Tour-ready ~ April 5
Hanging out with my piano - enjoying the sun coming through the window. Tour starts May 3rd in Germany!
Allison Crowe foto
Spotify’s recently added “Songbook” @ http://open.spotify.com/album/733yHhBZ8Ya2l3bqRTpJbr
Following the inclusion of Allison’s other releases of this past year – “Heavy Graces” @ http://open.spotify.com/album/55HkHTGrh9mrlpQkZvmto2 and “Newfoundland Vinyl” @ http://open.spotify.com/album/0gTNJHpy7ljA8Mlldpngkc this makes for a complete repertoire.
Pandora today has added to its Allison Crowe music library @ http://www.pandora.com/allison-crowe These newest songs are from Allison’s “Heavy Graces” album. The title track is @ http://www.pandora.com/allison-crowe/heavy-graces/through-these-heavy-graces - and the rest of this acclaimed and rocking song collection will be searchable very soon, tagged by Pandora’s descriptors: “folk roots”, “a subtle use of vocal harmony”. “acoustic sonority”, “thru composed melodic style” and more!
Tonight Will Be Fine ~ March 26
The always marvellous, to some mysterious, DrHGuy - chronicler of all matters of lust, life and Leonard Cohen - showcases his video of Allison Crowe covering "Tonight Will Be Fine". It will.
Silence - Corner Brook Café ~ March 18
"Silence" - a song first heard on Allison Crowe's "This Little Bird" album - is performed by her in “Corner Brook Café” – the very popular Rogers Television show hosted by veteran Producer Wendy Woodland and filmed by lensman Editor Michael Rigler (MrShadowySouls) in Crowe’s home of Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.
“Threshold” visual processing’s chosen here by the duende of the music.
Happy St. Patrick's!! ~ March 17
There cannae be too much celebrating in life. Here's to a Happy St. Patrick's Day... Sláinte!!
And, here's Allison acapella - "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms":
Time After Time - live (Nanimo Tidings Concert) ~ March 11
Allison Crowe performs at the annual "Tidings" concert in her birth-place of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. (The same event at which her live performance of "I Never Loved a Man" is captured.)
Here Crowe delivers a song from her child-hood - Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman's '80s pop gem "Time After Time".
Concert video captured by Del Crowe and audio by Scott Littlejohn.
Disease (White Rock/Corner Brook) - complete ~ March 8
“Disease” - Allison Crowe’s vocal and piano performance captured in concert on International Women’s Day in 2008 (08/03/08) – at Turtle Recording’s 20th anniversary celebration. Larry Anschell and Brad Graham co-engineered the audio – showcasing Turtle’s fine-tuned mobile recording expertise heard in music releases from Allison, Pearl Jam, Bif Naked, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Sarah McLachlan and others from the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
"Power-house intense" says an European reviewer, “"the energy of 'Disease' can easily provide electricity to a small country for a decade."
Ready to ward off rolling blackouts where e’er they may threaten, this uniquely trans-national creation features Allison Crowe’s live music recorded by Turtle’s dynamic duo, Anschell and Graham, in White Rock, BC – on Canada’s Pacific coast.
Visually representing the live intensity is footage from “A Corner Brook Tidings” – the charming 2012 documentary film directed and produced by Peter Buckle – a project graciously supported by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, with special thanks to Katrina Rice, NLAC Program Officer. Buckle and his camera team crew, Ryan David Butt and Jamie Brace, filmed Allison’s “Tidings” concert in Corner Brook, Newfoundland – on Canada’s Atlantic coast.
Psychedelically fusing this bi-coastal experience is Vimeo’s “Amoeba” enhancer.
Screen Caps - Video Series Upcoming ~ March 5
Screen cap #3 - Allison Crowe performs “Time After Time” - above.
Above - screen cap #4 – "Disease” – from Allison Crowe’s upcoming live performance video series.
Disease (White Rock/Corner Brook) ~ February 27
Allison Crowe performs live - "Disease" -- coast-to-coast 'cross Canada. Concert footage filmed by Peter Buckle and crew in Corner Brook, Newfoundland with audio captured by Larry Anschell and Turtle's co-engineer Brad Graham in White Rock, British Columbia.
Europe Tournee May 2014 ~ February 26
Enriched by almost two years of focus on recording, film and theatre productions at home in Canada, Allison Crowe and the A-team, guided by the legendary road-meister Axel Dollheiser, resume international concert touring this Spring.
