Dutch culture blog “File Under” notes: “Music is a necessity according to Allison Crowe and this is clearly apparent in the intensity of the way she sings and plays piano. To ensure artistic freedom and following one of her inspirations Ani DiFranco, she started her own label Rubenesque Records in 2003 on which she’s already released two EP's and six albums.”
April 17 has musical lineage as birth-date of The Buzzcock’s Pete Shelley, and Tool’s Maynard James Keenan. The Band (formerly The Hawks) performed their first concert on April 17, 1969. Exactly one year later, Paul McCartney's debut solo album, "McCartney", was released. This April 17, coinciding with Record Store Day, Allison Crowe’s “Spiral” album was released on CD.
“I hear so much music these days, too much for one person really. I’m inundated with such a flood of sounds both good and bad that I sometimes forget what it feels like when a song literally produces chills on your arms,” says Muruch, a blog with roots in America and branches across the world of arts and entertainment.
”Then I hear Allison Crowe sing, and I remember the effect music is supposed to have on you. That awe-inspired rush, that indescribable feeling of communion between artist and audience. The gratitude that someone gifted has expressed through their art an emotion you personally lack the talent to articulate. To quote Allison: ‘Why music? Why breathing?’ ’’
"I Found You" - one of two original oil-paintings by Tara Thelen, Bergen, NL-based artist, featured on Allison Crowe's "Spiral" CD cover
“1 Heck of a Guy” author, Allan Showalter, (also U.S.-based and international in cultural scope), reports being: “Joyfully Caught In Allison Crowe's ‘Spiral’."
“Having spent most of the past two days playing and replaying the Allison Crowe ‘Spiral’ CD, I’ve come to certain conclusions:
1. ‘Spiral’ is an outstanding album. That’s hardly a surprise. The album features a great voice, great song selections, and great arrangements. What’s not to like?
2. Listening to the CD renders an already obvious point unavoidable:
newcomers to Allison Crowe should be granted access to her music only on the condition that their first experience is listening to an entire album. Don’t get me wrong – there are several tracks that would, in the era of 45 rpm records, have qualified as hit singles. But, listening to a song or two from ‘Spiral’ is impressive; listening to the entire album in one sitting is overwhelming – in a good way.
3. The ‘Spiral’ CD not only sounds right, it looks right and feels right. Having owned too many of the same albums in too many conformations, including vinyl records, cassettes, 8-tracks, reel-to-reel recordings, CDs, and downloaded files with any number of suffixes (MP3, WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC, AAC, MPEG-4, WMA, …), I am rarely swayed by format nostalgia, but in this case, the physical CD itself seems a better fit to the album than invisible computer files. It is especially gratifying to discover that the art and the gatefold design evokes the sense of those albums I bought in the 1960s and 1970s when examining the graphics, reading the liner notes, and considering their implications vis-ā-vis the music inside was an essential element in listening to that new record (see graphic below; click on image for best viewing).
The concern shown in this quality of design reflects parallel concerns and respect for the music and for the buyer’s experience.”
“Spiral”, Allison Crowe’s seventh CD release, is now available in record stores from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, Canada (incl. Nanaimo, B.C’s Fascinating Rhythm and Lobelia's Lair; on Salt Spring Island at Acoustic Planet Music and Salt Spring Sound; in Victoria, B.C. come to Lyle's Place; in Vancouver, visit Zulu Records; in Newfoundland drop by Fred's Records in St. John's and Distinctions salon in Corner Brook), and online at allisoncrowe.com, eBay, CD Baby, MapleMusic, Amazon.com, iTunes, eMusic, Fishpond and many more fine sites.
Due to the lively nature of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which has sent a cloud of ash over Europe, (one that has now reached the east coast of Newfoundland, Canada), concert dates of Allison Crowe for this month in Aachen, Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin are being rescheduled to combine with shows in Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and other locations for a grand European tour this Fall.