Sweet Renegade is a testament to their versatility as a band and  to the fact that even rambling hearts can put down roots.