News  Notes from Alley


Sunday, November 15 ~ "Gorgeous" music: Allison Crowe & Co. "Spiral"


“Her voice will just send shivers down your spine, and just rip your soul out, and make you happy to be alive. The new track from Allison Crowe, Going Home Tonight…” And so Boston-based media maven C.C. Chapman introduces his podcast audience to this new creation:


Going Home Tonight (pre-album version)  ~  click on song title


Allison Crowe, known for her singularly amazing, often live, performances and her free, independent, spirit, is currently wrapping up the recording of eleven songs to be released as “Spiral”, her seventh CD/album in seven years.


Until now, Crowe’s much-loved recordings have been, essentially, solo affairs – her own voice, piano, and guitar accompanied by rare touches of bass and percussion (and, once, on her Secrets album, accordion, and Uillean pipes).


With songs in her repertoire calling for a broader palette, on “Spiral”, the bicoastal Canadian musician comes together, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, with her touring band: Billie Woods, guitar and bgs (backing vocals); Dave Baird, bass and bgs; and Laurent Boucher on percussion. Turtle Recording studio’s main man, Larry Anschell, engineers the White Rock, B.C. studio sessions, and joins in on electric guitar.


Spiral - Allison Crowe - early album CD cover


Orchestrating, arranging, and producing the album is Los Angeles-based film composer, Kayla Schmah, an artist who’s followed her own path for a decade, and today works in Hollywood with Emmy-award winning composer Edward Shearmur while independently orchestrating and composing on various projects.


Alan Pedder, Editor/Publisher of UK magazine, Wears the Trousers, notes: “The culmination of a decade-long friendship, Schmah is bringing to the album the lush orchestration that Crowe has been seeking since penning some of these songs during a 2007-08 creative spurt that saw her develop two albums’ worth of material. Some of those songs ended up on 2008’s Little Light, without orchestration, and some will make it onto Spiral alongside newer songs and, as is always the case with Allison, a selection of covers. This unfinished version of ‘Going Home Tonight’, a Crowe original, is a swelling, emotional ballad cloaked in strings that are rich enough to carry and accentuate the voice.”


The strings, celeste, tympani and more on this pre-album version debuted on the eclectic US arts and entertainment blog, Muruch, which has adopted Crowe as musical mascot, commenting: “Allison’s voice and piano playing are as beautiful as ever.” Allan Showalter, host and curator of 1 Heck of a Guy, the web’s snappiest Leonard Cohen-related blog, calls Going Home Tonight “Gorgeous”. That’s qualified by fellow American, multi-blogger and video game programmer, Jeff Taylor, who labels it: “Absolutely gorgeous”. Jessica Kuijer of France’s CTN Music, says: “I LOVE THIS new song!!!”. Canadian merch monkey, Reena Kudhail, exclaims: “That's a bloody fantastic song.”


A direct video for “Going Home Tonight”, filmed on Salt Spring Island, B.C., (where Allison Crowe and Kayla Schmah first met, at the turn of the century), is on YouTube @: ~ click link/URL


C.C. Chapman winds up his Accident Hash intro: “If you ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER, get a chance to see her live, please do. Her CDs do not do this woman justice. Her performance, her voice, her everything is… unbelievable. It’s ridiculous live.”


Before the excitement of “Spiral” is released, Allison Crowe performs live – presenting her Tidings concert series from the Pacific to the Atlantic.



Indifference performed by Allison Crowe


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