First up – May 2014 brings a return to some favourite venues in Germany and Italy, alongside wunderbar new music rooms:
03.05 - Siebenklang
Musikfestspiele - Bernau bei Berlin
07.05 - Jazzlokal Mampf – Frankfurt
11.05 - Jazzhaus – Freiburg im Breisgau
13.05 - Stumm'sche Reithalle – Nuenkirchen (Saar)
15.05 - Inninger Spectacel – Inning am Ammersee
17.05 - Teatro del Sale - Florence
20.05 - Hot Jazz Club – Münster
22.05 - Lindenpark – Potsdam
Most dates feature Allison with very special guest Billie Woods also performing a set.
Here’s a screen cap from Newfoundland-based film-maker Peter Buckle’s documentary footage – psychedelicized by Vimeo’s “Amoeba” enhancer.
All About Jazz ~ February 23
Allison Crowe – now on All About Jazz - http://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/musician.php?id=59310 - rock - chanson, jazz - grunge, gospel - blues, folk - soul; a voice that unites genres and generations.
Do touch that dial ~ February 7
Tonight on NPR’s Red River Radio
– Bill Beckett, Host and Producer of “Caravan”,
promises “we'll hear new tunes from The
Royal Oui, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and the Alabama
Shakes plus a couple from Julie Miller and Allison
Crowe.” If you’re in broadcast range of
A few hours earlier, as ever, on a
Friday, tune in to “Salt Water Music” on CFRC
more news from the radio dial – Allison Crowe’s “Newfoundland
Vinyl” album – a much-loved hit since its release in
June 2013, and a top pick on Muruch’s year-end
best-of list, has re-entered the radio charts at #7 on
CHLY 101.7 FM –
Pump up the volume!!
Revolution in the air ~ February 7
Digging 50 years of Beatlemania in North America helps to unearth a Canadian cultural treasure in Allison Crowe’s home province on the Atlantic. The Beatles landing at New York City’s JFK International in February 1964 was emblematic of the new – the “jet set” – a revolution in air travel that made it possible for jet planes to cross the Atlantic in record times. In the era of propeller planes and the refuelling stop-overs needed to make the trip between Europe and the USA, the key North American terminal – GIA - was located in Gander, Newfoundland.
Gander International’s VIP Lounge played host to Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and Jackie O., among countless others, during those years GIA was popularly known as the “Crossroads of the World”.
Then a thriving global hub, in 1959 a new terminal opened and its construction and furniture featured creativity of leading designers – including chairs by Charles and Ray Eames -http://eamesoffice.com/charles-and-ray , “Primasteel” seating by Robin Bush, and a six-foot mural painted by Kenneth Lochhead - http://www.kennethlochhead.com
The advent of jet travel, however, soon redirected the flow of international air travel. With Gander facilities no longer bustling, it’s uniquely preserved a “time capsule” quality. Today, GIA is viewed as a marvel by art historians, architects and design aficionados – ''It's still one of the most beautiful, most important Modernist rooms in the country, if not the most important,'' says Alan C. Elder, Curator, Canadian Crafts and Design, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. (Recently renamed, the Canadian Museum of History is this nation’s most-visited museum).
Gander, and such nearby communities as Lewisporte, Twillingate and more, earned international renown in 2001 as GIA became haven for dozens of international aircraft grounded when airspace was shut-down in the wake of the 9/11 NYC attacks. The character of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians opening their hearts and homes to thousands of people – flight passengers and crew - during the crisis is legend - http://www.snopes.com/rumors/gander.asp#smvFTOCIkq43PMEj.99
Less-known, across even its home and native land, is how Gander long-served as “Crossroads of the World”. Awareness of GIA’s style is enjoying a renaissance in our internet age – with features in The New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/travel/tmagazine/20TGANDER.html , Institute - http://www.instituteartist.com/feature-Gander-Airport-Simon-Norfolk , “dwell” magazine - http://www.dwell.com/rewind/article/aviation-preservation - and more - http://itraveltree.com/virgin-atlantic-welcome-to-um-gander-canada
Most recently, Bloomberg’s high-end “Pursuits”, (a publication “for the world’s richest people”) put Gander International on its cover, with a fashion shoot - http://ca.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416276333&WT.mc_id=PUB_COM_DISC_GLOBAL_082813_Pursuits_Fall13 - calling it “the world’s coolest airport”.
In a fab, 18-photo, flickr gallery, Zach Bonnell of St. John’s, NL is our guide on a magical mystery tour of GIA @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachbonnell/sets/72157623762605690
"Imagine" peace again - and again ~ February 2
Among her interpretations of songs by the Beatles, during the group’s collective and solo years, chanting the mantra - peace and love – here’s “Imagine” performed “Live at Wood Hall” by Canadian musician Allison Crowe.
Gerry Deiter, assigned by 'Life' magazine, was the only photographer present for the entire eight-day Bed-In staged by John Lennon and Yoko Ono at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel in 1969. His collection of images from that happening come together in the book "Give Peace a Chance: John & Yoko's Bed-In for Peace" - compiled by Joan Athey and edited by Paul McGrath.
