Rick Dennis, At Large, Cowichan News Leader
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
"Diva Fest was a great time. I'm
very impressed with the organizers and
the talent, writes artist manager Adrian du Plessis from his Saltspring
Island office. "They're already talking about the next Diva Fest, and
you can be sure they've learned a lot from producing this year's show!"
I met Adrian and his star client, Allison Crowe, at the Nov. 22 Cowichan
Women Against Violence fundraiser at the Cowichan Theatre. Allison was
one of the featured performers at the Saturday evening concert. By now,
the 22-year-old Nanaimo singer/songwriter has earned enough rave reviews
to wallpaper a rehearsal studio. Yet she is refreshingly free of
attitude, often punctuating her sentences with a girlish giggle. Then
she sits down at the piano and begins to sing and you realize what all
the fuss is about. Her voice is a force of nature: bright and warm,
refracting into a whole spectrum of tonal shadings like sunlight through
a prism; bracing and cool, a torrent of emotion washing over the
listener like summer rain.
She has just completed a Christmas CD, Tidings: 6 Songs for the Season
recorded live-off-the-floor, with bandmates David Baird on bass and
Kevin Clevette on drums for her own label, Rubenesque Records.
"I love music and I love Christmas, so it seemed natural to make a
seasonal record," she says. "It was also fun to create something that
wasn't completely traditional, and have a good mix of different songs
and styles on a holiday album."
Soulful versions of Silent Night and Oh Holy Night stand under the
mistletoe with the Stones album track Shine a Light (from Exile on Main
Street) and Sarah McLachlan's Angel. Altogether, a very cool Yule disc.
(Adrian tells me it is available at Zoya's Music in Duncan.)