Making a name for themselves as Ottawa’s hottest trad band, The Trousers are a dynamic duo that showcase music from their roots. Seasoned multi-instrumentalists Karson McKeown and Ross Davison are sure to have audiences unable to resist nodding and tapping their toes along to the beat of unique arrangements consisting of traditional Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton tunes.
After forming the band in Jan. 2016, The Trousers are thrilled to have released their first EP, which unites sets influenced by the members’ most influential idols, new music, and, of course, old favourites.
Karson McKeown, who comes from a long line of fiddlers in western Prince Edward Island, began playing the fiddle at age 10 following step dancing for six years. He has a classical background, and studied music at Holland College, where he focused on jazz, blues, rock, and Celtic. McKeown loves incorporating tunes his great, great, aunts and uncles taught him into their performances.
Davison also started applying his love for music at 10 years old when he took up learning to play the saxophone. Davison attended Michigan State University to study classical and jazz. Also, he is one of few people in Ottawa who play the uilleann pipe, which isn’t typically heard live outside of Ireland. He relishes the opportunity to share such a rare instrument with music-lovers at shows.
The Trousers have been branching out with gigs outside of Ottawa at a high demand, saying they have really come into their own with upbeat shows that have variety for everyone, and an ever-expanding musical repertoire.
Both members teach music, which is how they met, adding having that foundation of friendship is yet another element that makes shows even more enjoyable for the audience, as they laugh at each other while sharing stories, talk about where the tunes come from, and interact with the crowds.
The Trousers are guaranteed to be breaking a sweat at the end of each show, people of all ages clapping and cheering, as Davison and McKeown, instruments in hand, do what they do and love best.