And Joan Athey’s graciously allowed Gerry Deiter’s photographs to accompany the music to make this video.
Since it’s Groundhog Day leading us into the week celebrating 50 years of Beatlemania in North America+ - here’s an encore version of “Imagine” recorded by Allison at home – with peace signs courtesy of Top Pun.
Hallelujah - Allison Crowe performs Leonard Cohen ~ January 25
Tonight, at the Banff Centre, a cultural beacon alight in the majestic Rocky Mountains since 1933, Canada’s amazing Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents an exciting and inspiring mixed program of dance from three exceptional choreographers: “Quantz by Quanz” (Peter Quanz); “The Doorway” (Jorden Morris); “Pas D’Action” (Brian Macdonald).
“The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen”, choreographed by Jorden Morris, lattices interviews/spoken word recordings, along with: "The Letters" performed by Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes for the CD "Dear Heather"; "Bird on a Wire" as recorded by Adam Cohen for the compilation “A Song for My Father”; "Hallelujah" – the “Tidings” album recording by Allison Crowe; "Since You Asked", a poem composed by Judy Collins and recited by Leonard Cohen from the CD "Born to the Breed”; and "Sisters of Mercy" recorded live by iconic US singer-songwriter Cris Williamson on the CD "Circle of Friends".
The RWB was the first company anywhere in the world to stage a production melding works of the Montreal-born singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist – presenting "The Shining People of Leonard Cohen", with choreography by Brian Macdonald, in 1970. Choreographer Jorden Morris’ “The Doorway” opened in 2012 and, again, represents a company uniquely in tune with the zeitgeist.
Cohen, at age 79, is today enjoying universal appreciation of his works. “Hallelujah” is a much-loved modern standard. His recordings, from “Suzanne” to “The Darkness”+, remain as popular now as the day of their release. A key to such timeless appeal was revealed some years back - when asked by an interviewer about the impact of commercialization, the songwriter explained:
“Well, each person here at this table is a victim of the commercialization of life. I’m sure I haven’t escaped. But I can say one thing - I have been tempted by the money. I have been tempted by the glory... I don’t think there is any man that can escape those temptations. But I feel that I have not put out any songs that were designed to exploit the commercial market.”
Allison Crowe’s first release of “Hallelujah” was over ten years ago – http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/hallelujah - and, it, too, has continued to increase in resonance since the “Tidings” EP of 2003. Here, in video form, Allison performs Cohen’s song - captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry Anschell at Turtle Recording by-the-sea in White Rock, BC, Canada. (As with recent Beatles’ interpretations from this same live-in-the-studio session, this is in higher-fidelity than has been previously available.)
Let It Be - Allison Crowe performs The Beatles ~ January 19
“In My Life” - Allison Crowe performing a “John song” was our first video commemorating the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania in North America. With her take on a “Paul song” – here’s Allison now with “Let It Be”, again captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry “Turtle” Anschell (and in higher fidelity than previously available online).
The ‘Tidings’ album version of the song - http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/let-it-be - was recorded a year or two earlier, as was Allison’s version of “Let It Be” that’s part of the NYC-produced “It Was 40 Years Ago Today” tribute album – a compilation also featuring Dee Dee Ramone, Sylvain Sylvain and other DIY, indie, alternative and punk rock musicians (released on February 9, 2004).
Lights, Cameras... Cassidy ~ January 12
“Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder discusses action of the newest Superman movie shot inside the historic Cassidy Inn pub on Vancouver Island, BC. Allison Crowe, in a role very familiar to the Canadian musician, appears in this scene with Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Ian Tracey (Ludlow), Carmen Lavigne (Chrissy), Howard Siegel (Weaver) and other members of the cast – actors whom it was a delight to meet and an honour to work alongside. Same goes for the privilege of working with the film’s amazing crew and production team - a stellar family of professionals united in creativity.
The Blu-Ray edition of “Man of Steel” released in late 2013, includes a feature called “Journey of Discovery”. Zack Snyder and many of the people involved walk us through the making of MoS from pretty much every angle. It’s extraordinary, and, rather than taking away from the movie magic – the explanations of how the science fiction epic comes together leave you more enthralled. It’s super – and fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKhcg6tLYLY
Beatlemania Hits Fab 50 ~ January 10
“Beatlemania, as it is called, affects all social classes and all levels of intelligence,” The New York Times reported in December 1963.
We’ll hear all manner of takes on similar themes over the coming month, with this February 7 marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles landing at JFK International (New York City’s Idlewild airport rechristened on December 24, ’63 in tribute to the recently assassinated US President). The group’s appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show – broadcast over the three succeeding Sundays - electrified a new continent.
