Erin Fletcher, The Ladysmith Chronicle
Allison Crowe gave a spine-tingling performance at an intimate gathering in the Collectibles Café Saturday night.
The small coffee house was standing room only as Crowe tinkled the ivories of an antique piano lit by wavering tea lights, and sang with all her heart and soul.
Crowe is a 20-year-old jazz musician from Nanaimo who’s been likened to the next Diana Krall.
Her career took a big leap forward when she won the Vancouver Island Songbird Competition in 1998 and now she performs at sold-out concerts all over Canada.
The private Ladysmith concert started out with a strong and entertaining performance by Ladysmith’s own Ryan McMahon, formerly of Citizen Strange.
McMahon has a fabulous voice and entertaining stage presence. And although he missed a few notes during his final selection, few would have known had he not pointed it out.
Although his sound isn’t as mainstream as some tunes getting heavy rotation on the radio waves, his music is already being played on local and Vancouver radio stations.
His tunes and lyrics are catchy, thoughtful and homegrown, and provided a perfect opener for Crowe’s outstanding performance, possessing a similar honesty and undeniable talent.
What’s amazing about Crowe, besides her talent, is how ‘normal’ she is.
She is friendly, warm, funny, modest and her smile is contagious.
And the music is the woman. She communicates about love, death and life through her songs. Her voice is unmistakable, and in the same song she can be powerfully raw, yet hit a high note so delicately it slips through her lips and kisses your ear.
Crowe’s trio, with musicians Kevin Cevette on drums and Dave Baird on upright acoustic, did an excellent job. Their subtle contribution to the songs completed a fantastic performance.
Crowe released her first recording, Six Songs, through Turtle Studios in White Rock, B.C. in 2001 and will release her debut full CD, Midnight Syren, this summer. She is also releasing a video of the song ‘Midnight’.
© Copyright, Ladysmith Chronicle.