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Allison Crowe tunes up for SPCA benefit

Allison Crowe and her band appear at Salt Spring’s United Church in concert this Saturday.
Photo by Billiie Woods

Expect overtones of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, jazz and roots when Allison Crowe, Canada’s exciting bi-coastal singer-songwriter, visits Salt Spring for a concert to aid the local SPCA branch on Saturday, April 11 at Salt Spring’s United Church.

It’s an encore opportunity for Crowe to join up with shelter supervisor Brandy Glovka and her team of dedicated volunteers at the island’s SPCA shelter.

Kicking off this Easter weekend concert is Gemma G, going solo with heartfelt folk songs about love and life after performing in various combos at the Tree House Cafe and other island spaces.

Crowe’s band on this night’s bill features a trio of West Coast musicians also popular with island audiences. Hailing from Salt Spring, Billie Woods, singer and guitarist, infuses her playing with the warmth and vitality of the sambas, bossa novas and other cultural rhythms of Brazil. Woods is joined by a pair of top-flight rhythm-makers: Vancouver Island jazzer Dave Baird on acoustic and electric bass, and Salt Spring-based percussionist Laurent Boucher, renowned for his playing with Sunyata and other combos making music from big band to world beat.

Born and raised in Nanaimo and now living in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, internationally-acclaimed Allison Crowe delights in a wide range of roles. She’s performed for the Queen’s Master of Music, headlined a concert for the John Lennon Memorial Garden in the Scottish Highlands, been featured on BBC Radio, and in MOJO magazine and media across Europe and North America. Online, her simple, honest, music videos have been enjoyed by more than five million people.

“Treat yourself to one of the mightiest talents on the singer-songwriter scene today,” says Bob Muller, song curator at JoniMitchell.com. “Ever wonder what it would have been like to listen to a gifted singer/songwriter from Saskatchewan in a small, intimate hall before she became Joni Mitchell? Don’t fret the missed opportunity. There’s no need to turn back the clock. Check out Allison Crowe,” writes Robert Reid in The Record.

Crowe’s rare gift and talent in communicating emotions not only make her a thrilling original act. Her role as an interpreter is getting much recognition. “Her version of ‘I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)’ would give Aretha Franklin goose-bumps,” notes Robert Moyes in Boulevard. Recently, two major tributes to Leonard Cohen have featured her song contributions.

During her triumphal Beatles Week 2008 concert series, BBC Radio 2 interviewed and recorded Allison Crowe in Liverpool performing Hallelujah for an hour-long documentary called The Fourth, The Fifth, The Minor Fall that explores the many facets of this Leonard Cohen creation. Other participants include musicians Imogen Heap and Kathryn Williams alongside producers John Lissauer (Leonard Cohen) and Andy Wallace (Jeff Buckley).

Crowe is renowned for her ability to blend control and melodrama, which she certainly she does so on this spirited cover of Cohen’s Songs of Love and Hate classic, a track which also powerfully showcases her considerable talent as a fine interpreter of song.”

Longtime NPR Radio host Ross Hocker calls a performance by Crowe “the most honest, heartfelt and directly intimate concert in my entire life.”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the music flows at 7 p.m.

Tickets are at Acoustic Planet Music, Salt Spring Sound, Stuff & Nonsense, Raven Street Market Café and allisoncrowe.com. Advance tickets are $20 general and $15 for students and seniors. (Cost at the door is $22/$17.)



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