"Band practice!! Dave spinning his bass mid solo.
Yup this is going to be an epic set of shows. So
excited!!" says musician/photographer Billie Woods
in posting this pic.
Billie Woods (guitar, harmonies) captures the band
in mid-flight of rocking rehearsals on Salt Spring
Island, Canada. l-r: Celine Greb (cello,
harmonies); Allison Crowe (vox, piano, guitar,
bodhran+); & Dave Baird (bass).
Concerts with the combo are upcoming on Salt Spring
(June 30), Pender Island (July 1) and in Ladysmith
(July 3). Visit the
Tour section for details.
Going Home These
Nights ~ June
Allison Crowe and band create beautiful music
anew when they launch a coastal concert celebration
here next week in BC. The amazing
vocalist/pianist/guitarist+ is joined on-stage by
stellar company: Billie Woods (guitar, harmonies);
Celine Greb (cello, harmonies); & Dave Baird
In tune with an artist discovered widely by
audiences via the internet, Crowe’s box office online is
abuzz – islanders will welcome music-lovers from
Calgary, California, and as far afield as New
Zealand to share this special time together.
Opening night, Tuesday, June 30 in Ganges on
Salt Spring Island, is on steady course to be a
sold-out show at All Saints by-the-Sea.
On Canada Day, Wednesday, July 1, Allison and
her musical mates sail into Otter Bay on Pender
Island - for a show in the Pender Islands Community
Canada Day week festivities dock Friday, July 3
on the big island as Allison and crew join
true-grit troubador Ryan McMahon in performance at
Ladysmith First United Church.
Here’s video of folks preparing
for exciting musical discovery ahead!
"Wow! Just Beautiful!! Shoot for the Moon and
you'll land among the Stars!" recommend those
aboard the good ship
Salt Spring Mercantile
(harboured in SSI's Fulford village).
Crowe’s musical performance is paired with an
excerpt from “Ménilmontant”, the 1925
silent film from auteur, director, Dimitri
Kirsanoff and starring his collaborator Nadia
Sibirskaia and Yolande Beaulieu as sisters.
“Its story is told entirely in images, without the
use of explanatory intertitles; Kirsanoff was among
the very rare filmmakers of the silent era to
attempt this. The film makes use of techniques such
as montage, hand-held camera, ultra-rapid montage,
and superposition to achieve the elusive,
transcendent quality of ‘photogenie’ so sought
after by the French impressionist film directors of
the era. Ménilmontant, thus, comes closer
to poetry than to narrative prose.”
curtain rises tonight for the opening of “Newfoundland
Vinyl”. The show’s sold-out and there’s a
waiting list for folks to enjoy this pressing of a
perennial favourite at Newfoundland’s
fabulous Gros Morne Theatre Festival!
GMTF’s 20th anniversary season is
underway – and it’s real celebration of the
creative family that is Theatre Newfoundland
(the Atlantic Canadian professional theatre company
founded in 1979).
by TNL’s Artistic Director, Jeff Pitcher,
the hit-stage show “Newfoundland Vinyl” is
under the Musical Direction of Allison Crowe who’s
been with the production from its launch in 2012.
describes the show opening tonight: “Hits of the
1960’s, 70’s and 80’s by Newfoundland’s
biggest recording stars come to life! For your
toe-tapping, tear-jerking enjoyment the music and
songs of Ryan’s Fancy, Harry Hibbs, Gary
O’Driscoll, Dick Nolan, Joan Morrissey, Bob Porter
and more! A magical evening of music and madness
with the hilarious Ed and Edna (Ed’s long-lost 3rd
cousin twice removed) as show hosts!”
wonderfully-talented cast bringing music and
vitality to stage for Summer 2015 are:
Brake, Craig Haley, Claire Hewlett, Stephanie
Payne, Keelan Purchase, and Marquita Walsh. The
production team is: Musical Director, Allison
Crowe; Stage Manager, Stefanie Power; Sound Design,
Max Simms; Set Design, Derek Butt; Set
Coordination, Lisa Lahue; Costume Coordination,
Lindsay Code; Original Lighting Design, Johnny
Cann; and Lighting Coordination, Andrew Scriver.
“I have had such
a wonderful time learning this year's crop of songs
for Newfoundland Vinyl - from waltzes and
parlour songs, to torch songs, to songs with the
same spirit as 1960s protest anthems and beyond -
simply great music from throughout the decades,”
notes Allison. “The silly, the sentimental, the
sad, and serene all converge in this GMTF
show. I'm so happy that you're here to experience
our talented cast performing for you with their
hearts and souls. And what a gorgeous location for
it! So, please, enjoy and do sing along!”
relationships toss things adrift in this Fleischer
Studios 1933 animated short, “Is My Palm Read”,
starring Betty Boop and pals, Bimbo the Dog and
Koko the Clown.
