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The Western Star (Corner Brook)
Arts and Entertainment, Thursday, November 16, 2006

Little Bird takes flight
Allison Crowe concentrates on career and charity work

By Cory Hurley

Allison Crowe has found a home at the same time as This Little Bird takes off.

The vocalist and instrumentalist from Nanaimo, B.C. now calls Corner Brook home. Finding a special bond with the city and its people, she even recorded a portion of this latest work here.

This Little Bird - a 12-song collection - was uniquely recorded from Vancouver to Corner Brook and released on Oct. 9.

"I am honestly really excited about it," Crowe said. "It took a while to figure out how it was exactly going to work, but even though it hasn't been that long, it has gotten out there and the feedback has been really positive."

That means a lot to the artist because she feels she really laid it all on the line with this CD, engineering and producing it herself. The CD has what she described as a 1960s or 1970s feel - recorded with the use of microphones in apartments, houses and restaurants, and compiled with a computer mixing board and a laptop.

Known for her voice and piano play, Crowe decided it was time to add more instrumentation this time around. She has added some personal guitar playing to her repertoire, but also received some assistance from well-known west coast musicians and brothers, Louis and Mike McDonald.

Crowe recorded her piano tracks at Gitanos' restaurant, some vocals and harmonies in her apartment in the city, and the McDonalds have been credited with guitar tracks on three songs. The rest of the CD was recorded in British Columbia.

The CD contains three cover songs - Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man, Joni Mitchell's A Case of You and the Loving Spoonful's Darling Be Home Soon. The remainder are original pieces written recently by Crowe.

She recently returned from a tour through England, Ireland and Scotland. A part of that tour included working with Oxfam - a development, relief and campaigning organization working to help find solutions to poverty and suffering around the world - and their music events, Oxjam.

Charity work is something Crowe takes great pride in. She will be returning to British Columbia for a series of Christmas/seasonal-type events in December and has frequently used this tour to raise funds for groups like her old high school and raise awareness for certain campaigns.

"Naturally, stick me up on a stage and give me a microphone," she said. "I'm on a platform, so I think it is a natural thing to help out other people. I just think, if you can, why not? You should.

"Another thing I like to do is give up-and-coming young performers a chance to play as well. I was given those opportunities when I was younger, so it is nice to be able to use my record label as a platform to do the same thing."

Crowe actually recently provided a stroke of inspiration to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, through its Western Ontario chapter. As did Canadian celebrities like Alex Lifeson of Rush, Todd Bertuzzi, Paul Henderson, Sass Jordan and Newfoundland's own Shaun Majumder and Brad Gushue, she provided a piece of art work to the cause. It raised $172.19 through bidding on E-Bay. Crowe expects to embark on another Canadian tour in the new year, which will include shows in this province. More information on the artist can be found online at www.allisoncrowe.com



Allison Crowe has released her latest CD This Little Bird. She now resides in Corner Brook. - Star Photo by Cory Hurley