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.
Black Velvet Band ~ March 17
“My favorite Irish song, beautifully covered for you today: Black Velvet Band ~ Allison Crowe,” declares Brian Ibbott, Mayor of Coverville on this - St. Patrick’s - Day.
Veteran folk music afficionado/reviewer, Muruch, based in West Virginia, in posting a review of this new album to the "No Depression" blog remarks on a feature in Allison's music that's always present - whether it's rock, gospel, jazz, grunge, classical, blues, folk, soul or other genres she's making: "What a voice, what a voice, what a voice!"
Of this song, Muruch notes: " 'The Black Velvet Band' " is a traditional Irish ballad about a man's chance encounter with a girl, which leads to his arrest and transport as a prisoner to Australia. The Dubliners may have recorded one of the more famous renditions of the song, but Allison's is the most stunning version I've heard and just may become the definitive version (as her cover of 'Hallelujah' - http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/hallelujah - has) over time."
As the album title suggests, it's a song collection inspired by, and arising from, Allison Crowe's ongoing role as Musical Director of the hit stage show, "Newfoundland Vinyl" - presented at Canada's Gros Morne Theatre Festival each Summer since 2012. This perennial GMTF favourite’s conceived by TNL’s Artistic Director Jeff Pitcher.
Tonight Will Be Fine on Cohencentric ~ March 13
Cohencentric blogs “DrHGuy” and “1 Heck of a Guy” recently saw curtains drop on their years of entertaining and illuminating the world via their creator’s singular “pastiche of posts with song, dance, snappy chatter, and notes on prose, poesy, love, lust, life, & Leonard Cohen”.
Happily, the stage-lights are shining again on the fruits of love’s labour from Allan Showalter, “arguably the greatest living Cohen expert” – and we see these two websites have re-emerged in a union that promises to delight like 'tea and oranges that come all the way from China'.
Suited now as “Cohencentric: Leonard Cohen Considered” the blog is curating its more than 14,000 pieces previously posted, and adding new items. Here, Allison Crowe’s cover of “Tonight Will Be Fine” is re-framed:
I Don't Know + The Phantom of the Opera ~ March 11
Lights out… for this motion picture music mash-up – Allison Crowe’s “I Don’t Know” haunts the original cinematic interpretation of Gaston Leroux’s gothic novel, “The Phantom of the Opera”.
Music captured live by audio archivist John MacMillan, Denman Island, BC, Canada. String arrangement and production comes from Kayla Schmah, in Hollywood, USA. It’s first released on the album, ‘Spiral’: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/i-dont-know
Footage, like some spectral documentary, is from the unrestored version of the 1925 silent film - which features the genius of Lon Chaney as The Phantom.
Still Snowing ~ March 4
It's still snowing! Embracing all the wool I can find... Lol ;)
I'm Alright ~ March 3
Musician Allison Crowe is home on the lovely isle of Newfoundland where it’s Winter-time on Canada’s Atlantic.
When not playing in one snow-pile or another, Allison’s immersed in arranging songs of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.
On Canada’s Pacific coast, where the precipitation is in liquid form, the team at Rubenesque Records, Allison’s label, is amassing Abba-Zaba bars – should comedian Dave Chappelle happen to visit and, primarily, to sustain a wondrous period of music curation @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com
A sign of spring, cheering as an early-bird or crocus, is this first music motion-picture of our year – “I’m Alright”.
A rediscovered rarity – this song’s performed only once in concert by Allison Crowe – on her historic 2010 European tour on which she’s accompanied by musician-photographer Billie Woods and road manager Camille Schmah.
In Paris’ Auditorium du conservatoire Gentilly – a spectacle coordinated by impresario Jacques Leforestier – Allison debuted “I’m Alright” – joined for this occasion by guest artist Emily B. Green (Em Verte), oft-MC Jessica Kuijer, photographer Frédéric Raquil, super-fan Ming Cheam – et plus. We look forward to visiting Europe again, reuiniting with our Parisian friends, plus amis old - Agnès Jourdain, Olivier Rohart, Karim Khenoune-Montanaro, Hélène, Céline – and, new - Michèle Marie Joubert, Boukary Magassa +
Maintenant, here’s the music – accompanied by vintage footage from Coney Island, New York, birth-place of the amusement park.
“Is it real?” people ask about the fun and frights in a carnival world of illusion and rides. Ward Hall, the “King of the Sideshow”, answers: “Oh, it’s all real. Some of it’s really real, some of it’s really fake, but it’s all really good.”
May it be so for life.
Lyin' in Winter ~ February 25
Spending my February arranging Brecht/Weill songs and snuggling this guy.
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