The song “I
Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”
was composed by Ronnie Shannon - specifically for
Aretha Franklin for whom it became a breakout hit
in 1967. He also wrote “Baby I Love You”,
Aretha’s second gold song – released later in ’67 –
as well as penning “Do Your Duty” for
Bettye LaVette and other classics.
Crowe's recording of “I
Never Loved a Man” – now on "Sylvan
Hour" - is captured live-off-the-floor, by
engineer/producer Ryan Adams, in the log-home,
“sylvan castle”, of friends on Salt Spring Island,
all, the young lady did a jam up job on the song,
Ronnie Shannon would have loved it," says the
songwriter's friend, LaJay Alexander, with respect
to Allison's performance.
and Shannon performed together in the Detroit
soul combo “Ron and LaJay and the Fifth
Proposition” and LaJay recorded the international
hit, “Say So” for Shannon's
r’n’b, soul, funk+ label, Black Gold, in the 1970s.
Alexander notes that Shannon
“is no longer with us, he passed away 2/9/09
in his home town Atlanta,
These Words ~ June
Sometime the 'invisible monster' is within
ourselves, sometimes it's outside, trying to break
in... and there are times when it's both internal
and external. "These
Words" from Allison Crowe's "Sylvan
Hour" explores such chambers. Visually
carrying us into the psychic underworld is cinema's
original "Phantom of the Opera" - Lon
Chaney so darkly brilliant in the 1925 film version
of Gaston Leroux’s gothic novel.
Snuggles with the best bud yesterday post-
Allison Crowe photo - with Link
and Spirits ~ June 5
Clock strikes 12 for the second time in a “Sylvan
Hour” selection – awakening Allison
and Spirits” in this recording from Salt
Spring Island’s sylvan castle:
In 1933 Ladislas Starewitch and his daughter,
Irene, produced and directed "Fetiche Mascotte"
– in English “The Mascot” – and it’s an
excerpt from this classic film seen here with
Allison’s musical performance.
Stop-motion animation pioneer and
imaginative genius Władysław Starewicz was born
in 1882 in Moscow, Russia to Polish parents.
Following the October Revolution of 1917, he
resettled in France –adopting the name Ladislas
Starewitch (or Starevitch). Creator of the
first puppet-animated film, he’s legendary for
his use of insects and other animals as film
protagonists and for his fantastic, inventive,
Starewitch died in 1965 while working on “Comme
chien et chat” (“Like Dog and Cat”).
Since 1991, his granddaughter, Léona Béatrice,
together with her husband, François Martin, has
been restoring and bringing to the world his
wonderfully artful films:
Bird ~ May
Chiming from “Sylvan Hour”, Allison Crowe’s
newest, classic, release is “This Little Bird”.
Born on the Pacific, in the Harbour City of
Nanaimo, BC, Canada – Crowe migrated to lovely
Corner Brook, Newfoundland, on Atlantic shores
right after recording this batch of songs. The
bi-coastal musician’s creative flight shows she’s
made good on her promise: “This little bird’s gonna
see the good life has to offer / and how you can
give your heart and still feel free”.
Accompanying Allison Crowe’s music on this
video journey are scenes from “The Song of the
Birds” – 1935 entry in the ‘Color Classics’
animation series of Fleischer Studios.
Coming True ~ May
Sweet dreams, indeed, are those we realize when
Muruch, a culture blog in the vanguard of
music discovery and sharing, soon celebrates its
Earlier this month, Muruch put out a
call for submissions to its dream project – an
album of music, spoken word poetry, and visual art
to benefit RAINN. The clarion sounded and
artists have responded with the full-hearted spirit
that Muruch’s shown for creators throughout this
Allison Crowe has received such profound support
and appreciation from Muruch over the
years – she’s among those musicians, poets,
painters, photographers, illustrators and more –
grateful for this opportunity to be part of it all!