Plenty came before, and much has happened since, Pan Am Flight 101 delivered the Fab Four aboard a Boeing 707-331, known as the Clipper “Defiance”, to a world ready for joy and release.
Celebrating the musical legacy of John, Paul, George and Ringo – here’s Allison Crowe performing “In My Life” – captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry Anschell at Turtle Recording studios by the sea in White Rock, BC, Canada.
(This is an higher-fidelity video recording than has been previously available!)
And, here’s another performance of the song by Allison – recorded, audio-only, at Turtle a couple of years earlier: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/in-my-life
Buon Anno! "Hallelujah" Passo a Due ~ gennaio 5
Bellissimo!! Filippo Randisi e Silvia Minnella perform a Passo a due (or Pas de deux) to Allison Crowe’s singularly passionate interpretation of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. The dancers are with Sicily’s Academy Centro Danza under Direction of Giusy Liberto, a graduate of the Accademia di Danza di Roma, and this performance, part of "Voci e Suoni del Natale", is presented by Mario Gaziano, director of Italy’s Pirandello Stable Festival. Buon anno!
"Something to Crowe About" Sings Telegram ~ January 2
Allison Crowe - photograph by Cory Hurley in The Western Star / The Telegram
"Something to Crowe about" sings The Telegram - sharing word of the discerning culture blog, Muruch , naming two of Allison Crowe's albums among the best of 2013 and one of her new original songs its top pick for the year.
The newspaper notes:
"The West Virginia-based Muruch placed Crowe’s album “Heavy Graces” at No. 10 and “Newfoundland Vinyl” at No. 2, second only to “Pure Heroine” by Lorde. The blog also selected Crowe’s “Words” from the “Heavy Graces” record as the top song of the year for its annual list of the 50 best songs of the year, which also found room for three cuts from “Newfoundland Vinyl”: “Black Velvet Band” (No. 12), “Men Who Die for a Living” (No. 18) and “Skipper Billy’s Wake” (No. 28)."
The Telegram is Newfoundland and Labrador's major daily newspaper. Pioneering website Muruch has been sharing favourite albums, live performances, films and literature online since 1999. The full article can be enjoyed @ http://www.thetelegram.com/Living/Entertainment/2014-01-02/article-3561458/Something-to-Crowe-about/1
Song of the Year, Top Album Nods for Allison Crowe ~ December 30
“The difficult I’ll do right now, the impossible’ll take a little while”. That’s pretty much always been the way of musician Allison Crowe.
This year proves ”weirdly typical” as ever for the amazing bi-coastal Canadian artist - to quote a phrase from one of 2013’s fine reviews.
In it, Crowe’s released three peerless albums (“Newfoundland Vinyl”, “Heavy Graces”, and the compilation “Songbook”), musically directed a hit theatre show (TNL’s “Newfoundland Vinyl”), saw one song recording used brilliantly in a trailer for a major independent motion picture (“Hallelujah” w. “The Pardon”), and appeared, pretty much as herself, in one of the year’s biggest Hollywood blockbusters (“Man of Steel”).
Now ‘Top Song of the Year’ nod for Allison Crowe's "Words" comes from the annual list of Muruch, the passionate and uncompromising culture blog that’s been sharing favourite albums, live performances, films and literature online since 1999.
“Words”, from the album “Heavy Graces”, features, for the first time, Allison playing her Great-Grandfather’s fiddle (along with her singing, playing guitar, arranging, engineering, producing and all those things she regularly does!). A trio of songs from her "Newfoundland Vinyl" album, also released this year, are found in the Top 50: "Black Velvet Band" (12); "Men Who Die for a Living" (18); and "Skipper Billy's Wake" (28).
Artists joining Allison Crowe in the top ten picks are: Alice Boman; Trent Dabbs; Lorde; Vienna Teng; Foxygen; Imagine Dragons; MS MR; & Janelle Monae (feat. Erykah Badu). Enjoy videos and music – of “Words” and all of Muruch’s ‘Top 50 Songs’ @ http://www.muruch.com/2013/12/muruch-2013-top-songs.html
The West Virginia-based blog follows the song list with its Top 25 Albums – and Allison Crowe’s two new albums this year both land in the top ten. Remarking: “The top three are really interchangeable, they are far too brilliant and too different from each other to truly rank”, Muruch slots Crowe’s “Newfoundland Vinyl” second, book-ended by Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” (#1) and Foxygen’s “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic” (#3).
