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“Who is Allison Crowe?” and “Why is She Coming Here?”

By Bruce Mason, Gabriola Sounder
Monday, November 26 2007

Despite a skyrocketing international career, some folks have asked me: “Who is Allison Crowe?” A few still get her mixed up with Sheryl Crow; others get her confused with another world famous, superbly musical native of Nanaimo, Diana Krall.

Allison Crowe is something else, as we are about to see and hear in the Community Hall, on December 9th and 14th.

She celebrated her 26th birthday in her new home, Newfoundland, last week, and it’s a wonderful time for the rising star.

Here are just a few reasons why:

On her own label, she has released five acclaimed albums, including “Tidings,” a Christmas CD currently ranked with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and other time-honoured classics. It is now available at Artworks.

On YouTube, the Internet’s premiere video broadcaster, over one million people have viewed Allison Crowe’s simple, soulful and honest videos. Spend a little high quality time at: www.allisoncrowe.com.

Her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has been viewed more than 600,000 times, and a major Hollywood movie production has requested use of Crowe’s “Tidings” album version of the song, which she is freshly re-defining for a new generation of listeners.

On Last.fm - one of the world’s largest social music networks - she has built an audience of more than 53,000 listeners.

Back on YouTube, Crowe’s video interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s “River” is tops among her seasonal set, with more than 90,000 views.

Recently she created a sensation at the “John Lennon Northern Lights Festival,” in Scotland. Describing her Main Stage performance as “awesome” and “spine-tingling,” Mike Merritt, director of the event - picked as the UK’s “Best New Festival” - has invited Crowe back for next year’s cultural celebration, noting: “Allison has put Canada well and truly on the map here!”

“Why is She Coming Here?” Because she wants to.

On our much smaller map, Allison is making a special trip to Gabriola because we asked her to come and meet island youth and to sing a few songs with all of us. Excitement is building and we will have more in next week’s Sounder.

In fact she is the most excited of all of us, about singing with Lou Gradanti and his students, youth from the Elementary School, Gathering Place, Island Singers and anyone who hangs around after their matinee, or comes early for the evening concert.

The bottom line is that Allison knows that it really is better to give than to receive. Crowe’s “Tidings” concerts support a range of worthy causes, this year including: the Food Bank, SPCA, Artemis Place (life skills and academics for girls), GABA (Group Applied Behavior Analysis - helping autistic children), the Mind’s Eye youth newspaper, as well as high school band and sports programs.

Allison Crowe is also staging a concert in the Community Hall on December 14th. That too is a gift that you really should consider sharing with your family and friends. Tickets are also available at Artworks.

On another note: Joan Wallace who wowed everyone a while back with Barry Hall, is returning to Agi Hall for the Coffeehouse this Friday evening with her group, Mama’s Kitchen. Doors open at 7 pm; admission is only $4.



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