Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe, who has made a career of covering, crafting and performing warm, lyrical songs with little more than an intensely rich, emotional voice, strong piano skills, and a heap of moxie, was recently refused entry into the UK for a music festival, a casualty of the United Kingdom’s increasingly stringent rules for touring artists, which in turn seem to be part and parcel of the insane and inappropriately panicked global response to the fear of terrorism.
We’ve covered Allison’s work here before, and her manager Adrian even offered us some temporary hosting when we got into a spot of trouble last November; as a fan and a friend, I admire her cheerful yet proactive response to this despicable predicament, and wish her the best of luck in her continued tour. If you’d like to help the cause, please join Allison and others in signing the Visiting Academics and Artists Petition.
That said: few describe Crowe or her keyboard-wielding contemporaries as folk performers; the rise of the piano as a solo instrument in the hands of folk-grounded musicians is a relatively new development. But switch out the piano for a guitar, and I think most would accept the categorization. Today, with the help of Crowe and a few fellow female singer-songwriters, we make the case for the piano-vocalist as folk.