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Crowe’s artistic bent draws rave reviews


Singer-songwriter to play free holiday-themed concerts at Conference Centre

Jennifer Miller

Young singer-songwriter Allison Crowe doesn’t fit the true definition of a rebel, but she certainly does what she wants to do when it comes to her music career.

She started her own record label to give her creative control over her music and she did most of the production and engineering work on her new album, This Little Bird. This year, she also decided to work on Christmas — something she’s never done before.

Crowe is choosing to spend her holidays in Whistler and she’s performing two special free shows at the Telus Conference Centre on Sunday and Monday (Dec. 24 and 25).

“It should be pretty fun,” she said. “And I can go skiing and stuff.”

Though she won’t be with her family, Crowe will spend Christmas with her boyfriend who is coming out from Newfoundland to spend the holiday with her. And she won’t be too far away from her family — she’s originally from Nanaimo and still lives there part time.

While she is currently on tour with a back-up band to promote her new album, Crowe will be performing intimate solo shows in Whistler. She’ll play the piano and the guitar, which is a new addition to her musical repertoire, and sing both originals and cover tunes from This Little Bird and her 2004 holiday album, Tidings.

“We’ll have a little bit of everything,” she said. “I’ll do some Beatles songs and some Rolling Stones, and probably some Joni Mitchell. It should be a good mix.”

Traditional carols will be mixed with modern holiday tunes and a smattering of Crowe’s original offerings thrown in for good measure.

It might be Christmas, but Crowe isn’t expecting any gifts in exchange for her music from the crowd. But if you’re so inclined, she said an audience that is friendly, open and good-natured is always appreciated.

“I love talking to the crowd. I hope that they come talkative because that’s my favourite thing,” she said. “A lively crowd is a good time.”

Since Crowe launched her label, Rubenesque Records, in 2003, she has received regular glowing reviews from critics, fans and fellow artists alike. She has shared the stage with Diana Krall and is featured as a guest artist on Jewel’s Web site.

Crowe admits that paving her own musical road is hard work, but with such a positive response she’s clearly onto something.

“This way I get to do what I want and play what I want,” she said. “It’s more work… but to me it’s more rewarding.”

Celebrate the season with the expressive and entertaining Allison Crowe at the Telus Conference Centre Sunday and Monday (Dec. 24 and 25). The Christmas Eve show is at 8 p.m. with the Christmas day show beginning at 4 p.m. Both shows are free and open to everyone as a holiday gift to Whistler.