ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Last updated at 8:58 AM on 27/08/07  

Allison Crowe in a 2006 Western Star file photo.  Star Photo by Cory Hurley
Allison Crowe in a 2006 Western Star file photo. Star Photo by Cory Hurley
City musician invited to Lennon tribute 
Opportunity to share in inspirational event exciting for Crowe

CORY HURLEY
The Western Star

"Imagine" being a part of a tribute music festival to John Lennon.

For Allison Crowe of Corner Brook the events leading up to her invitation to perform in the Northern Lights Festival in Durness, Scotland can only be described as a figment of her imagination.

The internationally-acclaimed singer-songwriter, who is originally from Nanaimo, B.C., was invited to take part in a Beatles celebration in Halifax, N.S. last summer. Her renditions of Lennon's hit Imagine and the Beatles' songs Let it Be and In My Life impressed, not only the audience, but Julia Baird - Lennon's sister. That was followed by a personal invite to perform at the tribute festival from Sept. 28-30 in the Scottish Highlands.

The opportunity to share in this inspirational event is exciting for Crowe.

"John Lennon was an amazing, artistic, peaceful spirit," she said. "He made a huge impact on society."

Crowe, whose grandparents on her mother's side are Scottish, is looking forward to the festival and the opportunity to share the stage with some of Britain's greatest artists.

She has been known to rock audiences with her unique version of Pearl Jam or captivate the crowds with the likes of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Her own recordings have often been compared to music of the 1960s and 1970s.

She feels Lennon's music is a good complement for her style and ability, and honoured to be able to perform them.

"The songs are really great to cover because they can cross so many different boundaries and so many different styles," she said.

"I find the Beatles and John Lennon, the songs they wrote were pretty revolutionary in that they were pretty simple in a way ... especially songs like Imagine, which is piano and vocal, which is what I do. It makes a lot of sense."

There is another connection for Crowe and the Northern Lights festival - her latest song is called Northern Lights. It will surely be a part of the collection audiences can hear as she performs in Ontario and Nova Scotia before heading off to Scotland, France and England throughout September.

Crowe will not be leaving local fans out of the mix either, and has a show planned for the Arts and Culture Centre lobby on Sept. 14. The local group Trois Femmes - Mary Chisholm, Peggy Perry and Meegan Lovett - will open for her.

Crowe has been basking in the success of her latest CD, This Little Bird, and said sales have been going well. She has been a big hit on the Internet, especially on YouTube, where her version of Hallelujah had surpassed 396,000 views as of Friday.

Meanwhile, Crowe continues working on original music and is currently recording another album that she expects will be released later this year or early next.

churley@thewesternstar.com