News  Notes from Alley


Hail, Hail Aachen Roll + Mampf Matters ~ October 7


The Imperial Cathedral, in Aachen, Germany, is the oldest cathedral in Northern Europe.



Imperial Cathedral - Aachen, Germany - Allison Crowe photo


Allison Crowe, touring musician, along with Road Manager, Camille Schmah, and fellow musicians Billie Rocha-Woods (Canada-Brazil) and Leontine Snoeren (Holland) visit the Aachen Cathedral before making their way to soundcheck at the also beautiful Aula Carolina venue - pictured below as it looks before the grand piano, other gear, lights and seats are in place.


Aula Carolina - Aachen, Germany - Allison Crowe konzert


The event is presented by Kaiser-Karls-Gymnasium (school), as part of a popular, annual, series of konzerte. The key organizer is teacher Kurt von Bracht - who most courteously invites the musical travellers to enjoy a fine meal at home with he and his wife, Rita. Sharing the fun is music-lover, Tatjana, who works in Roderburg, a bake shop that makes Printen - the famous cookie of Aachen, for which Allison has a positive addiction :)



Aachen, Germany - hospitality of Kurt & Rita - Allison Crowe photo



People keep Allison performing concerts. Travelling brings together music, sights, and people.


Each time she visits Europe on tour, the singer-songwriter from both of Canada's coasts does her best to mak show at Jazzlokal Mampf -- her Cavern Club in Frankfurt. (Ja, this unites the legends of Liverpool and Hamburg. Come to mention it - Nanaimo and Corner Brook, too!) One year when concert dates could not align, Mampf's proprietor, Mischi, and his daughter, Clara, drove, instead, 130 km to catch Crowe's performance in Siegen, Germany!


Such kindness and friendship is not forgotten. And so, Allison Crowe's 2010 "Spiral" Europa Tournee launches here. Musikpirat, a blogger and supporter of Creative Commons artists, was present on this opening night -- with a Camcorder.





The piano song captured by Musikpirat happens by request of Folger -- he and Allison met when she dropped by Mampf the night before her concert, to say "hallo" to owner Mischi and friends, old and new.

Performance of "Disease", means feet stomping, arms thrashing, and, as such, usually needs the space harboured by a grand piano on a stage. Here at Mampf artist and audience sit together as one -- and by special request, this song is part of the joy and release.

(Audio recordings of "Disease" are found on Allison Crowe's album/CD "Little Light" - and an earlier, shorter, version on the "Live at Wood Hall" double-set.)





Unique in Frankfurt, Germany since 1972, Jazzlokal Mampf is described on its facebook page as "probably the smallest jazz club ever - live music - Okay, so maybe not the smallest - but it certainly feels like that some times ;)"

Blogger Musikpirat attends the tour's opening night, and, first thing, he asks - why does Allison Crowe come to such a tiny club? Mischi, kindly host, answers: "Because she likes it."

True. Like those free-spirited rock musicians of the 1960s, Crowe follows her own heart and muse. Mampf is her Cavern Club - a warm home on the continent of Europe.

Musikpirat's Camcorder captures two song performances, along with the character of a legendary venue, on this packed night, when artist and audience are close enough to feel each other's breath.

Here, above, is a guitar song, "Dearly" - the first track on Allison Crowe's newest album, "Spiral".



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