Studio B: Unreleased Recordings ~ radio/tv broadcasts, rare sessions, live bootlegs+
Midnight ~ the Video
In May 2002, Allison Crowe, her band, and a dedicated cast and crew assembled by Director Alex Postowoi, created a video for the song, "Midnight". This music video marked the directorial debut of Postowoi, a veteran television and major motion picture lensman (who's shot videos for Jann Arden, Bif Naked, Joan Armatrading+).
Love, indeed, makes the world go 'round. In celebration, Allison Crowe recorded this tune, by Antipodean band Hunters and Collectors, as a wedding song for Marsha & Sam who united in holy matrimony. The song's special release ~ on May 8, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. EST ~ coincided with the commencement of their wedding ceremony in Ottawa, our Canuck nation's capital ( :
"All things pass away; love and music last forever"
TYAAM is one of the most-loved popular songs of all time "Down Under" - composed by John Archer, Geoffrey Crosby, Douglas Falconer, John Howard, Robert Miles, Mark Seymour, and Michael Waters. Allison's performed it solo, and, most recently, recorded it with bandmates for her newest album/CD, Spiral. (This marks a transition from unreleased to released, though we'll keep the notes here in tribute to Marsha, Sam + Hunters & Collectors.)
In January 2004, in concert, Allison Crowe led the assembled musicians in a group-closer ~ John Lennon's song, "Imagine". In April 2004, she headined a concert to cap Earth Week activities in Victoria, the capital city of her home province of British Columbia, Canada. The "Goolden Gala" (in a gorgeous, old, converted 800-seat church) was to "Celebrate Peace Earth and Justice". Also to that end, Allison made this recording. (Another live version of Imagine was later to be released on her "Live at Wood Hall" double-album.)
More than forty years ago today, John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged a Bed In for Peace at Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Fuller details of these images by Gerry Deiter, and a new book featuring them, can be found on YouTube
The UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace project gathers together "songs which promote peace, cultural acceptance and understanding for those who work towards peace throughout the world". It is a growing initiative endorsed by organizations including the Centre for Political Song and the Woody Guthrie Archives, and such individual advocates as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and artists Pete Seeger, Philip Glass, and Abbey Lincoln.
Allison Crowe is represented in the NSFP project by a pair of live-off-the-floor recordings. Her original song for peace, "Whether I'm Wrong", was recorded live in CBC Radio Studio 2 in Vancouver in Fall 2003.
And, her interpretation of, Sarah McLachlan-penned, "Angel", was recorded live at Turtle Studios in White Rock, B.C. one winter's evening (in December 2003).
NXNW Session on CBC Radio
On September 10, 2003, Allison made a visit to CBC Studio 2 in Vancouver, B.C. for a performance/interview session with Sheryl MacKay, Host of CBC Radio's North by Northwest program. (The CBC is Canada's national public broadcaster - akin to the BBC in the U.K. and NPR in the U.S. It's a wonderful, uniting, presence in Canada. Bless the CBC!) Gary Heald engineered the pair of songs recorded live-off-the floor: a stately, slower, version of Whether I'm Wrong, one of Allison's newest songs, which has become part of the UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace project; and Montreal, a song inspired by Allison's visit to that Canadian city on her national Crying in a Rainstorm Tour.
Whether I'm Wrong
(A. Crowe ~ Sambuca Music)
(A. Crowe ~ Sambuca Music)
The Canadian singer-songwriter enjoys the art of interpretation - and is inspired by songwriters from all over the musical spectrum. Gathered here is a collection of rare, and, often, live, covers and recordings of rock, folk/roots, and pop captured over the years 2001 - 2013.
Hear Allison Crowe at the piano in her living room, picking up a guitar in the kitchen, or taking her spot beneath the lights to sing and play favourite tunes of Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen, Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco, Counting Crows, Annie Lennox, Patty Griffin and other artists represented in recordings from home and stage.
A rarely-heard live addition to this collection is from a 2008 European tour: "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" - a song from Elton John's classic 1972 album "Honky Château". Here's raw bootleg audio of Allison's performance from Tunnel - an underground jazz and blues club in Vienna, Austria.
Also here is a version of "Bird on a Wire" which Allison arranged several different ways - in 2012 when she performed live on-stage with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, for "The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen".
Rare, too, is the pair of original songs - "Snow" and "These Words" - included in this collection alongside numerous of Allison's singular interpretations.
NB here's a link to a dedicated Allison Crowe Covers Tori Amos page - click here (Thanks to Sarah Wheeler who hosted the Strange Little Covers site for years, and to The Dent, a fab Tori fansite, for first posting a link to Allison's live version of "Playboy Mommy" - one of the earliest recordings made by Condor, a great fan and friend of music.)
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Studio A (released tracks) ~ Studio B (rarities, boots+)