Call for Music, Poetry &
Art Submissions for RAINN Benefit Album
curating a nonprofit, digital album of music,
spoken word poetry and art to benefit
RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest
National Network organization and National
Sexual Assault helpline founded by singer Tori
Muruch Presents: A Benefit Album for RAINN
Jen “Coble” Hopper
The Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer
Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano
The Frozen North
WV Poet/Ted Talker Crystal Good
Clementine von Radics
interested in contributing music, spoken word
poetry and/or art to the benefit album can
email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Muruch
RAINN Submission” and a high/CD
quality mp3 (320 Kbps) or a download link
(Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) of your recording
or images of your artwork along with any
credits or links for the PDF liner notes.
welcome submissions by artists and poets of all
levels, backgrounds, gender and age, including
amateurs and especially indies. Submissions
should be topically appropriate for the charity
— anti-rape, anti-abuse, anti-domestic
violence, PTSD, survival, strength, healing,
etc. Instrumentals are also accepted.
submitter must own the copyright and all
licensing rights for their recording or
artwork, whether it is an original composition
or a cover (unless it’s public domain).
Previously published work and simultaneous
submissions are accepted, but notify us
immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere.
Submitters will retain their copyright and any
other rights to their work, we only ask
permission to include the work on the digital
album to benefit RAINN.
featured on the album, including me, will
receive any monetary compensation — 100% of the
proceeds will be donated directly to RAINN
Muruch’s RAINN Fundraising Page.
But all involved will receive a lot of free,
positive publicity and help a very worthy
album and accompanying artwork will only be
available in exchange for a $10 or more direct
donation to RAINN through
Muruch’s RAINN Fundraising Page.
Once a donation is made, the donor will receive
a donation receipt and an email with a private
album download link and password.
We hope to kick
off the benefit album and donation campaign in
July to coincide with Muruch’s 15th
anniversary, but this is very much a work in
progress in its early planning stages. I’ll
gladly accept assistance and input from
collaborators, but I want to make sure all of
the album’s proceeds are a pure, simple
donation to RAINN.
who has suffered from or is in danger of rape,
abuse or domestic violence please visit
RAINN or call the National Sexual Assault
Hotline 800.656.HOPE. You are not alone or
hopeless, you can survive and RAINN will help
you. Everyone deserves a happy, healthy, safe
life. Don’t ever give up.
Dreams ~ May
Music is, of course, steeped in lore.
Allan Showalter, entertaining and illuminating
chronicler of life, love, lust and all @ “Cohencentric:
Leonard Cohen Considered” has noted that the “Suzanne”
of song, who “feeds you tea and oranges that come
all the way from China” – is the muse Suzanne
Verdal, pouring into 1960s life along Montreal’s
St. Lawrence, filling Cohen’s cups with Bigelow’s
“Constant Comment” blend.
Berkeley Place blog serves up a fresh pot
of its “Greatest
of All Tunes”
feature – starting with Allison Crowe’s elemental
reading of “Sweet
Dreams” – originally a new wave smash for
Eurythmics (the duo of Annie Lennox and Dave
Stewart) in 1983.
acoustic performance was distilled during
creative discussions with Hollywood movie
producer Zack Snyder (amidst the production of
his 2011 film “Sucker Punch”).
Bigelow’s own “Sweet Dreams” is a
blend of chamomile and mint it promises “will
calm your nerves and sooth your soul.”
Inviting you now to enjoy Allison’s take,
along with sonic servings from AlbertOne,
Thought Coalition and Tujamo,
Berkeley Place says:
“Brew am I to disagree.”
Phoenix ~ May
rises next from Allison Crowe’s “Sylvan
Hour”. Snow fell on Newfoundland, Canada
this week – and, even in the cold and dark, we’re
witness to irrepressible spirit and positive
It’s said that “Meet
John Doe” represents an attempt by Frank
Capra, the great Italian-born American film
director, (known for more care-free populist
classics - “It Happened One Night”, “It’s
a Wonderful Life” and others), to “work out
his own fears and questions” about the future of
the people. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best
Story, this 1941 movie stars Barbara Stanwyck, Gary
Cooper, Edward Arnold and, as “The Colonel”,
Walter Brennan (who rails against “the heelots” –
the “greedy-guts’’ in our society, as Buffy
Sainte-Marie calls them.)
Is” – time for the next revolution of
Allison Crowe’s “Sylvan
Hour”. For visuals we cut once more to “The
Chase”. Michèle Morgan and Robert Cummings
seek a way out in this 1940s film noir.
A Case of
You ~ May
Allison Crowe uncorks vintage “A
Case of You” – off her “Sylvan
Hour” album – with passion and artistry
recognizing two great Canadian musical inspirations
intertwined in the song – its writer, Joni
Mitchell, and muse, Leonard Cohen. Cinematically,
Frank Borzage directs the adaptation of Ernest
Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” –scenes
hear featuring the film’s leading stars Helen
Hayes, Gary Cooper and Adolphe Menjou.
