Celebrating Al Pittman ~ April 11
April 11, today, marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of legendary Canadian writer Al Pittman (who passed away in 2001). Born in St. Leonard's, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, the cherished poet and playwright grew up in Corner Brook – home to musician Allison Crowe.
From Pittman’s 1999 selection of poetry, “Thirty for Sixty”, Newfoundland’s “Man of 1000 Songs” Ron Hynes set words to music – and a tradition of artistic regeneration is on deck once again here with Allison’s take on this elegiac hybrid:
Minus 15... ~ April 8
“April 8, -15 degrees Celsius... Methinks I'll wait a bit to do any gardening, just in case” tweets @Allison_Crowe
Hallelujah Considered ~ April 8
Allison Crowe’s singular interpretation of “Hallelujah” was first released on record in 2003. The Leonard Cohen classic has been covered hundreds of times since – by country acts, pop idols, crooners, swooners and more. Allison’s rare, visceral, artistry remains timeless and, today, “Cohencentric: Leonard Cohen Considered” places in its firmament this iconic video - one of the world's most-loved versions of the song (filmed live-in-the-studio of Canada’s Turtle Recording):
Home Studio Hazards ~ April 6
The many dangers of the kitchen recording studio. (crockpot not included) - tweets @Allison_Crowe
(the cat in black is Johnny Cash)
Circular Reasoning ~ April 5
“Circular Reasoning” from Allison Crowe’s upcoming “Sylvan Hour” album here joins Betty Boop through the looking-glass. Allison’s wonderland of song finds reflection in a visual pool of classic animation from Fleischer Studios.
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things”. Get cracking with this musical Easter egg: http://music.allisoncrowe.com
Newfoundland Vinyl in the MOCM ~ April 4
The Museum of Canadian Music is kindly featuring Allison Crowe’s “Newfoundland Vinyl” LP @
The MOCM, curated and maintained by its founder Robert Williston and a core team, explains the mission of “the website is about the artists, the music, and the country of Canada that has produced such an enormous quantity of excellent off-the-radar titles that so many collectors worldwide are onto; but the general public has still not really caught onto - yet... the music on this site should satisfy the more refined connoisseur of Canadian music, especially when spinning vinyl is not so convenient for a world on the go...”
Williston’s amassed the “largest private collection of Canadian music artifacts on earth” – and is making this cultural treasure – over 90,000 individual artifacts and roughly one million Canadian songs collected – public via the MOCM site.
The museum’s domain - Citizenfreak.com – “honors a hometown Calgary band, the 49th Parallel, who recorded the cool single Citizen Freak in 1968”.
You can enjoy Allison’s music now found in the MOCM – and, this Easter weekend, hop down the rabbit-hole of Canadian music!
The Caravan is returning ~ April 3
“The Caravan” rolls tonight on NPR’s Red River Radio, broadcasting to the world from Louisiana, USA this Friday, April 3 at 9 pm LA time. Host/Producer Bill Beckett has aboard music from Allison Crowe, Johnny Cash, Alabama Shakes, Curtis Mayfield – a live segment with Rod MacDonald - and more: http://redriverradio.org/post/caravan-rod-macdonald
Tune in online from anywhere in the world to enjoy the full line-up: “This week on the Caravan we feature a brand new release from the Johnny Cash Archives plus new tunes by Paul Ruske, Arianna Savall, Anders Osbourne, Della Mae, and Antje Duvekot plus tracks from Allison Crowe, Alabama Shakes, and Curtis Mayfield. Then, in our concert hour, Rod MacDonald takes the stage at Leu Gardens in Orlando Florida, and in our final hour we ‘Catch this cloud’ with tracks from Chelsea Lynn LaBate, Ash RA Temple, Abbie Gardner & Anthony da Costa, Jeffrey Foucault, Cat Power and the Hold Steady.”
Sea of a Million Faces ~ March 27
“Sea of a Million Faces” – the version from Allison Crowe’s “secrets” album - is accompanied here by scenes from “Of Human Bondage” - the 1934 film adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s novel starring actors Leslie Howard and, in her break-out role, Bette Davis. (Them there eyes are focus of another song.)
Northern Lights ~ March 25
Rustically shimmering, "Northern Lights" opens up Allison Crowe's "Little Light" album. Real life transmutes into this song of love - inspired by the beauty in the skies above, and, especially, during those Summers spent in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland.
It’s a song Allison Crowe's carried with her from Canada to perform at the 'John Lennon Northern Lights Festival' in Durness, Scotland.
Accompanying the music, Yukon-based David Cartier, Sr. shares his wondrous photographs of the Aurora Borealis on flickr
Here's what David says about this source of inspiration:
" When men lack a sense of awe, There will be
- - - - Lao Tzu --- The Tao Teh Ching
“Awe is what THIS is all about!!
The Aurora is an experience of breathtaking beauty... the viewing makes you feel like you are connected integrally with an amazing cosmic force ..... Aurora watching is as addictive as any drug and a whole lot more satisfying. Once you become addicted, you stay out all night, lose sleep, forget about social commitments, nearly get wind burned and frostbit and it's all, deeply, worth it!!
Every human being who can manage it should make a pilgrimage to the subarctic auroral zone in order to see and feel this at least once in their life.
Many of these were taken with an amazing old Russian Kiev-19 35mm SLR. This camera , which I still use for night sky photos, NEVER freezes up or has any shutter problems in the cold, even at minus 60!! The more expensive Japanese and German cameras which I own always, or at least often, stop functioning in the deep cold.”
Montreal ~ March 20
On Allison Crowe’s first cross-Canada tour, a dozen years ago now, she and her trio (Dave Baird on bass, Kevin Clevette on drums) performed at Upstairs, a jazz club below-ground in Vieux-Montréal – Old Montréal, Quebec.
Dear friends - nos copains, Gerry, Gilles-Mathieu et autres – introduced us to the delights of this French-Canadian city – the tasty smoked-salmon spread, the maple pies in Côte des Neiges Farmers Market, the Tam-Tams of Mont Royal, and Brother Andre’s heart at home still, above it all, in St. Joseph’s Oratory.
Forest fires raging in the province’s James Bay region screened the city – not in clouds of thick smoke, but, in a sepia-tint making all appear antiqued, dream-like as if in aged photographs or cinema reels.
So, come on, follow the alley down, take the steps to be greeted with a song, “Montreal”, from Allison’s album “secrets” – music.allisoncrowe.com/track/montreal - produced by Rainer Willeke - accompanied by Hedy Lamarr and Charles Boyer in a turn from “Algiers”, a 1938 film directed by John Cromwell.
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