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Welcome Spring with Allison & Guests

Arts Feature, The Islands Marketplace
Friday, February 29  2008

Celebrate Spring's arrival with Allison Crowe and special guests, Aaron Trory and Rachel Saunders, at ArtSpring on Saturday, March 22 at 8:00 p.m. The acclaimed vocalist/pianist delivers a lively musical bouquet that stirs together original songs with much-loved interpretations from the popular songbook in an organic blend of rock, jazz, folk, Broadway, gospel and soul.

As the Salt Spring BCSPCA gears up for kitten season, this fun Easter-time event will help raise funds for the island's Animal Shelter ( http://www.spca.bc.ca/saltspring ) Cats, kittens and bunnies all need good homes. Shelter Manager Jena Peori along with her team are ready to assist with adoptions, providing pets and info to caring people.

Cat-lover Allison Crowe cares, too, about building a career with integrity and looks to Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco as models. Courted by the record industry as soon as she began performing beyond her home region of Nanaimo and the Gulf Islands, Crowe has no interest in becoming what Mitchell sagely calls the "style inventions" of today's mainstream record labels. Instead, she's created her own label, and, since 2003, has released five critically and commercially successful CD albums.

"It takes a lot of self-confidence to tackle Aretha (Franklin)'s version of "I Never Loved a Man..." but Allison does and nails it just as good as the Queen of Soul herself. Her piano playing is equally exquisite. Treat yourself to one of the mightiest talents on the singer-songwriter scene today," says Bob Muller, curator of song covers at JoniMitchell.com.

"Allison Crowe has a voice to fall in love with. She is from Vancouver Island in Canada, descended from Scottish, Irish and Manx stock. She's exactly the sort of artist who can make serious headway on her own label and that's just what she's doing," says the UK's Record of the Day. Hers is a joyous sound that one music critic describes as 'Elton John meets Edith Piaf'. At the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival in Scotland, this past Fall, "Canadian angel Alison Crowe gave one of the weekend's most magical moments," says The Scotsman. Festival Director Mike Merritt describes Crowe as "awesome" and "spine-tingling", noting her
performance "put hairs on the back of your neck! She brought the house down." Ross Hocker, long-time public broadcaster with NPR/WGTE, whose musical taste embraces Thelonious Monk, Bela Bartok and Charles Gonoud, calls Allison Crowe's last American performance "the most honest, heartfelt, and directly intimate concert in my entire life."

Joining Allison Crowe on the ArtSpring bill is multi-instrumentalist Aaron Trory, a performer from Salt Spring Island now enriching his musical base at Nanaimo's Malaspina College. Although he has experience playing in hard rock acts, (including local legends, Steel Bananas), Trory is currently focused on writing and performing songs in acoustic arrangements, often unaccompanied. A wide range of unconventional influences, informed by a growing jazz education, make for a distinctive live show. Teaming up with the artistic sensibilities and creative flair of his younger sister Rachel Saunders, they're a diverse musical duo with a special wit and spontaneity.

Tony DePasquale, creator of Bloom Breads and Bakery, maker of the of island's popular "au levain" style organic breads and breadsticks, will bake a batch of special Easter dolce (sweets) - including biscotti and hot-cross buns for the theatre's concession. Also fun, for the child in all of us, there'll be an "Easter CD hunt" - with Allison Crowe albums hidden under the "shells" at ArtSpring.



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