Effortless ~ May
sailing from Allison Crowe's "Sylvan
Hour" into scenes from “The Chase”,
a 1946 film noir – screenplay by Philip Yordan
based on Cornell Woolrich's
novel, “The Black Path of Fear”. Directed
by Arthur D. Ripley, produced by Seymour Nebenzal,
the movie’s stars appearing here are French actress
Michèle Morgan and American Robert Cummings.
is truly a masterpiece" ~ May 9
“Sylvan Hour is truly a masterpiece”
pioneering culture blog
This beautiful solo performance of
Be Home Soon", penned by the great
American songsmith and musician John Sebastian - a
hit for The Lovin' Spoonful in 1967 - leads off
Sylvan Hour. The video features scenes
from the 1932 film adaptation of Ernest
Hemingway's "A Farewell
to Arms" - directed by Frank Borzage and
featuring here the wonderful Helen Hayes.
Hour" is now! Simply gorgeous. Gorgeously
Allison Crowe music from the "sylvan castle" is
Seeks Music & Poetry for RAINN Benefit
Album ~ May 3
Believing in one’s dreams and making them
real – to help make the world a better place -
is what Muruch, the culture blog, is
doing now – “assembling an album of music and
spoken word poetry solely to benefit RAINN,
the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
organization and helpline originally created by
Muruch Presents: A Benefit Album
for RAINN will feature music by
Allison Crowe and Pamela Means, poetry by
Muruch’s Editor Victoria and WV Poet/TED
Talker Crystal Good with other
contributions by artists and writers to be
(And, for folks watching the calendar, we’ve
been so overwhelmed with such kindness this
week the album release of Allison’s “Sylvan
Hour” will be this coming Tuesday, May 5 -
to enable some more fun things to come
It’s a new way forward for independent music-makers
and music-lovers on
Bandcamp – which has hosted Allison’s
music for years.
An artist can now share their own creative flow
individually and directly (as well as being part of
such global music-streaming subscription services
as Spotify, Tidal and all).
This subscription, for $40 USD per year, gives you
all the new music Allison Crowe creates – delivered
instantly to you via the Bandcamp app for
iOS and Android. The music is
available for continual streaming, and for
permanent download (in your choice of digital audio
“Sylvan Hour” arrives this Friday - May 1.
Here’s the album’s front and back covers - and some
word on a classic song collection:
Discover this music from a remarkable artist at a
personal and creative crossroads in her life. “Sylvan
Hour” is an album of songs bridging west and
east, piano and guitar, then and now…
For fans of Allison Crowe at her purest, this is
voice, one accompanying instrument – one take.
Real-time performances in the sequence they’re
played and sung by Allison in a log-home on Salt
Spring Island, BC, Canada.
That afternoon the musician was in the midst of
migrating from her birthplace of Nanaimo, BC, on
Canada’s Pacific, to a new nest in Corner Brook,
NL, on the Atlantic coast. Soon to fly east, Crowe
bade farewell to those near and dear on western
shores – including compatriot Kayla Schmah on Salt
Spring, neighbouring Vancouver Island.
Decades earlier Schmah’s parents had made an epic
trek to the Pacific Northwest from Central Canada –
in a repurposed donut truck. Planting themselves in
the Gulf Islands archipelago, they lived at first
in a converted parachute in the woods. From the
ground up the home-steaders then built a family
dwelling out of Douglas Fir – their “sylvan
Allison and Kayla, as musicians had shared stages
together from their teens onward (and, years later,
becoming a film-scorer in Hollywood, Schmah
brilliantly orchestrated and produced Crowe’s album
Among the friends together on SSI this day was Ryan
Adams (who, like Schmah was a recent graduate of
Berklee College of Music and was en route to
becoming an in-demand tv/film audio engineer in Los
With mics and a laptop set-up in the living-room,
Adams captured this set of the newest songs in
Allison’s repertoire – originals including “Skeletons
and Spirits”, “Running”, and “Silence”
as well as a trio of covers (interpreting songs
famously by Joni Mitchell, The Lovin' Spoonful and
Also gorgeous, but differently so, essentially group
versions of most of these songs were released near
the end of that same year (2006) on Allison Crowe’s
Little Bird” (the title track a
celebration of her migration). “I Never Loved a
Man (The Way I Love You)” is the sole sylvan
session recording released before – it’s presented
now within the full hour of music for all time.
Enjoy this most natural of talents – in this most
natural of settings.