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"Crowe still flying high"
Lynn Welburn, Nanaimo Daily News
October 24, 2003

Nanaimo singer/songwriter Allison Crowe found that her recording contract in New York would cost her too much - her integrity. So, she's back on the Island and going strong with her talented trio. Catch up on the latest Alley happenings on Page C3.

Allison Crowe, the Nanaimo singer who headed off a few months ago to New York City for what was hoped would be a recording contract and stellar career rise, has recently come home.

Despite almost nine months of intense negotiations with a new U.S. record label, Crowe made the choice to come back to the coast rather than give up her musical integrity and in no way does she feel like she's come home a failure.

"For me, there just came a point where I realized things weren't going to work the way we wanted them to and you realize that if you're going to retain your independence, you have to make certain tough choices," says Crowe. "I realized that to make (the recording contract) work, I'd have to give up too much.

"If something doesn't feel right, then probably it's wrong for you and I went along with it for a while but eventually I just had to go with my instincts."

Crowe is still open to the possibility of the right record deal coming along, but not at any cost. And in the meantime, she's not waiting for anyone else to make things happen. Crowe has just launched her own, independent label, Rubenesque Records Ltd. Rubenesque, along with guiding Crowe's various recording projects, is also intended to support live events and mentoring situations that will enable emerging artists, particularly young women, to gain experiences and find their voices in the music industry and life.

The first release for Rubenesque is Lisa's Song + 6 Songs, an EP created to raise awareness of, and funds for, the ongoing search for Lisa Marie Young, who disappeared more than a year ago from Nanaimo. (More information on Lisa can be found at

Earlier this month, Whether I'm Wrong, a song Crowe recorded for CBC Radio's North by Northwest program was selected to join the New Songs for Peace collection, an initiative endorsed by organizations including UNESCO, the Centre for Political Song, the Woody Guthrie Archives, and people like Pete Seeger, Philip Glass, and Abbey Lincoln.

As well, Crowe and her band-mates, bassist Dave Baird and drummer Kevin Clevette will return to Salt Spring this weekend for a concert at ArtSpring. The band will be supported there by such talent as singer/songwriter Stacy Burke, sisters Brittney and Billie Woods performing Brazilian-Portuguese tunes, classical pianist Megan Robinsonand many others.

"I'm doing shows, working on a full-length album which we'll record with Rubenesque and a lot of other things right now," says Crowe. "And we're making plans for some other projects that I can't really talk about yet.

"Working independently is way more work in some ways, but it's less emotional work than the other way. It's more rewarding and we have more control over our own music."