Crowe’s tribute to songs of her Atlantic home region contains traditional tunes, such as “Black Velvet Band” as well as interpretations of such modern classics as “The Mobile Goat Song”, (a Tom Cahill-penned hit for Joan Morrissey), Gary O’Driscoll’s elegiac “Men Who Die for a Living” and Ron Hynes’ anthemic “Sonny’s Dream”. This set, released on vinyl, “plays like a lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes with surprising retro, girl-pop harmonies woven throughout…full of dazzling melody and such a unique charm…Allison’s voice is so strong and spectacular,” says Muruch. “It has the timeless beauty of a classic folk album.”
“Heavy Graces” combines Allison Crowe’s newest original song recordings with singular covers of Leonard Cohen (“Famous Blue Raincoat”) and Pearl Jam (“Better Man”) – and this album occupies the tenth spot on the albums of the year list, as described by Muruch: “what a lush piece of work…a touch of Celtic folk in the instrumentation, haunting backing vocals and a slow building, seething tension until Allison unleashes her wail”. The complete list of top album picks – which also includes this year’s releases from Elton John, Molly Drake, Hem, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Janelle Monae and more – is available @ http://www.muruch.com/2013/12/muruch-2013-top-albums.html
Here’s to a very happy, healthy, New Year – one and all!
Silent Night ~ December 24
All is calm, all is bright...
"Silent Night" with Allison Crowe - solo.
And with Allison's trio of Dave Baird (bass) and Kevin Clevette (drums)
...from the "Tidings" television special.
Merry Christmas!! And to all, a good night :)
Superfun Year ~ December 24
To quote a phrase, it’s been a “weirdly typical” year for musician Allison Crowe – who’s released three peerless albums in 2013 (“Newfoundland Vinyl”, “Heavy Graces”, and the compilation “Songbook”), musically directed a hit theatre show (TNL’s “Newfoundland Vinyl”), saw one song recording used brilliantly in a trailer for a major independent motion picture (“Hallelujah” w. “The Pardon”), and appeared, pretty much as herself, in one of the year’s biggest Hollywood blockbusters (“Man of Steel’).
Allison's recording of "Hallelujah" is soundtrack to trailer for "The Pardon" - starring Jaime King and John Hawkes
Of the latter experience, super-fun was also had by Allison when she was invited by “Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder to New York City in June for the premiere of the epic science-fiction adventure movie. Newly-posted video from the Lincoln Centre red carpet chaos captures arrival on the scene of: Rebecca Buller (Jenny Olsen), Cooper Timberline (very young Clark Kent), Allison (about one minute in), Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-O), Zack and Deborah Snyder, Superman himself, Henry Cavill, with his family, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjQ7BdacR3Y
Arrivals for the red-carpet premiere of "Man of Steel" in NYC
Words - Song of the Year ~ December 23
Easy Livin', Lovin' ~ December 20
A song for a Winter's night... and any time! One of the most vital popular music artists of this, or any, generation, Allison Crowe is also among the most versatile. With her release of “Newfoundland Vinyl” earlier this year, Allison delivers unvarnished roots and country to the mix.
Canadian country great Eddie Eastman recorded Terry Skinner’s song, “Easy” first in 1979. Here’s Allison’s new take: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U_GDkkfCa4
Gery Deugaw, Owner/Archivist of the treasure-trove that is “GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador” @ http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld - notes: “After all the years of travelling the Trans-Canada, Eddie Eastman was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Honour in 2010. Allison Crowe performs this song with the easy sound it needs to be successfully reprised in the 21st century.”
Midnight + Swing Time ~ December 18
Allison Crowe's music + movies mash-up series takes another joy-filled turn in this homage to the 1936 b/w film classic, "Swing Time".
This "Never Gonna Dance"
sequence features the immortal dancing of Fred Astaire and
Ginger Rogers - choreographed by Astaire and Hermes Pan.
The film's directed by George Stevens.
The music soundtrack is "Midnight", a recording from Allison Crowe's debut CD - on which her voice and piano is accompanied by the bass-playing of Dave Baird and the drumming of Kevin Clevette.
What Child Is This (Greensleeves) ~ December 14
Allison Crowe, solo, here performs her jazz arrangement of the traditional “What Child Is This (Greensleeves)”. Recorded live-in-the-studio by film-maker Alex Postowoi and his team: Karen Duthie, Randy Rotheisler (cameras); & Shirley Claydon (editor). Audio captured by Larry Anschell at Turtle Recording, White Rock, BC, Canada: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsIVLKjzerU
Ten years ago, Allison Crowe and her trio of Dave Baird (bass) and Kevin Clevette (drums) performed live for a television audience at The New VI (now A-Channel), “Pandora’s Box” studio in Victoria, BC, Canada. This one-hour “Tidings” tv special, from producer Doug Slack and crew, was broadcast across the nation – from British Columbia to Newfoundland – for years, each Christmas season. Here’s Allison and the boys performing her jazz arrangement of a traditional – “What Child Is This (Greensleeves)”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMm21jRXG7M
Allison Crowe in Be-CREATIVE: Found in Translation ~ December 11
Italy’s Be-CREATIVE has Allison on its cover this month - http://be-creative.lifestylecommunity.it/3 - and, now, the feature is translated for us all by the fine Italian hand of Rhonda C.
