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Something to Crowe about

Robyn Chambers, The Chilliwack Times
September 12, 2003

Allison Crowe has wisdom and a vision beyond her 21 years. What gives her age away is her youthful giggle-though not born of nervousness at being interviewed by a reporter as she's had many vie for her attention in recent years-and the fact that she lives with her parents in their Nanaimo home.

Crowe, along with her band and manager Adrian du Plessis have been steadily climbing out of musical obscurity since 1999. It was then Crowe's band composed of herself, Dave Baird on bass, and Kevin Clevette on drums, was solidified with a mission to find success on their own terms.

It is her avid high school participation in band and choir as well as her parents support that really paved the way for Crowe.

"I probably wanted to do it ever since I was really little," she said of performing.

"I would say during high school I decided it was the route I wanted to go-I was in choir in band in tour band and in stage band."

Her sound has been compared to the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Sarah McLachlan and Eddie Vedder. Crowe, in concert with her band mates, writes her own music.

"I'll get the lyrics and then I'll take it to the guys," she said noting there are times when the creative process is difficult and other times when it flows.

"Certain songs are my view on what is going on in the world, an outside perspective, and then there are the ones that are venting or therapy like what's going on in my life or my mind kind of thing."

In a world of overnight singing sensations who don't always translate into long-term success stories, what's refreshing about Crowe is she's made a determined effort to throw off the shackles of an industry that grinds out cookie cutter images of artists in order to remain true to her vision. Earlier this year she rejected a record label's offer instead choosing to step into some uncertainty but maintain her artistic integrity.

"I probably could have done it," she said of signing. "But going through that process made me realize I wanted to maintain my independence. It was kind of good in a way that it made me realize what it is I wanted to do."

And her upcoming Chilliwack performance and subsequent B.C. tour will be a new start for the independent artist.

Crowe has created her own independent label entitled Rubenesque Records Ltd. Her debut album will soon be available from the Allison Crowe Band and is entitled Alive and Breathing.

Crowe has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs including Vicki Gabereau, MTV Canada's Select, Inside Pandora's Box, North by Northwest and has been featured in the National Post and Globe and Mail.

For tickets to her Chilliwack show, Sept. 27 at the Chilliwack Arts Centre, call 604-792-2069. Tickets are $14 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Doors open at 7 p.m. and music starts at 8 p.m. Crowe will share the Chilliwack stage with Maple Ridge singer/songwriter Erin Tinney.