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Allison Crowe on Gabriola, so far

By Bruce Mason, Gabriola Sounder
Monday, December 3 2007

She has sent “Tidings” and a growing number of us are glad that Allison Crowe is on her way here, for a free, impromptu community sing-along, Sunday, December, 9th, at 4:30 pm and a concert that critics around the world are calling one of the best they have ever experienced. That is Friday evening, December 14th, also at the Community Hall.

Bob Meyer, Silver Blue Charters, has known Allison since he was a child. Her Dad was his dentist in Nanaimo for years, became a fishing buddy and Bob got some CD’s from him.

“I was amazed when I heard her music, couldn’t believe how talented she is, and I’ve become one of her biggest fans,” said Meyer.

I gave one copy to Lou Gradanti, who learned every one of the arrangements note for note and he has been sharing the music with his students in preparation for the sing-along.

Dropped another CD off at the school for Rose Topp, Music Teacher, who reported: “I’ve started singing “Let it Be,” and “Silent Night” with my kids. This will be great!”

There are a few copies of “Tidings” for sale at Artworks for anyone who hasn’t found any joy yet. It is an international seasonal classic.

If you’ve got a love-hate relationship with ubiquitous Christmas music, this one not only contains - along with the two faves of Rose and her students - “The First Noel,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” “O Holy Night,” and the like, but also the current definitive versions Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Joni Mitchell’s “River,” the Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light,” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel.”

As one critic observed, “the 12-track CD contains not a single turkey, nor any stuffing.”

I can’t resist adding this: Dr. Gerry Grzyb, Chair of the Sociology Department, University of Wisconsin, AKA Dr. Christmas, is cited as the foremost authority on Christmas music.

Each year since 1989 he’s sifted through the mass of seasonal music, searching for gems, which he broadcasts on WRST-FM in a six-day radio marathon. “Allison’s drew the most listener interest,” reported the good doctor.

Says Allison: “I love music and I love Christmas, so it seemed natural to make a seasonal record. It was also fun to create something that wasn’t completely traditional, and have a good mix of different songs and styles on a holiday album.”

Now, if you can’t get a copy of the “Tidings” CD, go to her website: www.allisoncrowe.com and listen up. Here are the songs she will be singing with us:

“The First Noel,” “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” “Let It Be,” and “Imagine.”

She’s leaving wiggle room for Lou, Rose, their students and the rest of us, some time for requests, a chat, autographs, etc.

Judging from the response to the CD and the sing-along, the main event - Allison Crowe’s Tidings concert at the Community Hall, December 14th, will, indeed, be: “music for the season and all time.”

This is a very special and high-spirited evening to be shared with family and friends, even if you think you’ve heard enough seasonal music, or don’t celebrate Christmas. Tickets at Artworks.



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