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Allison Crowe, now living in Newfoundland, produced and engineered her latest album. This LIttle Bird will be in stores next month.

By Melissa Fryer
The News Bulletin

Sep 26 2006

NANAIMO SINGER produces songs.

Expect more Allison Crowe than ever before when her latest album This Little Bird hits stores next month.

Not only did she teach herself classical guitar, she also took on the roles of producer and engineer.

"It wasn't easy to do - I'm not going to lie to you," Crowe said.

She's got a MOTU, a small metal box where microphones plug into a mixing board. She taught herself how to use that, too, plus the computer program Cubassis to pull it all together.

The result is the exact sound she wanted, without having to explain to a producer or engineer what she's trying to achieve.

"I get the sound that I want," Crowe said. "If you're recording yourself there's more of what you sound like."

Mixing her own music allows Crowe the freedom to record anywhere, and anytime, she feels like it.

That includes Nanaimo, her new home in Newfoundland, her boyfriend's restaurant or at 3 a.m. - all of which happened on the new album.

"There's no real time constraint," Crowe said.

Crowe adds classical guitar and enlists the help of her dad, who plays guitar, bassist Dave Baird and percussionist Laurent Boucher, to fill out the sound.

It's a bit of a departure from her piano-heavy style.

"It's more of a full band kind of sound," Crowe said.

The songs are permeated with events in her life, including her move to Newfoundland and her tour of Europe.

"A lot of songwriting came from things that have happened in my life over the past year," Crowe said.

Although she no longer lives in Nanaimo, she won't be a stranger to her hometown.

She'll be back in the winter for her annual Tidings concert.

This Little Bird is in stores Oct. 9.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com