“Allison Crowe: La Sua Voce Ha Stregato Anche L’uomo D’acciaio,” says the publication’s cover - "Allison Crowe: her voice has bewitched even the Man of Steel" – and, here’s the rest of the story:
Allison Crowe, originally from Nanaimo, (November 16, 1981), is a Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist. She records for her own label, Rubenesque Records Ltd. Her first albums, Secrets and Tidings, were published in 2004, while the double album Live at Wood Hall, recorded live on tour, was published in July, 2005. She also produced a DVD containing live in-the-studio performances made during the recording of Tidings, in November 2005.
Of Irish, Scottish and Manx descent, Allison grew up listening to jazz, classical, and rock, and under the influences of musicians such as Ani DiFranco, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, and Counting Crows.
Her music is the result of the union of all these genres, and the uniqueness of her voice has such force that it has been compared to that of Mahalia Jackson. She usually accompanies herself with the piano.
Her percussive style, characterized by a great physicality, was often associated with the pioneers of R&B and rock and roll like Fats Domino. She perform as a soloist, and has also been a part of musical bands, specifically a trio known as the Allison Crowe Band (2000-2003).
One of her songs, Whether I'm Wrong, composed in early 2003, was selected for the initiative endorsed by UNESCO, New Songs for Peace. However, she is also very popular for her interpretations of songs by other authors, from Jerome Kern and Pearl Jam, through to John Lennon, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Her interpretation of the song Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) was named Record of the Week by Record of the Day (UK) in August 2004, and again in November, 2005. Towards the end of 2005, she held a series of concerts in Europe, with stops in Dublin, London, Monaco, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Paris. In the spring of 2006, Allison Crowe made a coast-to-coast tour of her own country, making most of the journey by VIA Rail Canada Company.
In October 2006, she released her new album, This Little Bird, and subsequently held a series of concerts that have touched England, Ireland, and Scotland. On March 17, 2010, she released the album "Spiral". Recently, she has also performed in Italy, specifically in 2010, and 2012, at the Teatro del Sale in Florence. In 2013, she appeared in a cameo role in the film "Man of Steel" directed by Zack Snyder and released in Italian cinemas on June 20.
Q: Hi Allison, how are you? Singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist: with which of these roles do you identify most?
A: I'm doing great, thanks! I don't know if there is one thing that I do that expresses myself the best - I'd have to say it's likely a combo of all of these things! I'm always wanting to learn new ways to express myself and explore new things, and they sort of all work together in that way.
Q: In addition to having made several albums, you also really love the connection with the audience, and the thing that is more amazing is that your voice is as beautiful, and vibrant live as on CD. How important is it for you the relationship with your fans?
A: I think my favourite part of what I do is the live performance and getting to interact with a live audience, and see and hear how they respond. My relationship with my audience is incredibly important to me, as the energy I get from people is energy I put in to doing what I do.
Q: Where do you prefer to perform: in large concert halls, or in a more intimate environment, perhaps with fewer people?
A: All of the different types of venues all have great features! A smaller, cozier show is nice because everyone is up close and it's such a nice feeling, whereas a larger seated theatre show is maybe more dramatic and theatrical - due to the various circumstances that come with that. (lighting, seating, etc.) - and outdoor shows are big, fun and lively events with lots of energy. They are pretty much all good, in their different ways!
Q: From where does the inspiration for your albums come?
A: I get inspiration for writing from different places for each album - a lot of it has come from my past relationships with people or the world around me. This new album (Heavy Graces) is more to do with my relationship with myself, than anything else, and how I go about dealing with and viewing that, from both in and outside of myself.
Q: Your slogan is “Why music? Why breathing?”. With this phrase it is as if you want to say that music is life, energy for your soul. True?
A: It is! I find if I go too long without music, in one way or another, I feel like something is missing - especially live performance. It's just who I am.
A: It's very cool to see a song I've written be used for dance - I love dance (and I wish I could dance like that!). I love seeing someone's interpretation of what I've written through movement, and they've done such a wonderful job!
Q: You recently participated in the film “Man of Steel” about the origins of Superman. How’s it to play "yourself", a singer, in such an important movie?
A: It was such a cool experience being in Man of Steel - just to see how everything works, and what everyone else does in making a movie, and how good they are at what they do! For me, playing a singer in a bar definitely wasn't a stretch, and is something I've done for a very long time, so it felt pretty natural.
