Friday, June 19 ~ Allison Crowe Band: Triumphant in Europe, Unique in Canada
The singular success of musician Allison Crowe continues to build. Crowe and her band, fresh from a series of European concerts, are home in Canada readying for a new album and three upcoming tours.
Allison Crowe and her traveling band – Billie Woods (guitar), Dave Baird (bass) and Laurent Boucher (percussion) – are back in Canada following a triumphant tour of continental Europe.
Playing to full-houses and multiple encores in Aachen, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Prague and Vienna was especially gratifying for the troupe – after a start in the UK that could have derailed less able and determined musicians.
Instead, an encounter with new anti-terrorist/illegal immigration rules has helped fuel the vibrant reform movement in the UK. With public and media support from stern to bow on the island of Great Britain, the news was featured by BBC Radio, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian/Observer, The Scotsman, The Northern Times, The Press & Journal, and many more outlets. The Times of London warned: “Immigration rules threaten to destroy Britain's arts reputation".
Cultural events described as canceled or in jeopardy as a result of the new laws include: concerts by supreme Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov; African jazz band Les Amazones de Guinée; the English National Opera's production of Così Fan Tutte to be directed by Abbas Kiarostami, the great Iranian film-maker; and events involving a range of participants from Argentinian tango-dancers, to neuroscientists, university lecturers, Chinese artists and touring church choirs.
On June 3, the UK civil liberties group, Manifesto Club, hosted the first “Cabaret Without Borders” in London, England. Allison Crowe spoke to attendees of this packed event via telephone hook-up, minutes before her band's performance in Frankfurt. The 'Visiting Artists and Academics Petition' ~ found @ http://www.petitiononline.com/MCvisit/petition.html ~ was launched earlier this year by the Manifesto Club with the endorsement of dozens of the UK's most prominent artists and educators, including: sculptor Antony Gormley; director of the National Portrait Gallery, Sandy Nairne; and the artistic director of the Royal National Theatre, Nicholas Hytner.
Home in Canada, the bicoastal musician and her transnational band, next devote the Summer to writing, playing and recording before Fall '09 Canadian tour dates, Winter 2009 “Tidings” concerts, and, a return to Europe in Spring 2010.
Crowe's success has been built quite differently to a pattern followed for decades by Canadian rock musicians. Rather than rely on grants or corporate support, (or multinational record labels that may themselves receive grants/subsidies), the exciting singer-songwriter who lives on, both, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, has connected directly with her audience, building a passionate international fan base for her music via internet videos and songs and peerless live performances.
Allison's Crowe's next CD/album will be her seventh release since the 2003 launch of her label, Rubenesque Records Ltd. It will be the first to showcase her quartet.