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Crowe gathers new fans
  By Jan DeGrass/Arts and Enterainment Writer
  Allison Crowe has a big, big voice. Last Saturday evening, the Canadian songstress held a near capacity crowd at the Heritage Playhouse in thrall during a powerful performance that included original compositions as well as popular covers.

She earned herself quite a few new fans.

Crowe plays guitar and piano with great skill; in between songs she chatters with a kind of crazy humour that reveals her personality, in a way that reminds the listener of another excellent Canadian pianist and singer, Connie Kaldor — in this case, maybe a Kaldor high on energy drinks.

Crowe is noted for her Beatles’ cover songs. In fact, she will perform at a Beatles Festival this summer at the Cavern Club in Liverpool at the invitation of John Lennon’s sister. She gave the audience a preview of her chosen song: Let it Be.

In another piece, Crowe savaged the piano with a fierceness that turned our spines to noodles. The song was dedicated to a woman who gave a classical piano performance seen on You Tube only to find that her web audience offered tasteless and ignorant jokes in return. Don’t sugar coat it, Allison.

Crowe closed with the Leonard Cohen classic, Hallelujah that brought the audience to its feet. In an encore, she sang a well-known Aretha Franklin song, Never Loved a Man the Way That I Love You. OK, she’s not Aretha, who is surely one of the world’s greatest, but Crowe’s version stood up note for note. She does not copy, but instead, she “Allison-izes” each song — makes it her own.

Elphinstone Secondary School graduate Skye Wallace opened the show in a delightful set of mostly her own compositions.

Crowe approaches local schools before her concerts asking for recommendations of young singers as warm up acts. Wallace was chosen — a wonderful gig for the young woman who will continue to study performing arts in college this year. Crowe thanked the high school for its involvement in music, adding that her days spent in band class at school were among her happiest.   



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