Q: Plans for the future? Maybe a visit to Italy for your concerts?
A: My new album, Heavy Graces, was released on October 15, and I will be in Europe for a tour in 2014, in the Spring, and hopefully in Italy soon.
Nota Bene: Allison Crowe anticipates at least two European tour visits in 2014
To the Be-CREATIVE collaborators we say grazie!! Buon Natale – to all! :)
Be-CREATIVE Covers Allison Crowe ~ December 8
Joy! ~ December 6
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree has deep roots – as we hear in this carol first shared in the 1800s. Here’s a joyous performance from Allison captured by Alex Postowoi and crew at the merry and bright Turtle Recording studios in White Rock, Canada:
In France they kiss... AND skate on Main Street! ~ December 4
Closer magazine’s Eliane da Costa reports:
"Florent Torres avait épaté les jurés et le public la semaine dernière. Cette semaine, le petit protégé de Surya Bonaly va tenter de renouveler l'exploit en réalisant un double piqué. Pour cela, le chanteur s'est entraîné toute la semaine avec plus ou moins de succès. Et c'est sur Hallelujah d'Allison Crowe qu'il va essayer de relever le défi. Avec une moyenne de 10,5 Florent Torres prend provisoirement la tête du classement."
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet Opens "Doorway" Anew ~ November 30
Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet will perform its brilliant and beautiful dance, choreographed by Jorden Morris - "The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen" in a mixed repertoire program - January 25, 2014 at the Eric Harvie Theatre, The Banff Centre - Alberta, Canada:
"Royal Winnipeg Ballet returns to The Banff Centre with a unique mixed program that will not appear anywhere else on their Canadian tour. The complex and beautiful songs of Leonard Cohen come to life in Jorden Morris’s new ballet, The Doorway. Plus works by Banff Centre alumnus Peter Quanz, William Forsyth, and Canadian dance legend, Brian Macdonald.
Quantz by Quanz – Peter Quanz
The Doorway – Jorden Morris
Pas D’Action – Brian Macdonald"
Amazing choreography, dancers and spirit combine for one of the most exciting and enervating collaborative opportunities ever enjoyed by Allison Crowe – whose interpretation of Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, she’s thrilled, is part of this ballet: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/hallelujah
Banff, already a wonderful place to be, will be even moreso when the RWB comes to town!
Sophia Lee dances to Allison Crowe's performance of "Hallelujah" in "The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen" - during the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's debut run in May 2012
Snow on Snow ~ November 29
Fun Facts: Musician Allison Crowe lives in one of the snowiest parts of Canada - Corner Brook - second only to Gander, NL as the snowiest city of them all. Her music label, Rubenesque Records, lives in the least snowiest region of Canada - on Salt Spring Island - between Victoria (#1) and Vancouver, BC (#3): http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Science/2013/11/28/snow1280.jpg
When there’s snow sighted, the best thing, of course, is to sing. Here’s Allison Crowe performing “In the Bleak Midwinter”, a traditional song of the season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNo5U3C0cB4 This recording was made ten years ago this week – for “Tidings”, a national television special. Warmest thanks to Doug Slack and the production elves at the New VI/A Channel.
Like snow-flakes, no two musical performances are the same. Here's the "In the Bleak Midwinter" recording of Allison Crowe made live-in-the-studio at Turtle Recording, White Rock, BC Canada - by the teams of Alex Postowoi (film) and Larry Anschell (audio): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI00JhQpiaA
Human Voices: Muruch's "Words" Video Premere ~ November 22
Today, one of the world's original and most passionate music blogs, Muruch, drawing from a deeply personal well, premieres its video for "Words", a song recording from Allison Crowe, with images from photographer George Hodan.
Muruch, (Gaelic for mermaid), is one of the original music/mp3 blogs, launching in 1999. ( http://www.muruch.com ) As well as offering 100% legal mp3s, it remains home to in-depth reviews of albums, live performances, films and literature – expressing the singular passion and cohesive vision of its West Virginia-based Editor/Head Writer and international team of bloggers.
Muruch’s long been a champion of musician Allison Crowe – an artist who cites among her early inspirations, alongside Janis Joplin, Beethoven, Oscar Peterson, Pearl Jam and other terrestrials, the aquatic Ariel aka “The Little Mermaid”.
With the release this year of multiple albums by one of its “musical mascots”, Muruch has now created a song video for a track off Crowe’s newest release.
Reviewing the album “Heavy Graces”, (@ http://www.muruch.com/2013/10/allison-crowe-heavy-graces.html ), Muruch says: “Though Allison apparently only took up the fiddle for the recording of this album, she already sounds like a folk fiddle pro in the standout track ‘Words’. What a lush piece of work that song is! There’s a touch of Celtic folk in the instrumentation, haunting backing vocals and a slow building, seething tension until Allison unleashes her wail toward the end of the song.”
