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Crowe flies home

By Andrea Lavigne
Victoria News

Dec 06 2006

Vancouver Island’s own Allison Crowe was treated to a chilly homecoming.

The Yukon Express forced the Nanaimo songstress to spend 19 hours in transit from Newfoundland to Nanaimo during the Nov. 26 snowstorm.

Her wild ride started at 4:15 a.m. but the weather forced her to reschedule, cancel and change her plans several times.

“I ended up in Vancouver looking for (and luckily finding) my luggage and catching the first cab the heck out of there on Sunday to the Ferries. But the 20-minute cab ride ended up taking about an hour and a while because of accidents, etc., and then the ferry was late because of weather and because of that same weather was very slow...”

She finally made it back to Nanaimo at 7:30 p.m.

The long journey proved to be only the first of many arduous obstacles that marred her return.

The rash of bad weather has turned benefit concerts on Salt Spring Island and Campbell River into organizational nightmares.

All the more reason Crowe is looking forward to performing in Victoria, Dec. 8.

“I really am looking forward to playing there again because the audiences are always so supportive and fun,” she said.

Crowe’s Tidings concert will benefit Artemis Place, an alternative education program for girls run by the Victoria Society for Educational Alternatives. VSEA also runs the Girls Alternative Program and Options for Pregnant/Parenting Teens and Options Daycare. Artemis Place program will provide a nurturing community for girls dealing with social and emotional issues.

In addition to doing fundraising performances for Artemis, Crowe has worked with the VSEA’s GAP program in the past.

“This is coming on my third year of doing shows with them to help raise money for their program, and the shows have become somewhat of a tradition,” she said, adding: “I think it’s a great program, and worthy of support.”

Crowe’s voice is a welcome addition to the fundraiser.

The internationally acclaimed singer, recently finished a tour across the U.K., which upped her credibility on the international music scene. One London music blog compared her sound to Ani DiFranco and Joni Mitchell.

Crowe has also performed across North America and Western Europe.

The 25-year-old draws from classical, jazz, pop and gospel to create her own musical blend. The performer accompanies herself on the piano.

Although she usually performs her own songs, Crowe’s Tidings concert will include some traditional Christmas carols with a dash of her own blend of rock, jazz, folk, gospel and soul. She’ll perform with Dave Baird on acoustic and electric bass and Laurent Boucher on percussion, both of whom played on her This Little Bird album.

Special guest Lena Birtwhistle will also perform. The Ladysmith-based singer-songwriter blends folk-rock with a twinge of country.

Crowe’s Dec. 8 Tidings concert takes place at 8 p.m. at Metro Studio Theatre, 1411 Quadra St. Advance tickets -- $20 general and $15 for students and seniors -- are available from Lyle’s Place and Ivy’s Bookshop.

Crowe also performs from 4 to 5 p.m. , Dec. 8, at the Bay Centre as part of CBC Radio One’s 20th anniversary Food Bank Day fundraiser and broadcast.