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Songbird rides the rails

Allison Crowe tours in style thanks to VIA

Theresa Tayler, Calgary Herald, Thursday, May 18, 2006

Allison Crowe performs Friday, 8 p.m., at the Cantos Music Foundation.
Tickets available through Megatunes, 229-3022

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Allison Crowe is riding a soul train across Canada this month.

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter says she was fed up with touring
via the old-fashioned route -- i.e., cramped, smelly vans, hours
spent waiting in airports and meals bought out of truck stop vending

So, preparing to embark on her third national tour, the Nanaimo, B.C.,
native decided to take the track less followed and cross the country
via train, stopping in 10 cities along the way.

The tour began Sunday in Vancouver and ends June 11 in St. John's,

"We're able to go places where you can't go in a car, backcountry
areas that are really beautiful -- it's going to be very cool," says
Crowe, whose music mixes rock, folk and jazz.

The idea for the train tour, aptly titled the Rock n' Rail Revue, has
been some time in the making.

"It's been on the back burner for years," she said.

Crowe approached VIA Rail Canada to support the tour earlier this year and
the company agreed to fund her journey, erasing the biggest strain on
a touring artist's pocket book -- food and travel expenses.

"We'll drive to a few cities that aren't on the train line. But,
other than one or two places, all stops will be off the train line,"
she says. Crowe, who writes all of her own music and plays piano,
now splits her time between the West Coast and her new adopted home
in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"It's hard to pick one one area of Canada that I love the most,
they're all my favourite -- I find something beautiful and different
about each province," she says.

The Calgary Herald 2006