News  Notes from Alley


Tidings Time for one of Today's Greats ~ November 19


Allison Crowe's recent concert tour of continental Europe again reveals her as one of the great popular musicians of the modern era. Playing for audiences in Germany, Holland, France, Austria and Italy, Crowe, possibly the world's most independent recording artist, shares a joy of music and a personality that is wild as the wind.

Talent today can matter more than it has for decades and few, if any, performers in rock or pop music demonstrate that reality more abundantly than does the singer-songwriter whose home stretches from Nanaimo, British Columbia to Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.

Along with releasing seven albums/CDs containing original song-writing of a singular range and quality, this century Allison Crowe has earned a reputation for her gorgeous voice, and unique ability to viscerally communicate emotion without sentimentality.

Crowe's honest approach serves well, too, in making her, not only an uniquely exciting songwriter and live performer, combining voice, piano and guitar, but, at the same time, a peerless interpreter of a most varied songbook.

Upon her return to Canada from Europe, "Cover Me" blog's Editor-in-Chief Ray Padgett, (SPIN, Consequence of Sound, Mashable and more), premieres Allison Crowe's take on Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart - Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams"

In the accompanying article, "Allison Crowe Shows Us What 'Sweet Dreams' Are Made Of.", writer Eric Garneau says of Crowe's bare take on the song: "She delivers a reading on this '80s mainstay at once beautifully melodious and ferociously in-your-face."

Allison Crowe being a rock musician - well, what was called rock in the '60s - she really enjoys, but doesn't replicate, the sounds of the original's pop sensibility. She strips things to their emotional core.

"1 Heck of a Guy", a blog renowned for its witty reportage on Leonard Cohen, shines a light on Allison Crowe's "alchemy" in covering songs - saying:

"Allison, whose covers include not only outstanding versions of Joni Mitchell's 'River' and 'A Case of You,' Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah,' 'The Beatles' 'In My Life' and 'Let It Be,' Lennon's 'Imagine,' and Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time,' but also the most provocative and seductive (forgive me, Aretha) take I've heard on Ronnie Shannon's 'I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You).' And, I stand by my conviction that Allison Crowe is the best thing to happen to 'Me And Bobby McGee' since Janis Joplin changed Kristofferson's lyrics."

News of this latest cover magic has spread to the MTV blog: "Allison Crowe Strips Down Eurythmics' 'Sweet Dreams' "  - and the site which has been serving 'Sweet Dreams' to devoted Eurythmics fans since 1999 - ethrillnet

Allan Showalter's "1 Heck of a Guy" includes a link to this YouTube audio with pic.


It's been only a few months since "Cover Me" first shared its discovery of Allison Crowe's interpretations, including her version of "Hallelujah". In the years since Crowe recorded the song for her "Tidings" CD, it's been covered by more than 200 acts - from cult-type faves in various genres, such as Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, and folkie Kathryn Williams, to mainstream crooners kd lang, Susan Boyle, Justin Timberlake w. Matt Morris, and more. It's been adopted by Simon Cowell and the Idol/X Factor/Got Talent et al franchises.

The remarkable harvest of "Hallelujah" recordings, and the Olympian marketing exercises that attend some releases of the song, add to the stature of Crowe's single/first take interpretation. Says music journalist Padgett: "The songwriter's pure tones sound like a bell, no show-off acrobatics necessary. The amazing thing isn't just that she performs the best version of Leonard Cohen's oft-covered 'Hallelujah' (sorry Jeff); the amazing thing is that she does so using the same solo piano style that
everyone else does. There's nothing particularly creative about it; her voice is just that good! So throw all those other 'sensitive' covers. This one's the keeper."

It's coming on Christmas, and for Allison Crowe, this means a "Tidings" concert tour. It's time to stir together traditional Christmas carols and holiday favourites with an organic blend of rock, jazz, folk, gospel and soul. "Be prepared to be amazed," chimes "Music for the season and all time."

Allison Crowe's Canadian Tidings Concert 2010 Tour dates:

Nov. 25 - Campbell River, BC: St. Peter's Anglican Church - w. the Campbell River Children's Choir - to aid CR Food Bank & the Hospice Society
Nov. 27 - Gibsons, BC: Heritage Playhouse Theatre - w. Ellisa Hartman
Dec. 3 - Ladysmith, BC: Ladysmith First United Church - w. Lena Birtwistle
Dec. 4 - Victoria, BC: Fairfield United Church - w. Bob Benvenuti - to aid Artemis Place & HepCBC
Dec. 10 - Gabriola Island, BC: The Haven
Dec. 11 - Nanaimo, BC: St. Andrew's United Church - w. Hayley Read, Kiana Smith, Mathew Walker, Taylor Manns, Brynn Newman, Chelsea Peckett, Emily Blake, Kevin Patton & "Maestro" Rick Becker - to aid The Mind's Eye & Woodlands SS Band & Basketball programs
Dec. 17 - Corner Brook, NL: Corner Brook First United Church

Full details on these shows will be announced next week on Allison's Tour pages

Here's to peace on earth, goodwill toward all.


Allison Crowe - back-stage Osterkirche, Berlin, Germay - self-portrait 2010




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