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HITTING THE BIG APPLE

Long hailed as the Island's next big star, Allison Crowe is poised to make it all come true

John Kimantas, The News Bulletin
April 14, 2003

 It may be the last chance to see Allison Crowe perform as an unsigned act.

Long hailed as the next big star to emerge from Vancouver Island, Crowe and her trio of David Baird Kevin Clevette will be performing at Dover Bay Secondary in a fund-raiser for MS on Wednesday (April 16).

After that Crowe will be flying to New York - tentatively on May 1 - to make all the predictions about her future success come true.

Last year Crowe came under the management wings of Jack Ponti, a U.S. music industry veteran for acts including Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper and most recently multiple Grammy Award-winner India.Arie. 

That appears to be paying off - although Crowe’s manager, Adrian du Plessis, is coy about what’s in store.

Helping the veil of secrecy is the fact that the major label in the deal has been going through a massive restructuring, 

Du Plessis says the record company wants to deal with its reorganization and announce the new head of its U.S. music division before disclosing the deal with Crowe.

That’s all supposed to be finalized in the next few weeks.

(As a footnote, Sony Music and its two major labels, Epic and Columbia, are involved in a major restructuring expected to be finalized in the next few weeks.)

It all begins with the May 1 flight to New York. 

“And, now, once we go, we’ve no idea when we’ll be back - as pre-production, recording, and showcases/touring are now likely to run consecutively,” du Plessis says.

By contrast, the winter has been a fairly quiet one for Crowe, with the band having finished a tour of Canada last August with a performance at the Port Theatre on Nov. 1.

On New Year’s Eve she got her first chance in about four years to sit back and watch others perform.

Crowe says she’s been working mostly on her songwriting over the last few months, and has about a dozen new songs in the works.

But don’t expect to see all those works on the CD she’ll be recording in New York, Midnight Syren. Most of the songs from her demo CD Six Songs will be included among the new recordings. 

“The new ones have come about in the last two months,” she says. “The older material represents the last four to five years. With time that material has become more solid.”

Crowe made one special foray into a recording studio in Victoria just a few weeks ago to put Lisa’s Song to CD.

The song, a tribute to Crowe’s missing friend Lisa Young, has been distributed by Lisa’s family to help keep the Nanaimo woman’s memory alive.

“Lisa’s Song was just recorded in the living room,” Crowe says. “I thought it would be nice to have a studio version to hand out.

Crowe will also be pitching in for the MS Society in the Dover Bay concert by donating a share of the proceeds.

Dover Bay student Robert Spencer says Crowe makes a great role model for the students.

“She’s local talent that the kids can look at and see that she went to school here (in Nanaimo). It should give a big inspiration.”

Supporting the show will be vocalist Val Rowell, pianist Mel Belfontaine and vocal soloist Stephanie McGlenen.