The video for ‘Words’ premieres today @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zuxyTVyEYw
“As for inspiration”, explains Muruch, “I originally envisioned a video showing a couple's turbulent break up to match the angry lyrics of the song. But George Hodan's sombre series of photographs inspired me to depict a deeper grief - the loss of a child. Whatever the visual interpretation of ‘Words’, there's an undeniable and quite remarkable intensity of emotion in Allison Crowe's song.”
“Of course, Allison's voice at the end of the song just seems so full of every kind of emotion, you could make a thousand videos and still not capture them all. :)”
The striking images from Muruch’s “Words” video and more photos of George Hodan and can be found @ http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/browse-author.php?a=8245
Let us go then, you and I…
Fun Universe Brings Allison Crowe’s Music Home this Holiday Season ~ November 20
How does one of the world’s great musical voices, and most
independent artists on the planet, land amidst a face-off
between man and Superman in an
“I’m a big Johnny Cash fan. And I’m a big Allison Crowe fan. So the combination to me seemed like an awesome opportunity if we could make it happen,” explains “Man of Steel” Director Zack Snyder. “Allison and I had talked about trying to get some of her music in one of my movies whenever we could – and I thought, well, if I just put her in the film then there’s no way that it won’t work. So, that’s where you get Allison from.”
The film-maker, along with his stellar cast and crew, deliver insights into the production of this epic science fiction adventure, in “Journey of Discovery”, a just-released special feature of MoS in Blu-ray edition.
“(Zack) keeps trying to get me into movies and it’s amazing,” responds Crowe in the feature. “I first kinda met Zack over the internet about songs online... I think about four or five years ago the first one would have been the ‘Watchmen’ and he was looking to do ‘Hallelujah’. And then the second one we were looking at another song for ‘Sucker Punch’ and so now we have Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ and the altercation ensues…”
Allison Crowe with Zack Snyder on "Man of Steel" set - photo courtesy
Clay Enos / Warner Bros.
Allison Crowe with Zack Snyder on "Man of Steel" set - photo courtesy Clay Enos / Warner Bros.
The movie itself reveals how all the pieces fit – and it’s an exhilarating ride and humbling experience for the Canadian singer-songwriter. And it’s all inspiring.
“In an entertainment world that increasingly genuflects at
the altar of instant fame, Crowe seems an anomaly, building
her career slowly and carefully,” commented Times
Colonist newspaper scribe Adrian Chamberlain some years
back. Fine-tuned at the keyboard in arts reportage, (and an
r’n’b combo), the writer noted how the “
The universe is ever-expanding for the now Corner Brook, Newfoundland-based, Vancouver Island-born, Crowe, still her goals and values are constant. "Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," she’s said. More than a dozen years along the road less-traveled, she succeeds like no one else.
From attending the red-carpet premiere and festivities of “Man
of Steel” this Summer, she traveled from
People everywhere can enjoy the music – and folks in Allison Crowe’s hometowns can join in “Tidings”, a celebration of music for the season... and all-time, happening:
Nov. 30 – Arts and Culture Centre,
Dec. 7 –
Dec. 12 – Real Food, Old City Quarter,
Dec. 14 – St. Andrew’s United Church, Nanaimo, BC – with guests: Chelsea Peckett; Daniel Knapp; Melissa Kahan; Taylor Johnstone; Raymond Salgado; & Joshua Holloway - to aid Woodlands Secondary Band and Basketball
Up, Up and Away... Man of Steel flies into home theatres ~ November 12
Allison Crowe has a cameo in "Man of Steel" - the highly-imaginative, epic science fiction adventure featuring Superman.
In this Hollywood blockbuster, directed by Zack Snyder, Allison appears as a singer/musician in Cassidy's Bar where Clark Kent is working incognito. She performs "Ring of Fire", a song penned by June Carter and Merle Kilgore and made legendary by Johnny Cash.
The movie, a tremendous international hit, is out now on DVD and BluRay.
By Your Side + Autumn Fire ~ November 2
Love makes the world go 'round. And it does in this, the latest in our music-movie mashup series.
Labeled "a film poem" by its creator, Herman G. Weinberg, "Autumn Fire" is an impressionistic love letter from its director to actress Erna Bergman ("The girl" to Willy Hildebrand's "The boy").
As well as making films, Weinberg is a noted writer and film historian, and adapted (subtitled) numerous movies for the screen including cinema classics such as "La Strada" (directed by Federico Fellini) and "La Grande Illusion" (d. Jean Renoir).
Click a date/line for other 2013 and earlier news: