Alexandria Stuart, Nanaimo Daily News (Canada)
Friday, December 9, 2005
Nanaimo crooner brings show home for the
Nanaimo's Allison Crowe is another young singer songwriter that's determined to put the island on the map as a breeding ground for world-class talent. Fresh from European dates that saw audiences on their feet, Crowe returns home to St. Andrew's Church for the Tidings Concerts on Dec. 16 and 17.
Crowe's album Tidings is a compilation of traditional carols and moving interpretations of great songs from classics like the Beatles and Leonard Cohen. Recorded live off the floor, the album is a great preview of next weekend's concerts.
Carols like O Holy Night and The First Noel are traditionally arranged but shine under her vocal depth and passion on the piano. She imbues What Child Is This with a jaunty, lilting feel.
There's no shortage of vocalists that have taken a pass at Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah but Crowe takes it to the heights along with the best.
Other tracks on the album include Let It Be and Sarah McLachlan's Angel.
The album, or any of Crowe's works (available for digital download and via conventional retail and online channels), are great bets for holiday giving this year.
Crowe has worked tirelessly over the last two years since launching her own record label with four albums, 40,000 km on the road, a pile of glowing press, and a content-packed web site at www.allisoncrowe.com
Crowe counts everyone from Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos to Pearl Jam and Counting Crows as influences. Recent travels opened her up to the wonders of kitschy UK pop, Irish music and more: "On the road in Europe we've listened to a lot of different CDs... one of them being The Essential Donovan. There is this song (There is a Mountain) that I fell asleep to while we were lost in England and it kind of took over my brain and sort of drove me nuts, but now I have a fondness for it," Crowe says.
In spite of the action and adventure of Europe (motor homes a la National Lampoon's European Vacation, skirting the Paris riots), Crowe will be happy to return home.
"I love it when I get the chance to play in Nanaimo, because the audience is always so much fun and so warm. I get to play for my friends as well, which is kind of a fantastic rarity for me," Crowe says.
She also welcomes several local guests including Briana Vojnovich, Christie Ross, Samantha Dubinsky, Crystal Cashmore, Stephanie McGlenen, Sara Anderson, and accompanists Chelsea Peckett and Matt Meredith.
Tickets are available in advance at Thrifty's Foods (Longwood Station and Port Place), NYSA, Lobelia's Lair, Andrea Bertram Studio, House of Indigo Boutique, Lucid Clothing, The Thirsty Camel, The Realm and Theatre B.C. ($20 or $15 for students and seniors.) Call The Mind's Eye at 754-1989 for more information.
"St. Andrew's is a beautiful church with great sound," Crowe says, "It's just right for a Christmas season concert." Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
The Tidings concerts are mounted in partnership
with Project Warmth, the NYSA/Mind's Eye Newspaper and Woodlands
Secondary's music and athletics programs. Part proceeds of Crowe's
Tidings Concerts will be given to the Nanaimo's Youth Services
Association's youth newspaper, Mind's Eye. The feature writer fund
helps writers receive payment for their published work.