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artist Allison Crowe

Corner Brook & Nanaimo, NL, CANADA
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
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biographical info

"I love singing for people," says Allison Crowe. "It's a way to connect and share with others. Communication is crucial. Just being able to do what I do, to write and sing and perform, makes me feel not only alive, but incredibly lucky. Knowing at any moment everything could change, I don't take one second for granted."

 "Allison sings with such an intensity of emotion, it's easy to see why she's often quoted as saying 'Why music? Why breathing?'," notes pioneering music blog Muruch. "That kind of artistic passion seems extremely rare these days."

Born November 16, 1981 in the harbour city of Nanaimo, BC, Crowe's home since 2005 is Corner Brook, NL. From the lovely isle of Newfoundland her reach is global. Millions of people enjoy her vocal, piano, guitar+ songs and music videos - on land, sea, and in the air - everywhere from an home-computer in the Gulf to a state ceremony in Tasmania.

"Allison Crowe has a voice to fall in love with," says UK music industry journal Record of the Day. "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." Across the sea, Ray Padgett (Cover Me, SPIN, Mashable) observes: "There are some voices that speak (or sing) for themselves. You know the ones. Voices where it doesn’t matter what they sing. Voices where it doesn’t really matter what instruments support them. Solomon Burke has such a voice. Jeff Buckley had it. Allison Crowe has it too."

Once  this phenomenon 'from the islands' reached the mainland she's steered well clear of those manufacturing the record industry "style inventions" (as Joni Mitchell tags them). Courted by the establishment, Crowe, taking a cue from Ani DiFranco and Loreena McKennitt, chose instead to form her own label.

It's life and life only: on record, stage & screen

Since 2001, Rubenesque Records Ltd. has released a series of recordings, critically and commercially successful, embracing rock, folk & roots, Celtic, jazz and Broadway amongst a diversity of genres - all in Crowe's own way: Lisa's Song+ 6 Songs (2001-3); Tidings (2003/4); Secrets (2004); Live at Wood Hall (2005); This Little Bird (2006); Little Light (2008); Spiral (2010); Arthur / Up to the Mountain (2011); Tidings Concert (2012); Newfoundland Vinyl (2013); Heavy Graces (2013); Songbook (2013/14); Souling (2014); Newfoundland Vinyl II (2014); and Sylvan Hour (2015).

Broadcast highlights include a pair of one-hour television specials: “Allison Crowe: Inside Pandora’s Box” and “Tidings” (airing, for years, nationally across Canada).

Headlining concerts, on hundreds of occasions, over a dozen countries – Allison Crowe surprises and delights audiences solo and leading a band - in jazz caverns and grand churches to festival stage honours before Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s Poet Laureate, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Master of the Queen's Music. A sensation at the UK's John Lennon Northern Lights Festival, "Canadian angel Allison Crowe gave one of the weekend's most magical moments," says The Scotsman. Festival Director Mike Merritt describes Crowe as "awesome" and "spine-tingling" - adding her performance "put hairs on the back of your neck! She brought the house down."

In 2012, Allison Crowe thrilled with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet singing and playing live on-stage with dancers for the World Premiere run, and a subsequent tour, of "The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen" - created and choreographed by Jorden Morris with artistic direction from the RWB's André Lewis.

A musical force more powerful than a locomotive, in 2013 Allison Crowe made tracks for "Man of Steel" - an epic science fiction movie adventure featuring Superman. Crowe cameos in the Hollywood blockbuster as 'Singer in Cassidy's'. In a great north woods road-house, where Clark Kent is working for a spell, she performs "Ring of Fire", a song penned by June Carter and Merle Kilgore and made iconic by 'The Man in Black'. “I’m a big Johnny Cash fan. And I’m a big Allison Crowe fan," reveals “Man of Steel” Director Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch). "So the combination to me seemed like an awesome opportunity if we could make it happen.”

Each Summer from 2012 through 2015 Allison Crowe's served as Musical Director of "Newfoundland Vinyl" - a perennial favourite at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador's Artistic Director Jeff Pitcher, who conceived the hit stage show, remarks: "No matter where she is in this world, that voice, that conviction, it crosses all borders. She's one of those rare artists that fits into any culture, any community because she is who she is - an incredible talent." Other productions for which Crowe's arranged and directed musically include a Bertolt Brecht / Kurt Weill revue and Pitcher's TNL adaptation of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".

"The first thing you notice about Allison Crowe is her voice. Rich and dark, it seems to come from a place most singers can only dream of accessing. Then there are the songs. Filled with raw passion and accompanied by Crowe's eloquent piano playing." Clodagh O'Connell (The Courier, Rolling Stone+) posits: "Elton John meets Edith Piaf".

"Power-house intense" comments an European reviewer, "the energy of 'Disease' can easily provide electricity to a small country for a decade." This tune and Crowe's wildly exciting performances lead to her being likened to innovative Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky and famed German Liedermacher Konstantin Wecker. “Gänsehaut-Musik” (goose-bump music) Peter Baier calls it in Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Believing 'it's the heart that matters most'

Crowe receives ovations as a visceral live performer whose alchemy melds fun and gravitas. She's praised for her multi-instrumentalist chops and as a singularly talented songwriter - on themes personal as well as universal. Wholly grassroots, a maverick, she's produced a peerless catalogue of song recordings this century. Her innovative approach and freely honest nature is expressed with vitality and virtuosity. Allison Crowe's remarkably varied repertoire is distinguished by an unique beauty and integrity.

It's an oeuvre that speaks to: our daily trials, "Through These Heavy Graces" ("I want to live / but I can’t shake death"); love that's frank, "Wedding Song" ("I will never be the perfect wife / I don't even know what that is"); and shadowed by age, "Arthur" ("Would you hold me / If I disappeared now / And if I didn’t know / Who I was"); characters yielding, "Dearly" ("I don't know whose face I see / But I can see it clearly"); and defiant, "Skeletons and Spirits" ("Take your sympathy and shove it"). There's social commentary - the UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace initiative features "Whether I'm Wrong" composed by Crowe in New York City during the days of Code Orange and Yellow: ("Whether I'm wrong, or whether I'm right / It doesn't really matter anymore / You've put up a wall / We've put up a fight / And now it seems we've forgotten / What all that was for"); and the epic "Disease" addresses such issues as anorexia/bulimia, mental health, and celebrity culture ("I don't want to exist on this plane / crashing down to the level of / depth of skin / flesh and bone / all wrapped up in pages / flashed in our faces"). It's all delivered beautifully by an artist who can be, at once, gorgeously fierce and tender - as reflected in "Secrets (That Aren't My Own)" ("I am not an angel / I'm more like Mona Lisa / there's something hiding in me / there's always something behind my smile").

 Alongside her original songwriting, Allison Crowe is supremely renowned for her elemental covers. "One of the best interpreters to come along since Joe Cocker," says Bob Bishop, Editor of Paris Voice. Her fresh takes on such 21st century standards as Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", Joni Mitchell's "River", "A Case of You", The Beatles' "In My Life" and "Let It Be" are applauded as "truly transcendent". Her vital interpretations have achieved huge international popularity, featured by BBC Radio, MOJO magazine, WDR, and ZDF mediathek among others. Crowe's album Tidings blends traditional carols and hymns plus songs of joy, peace, and redemption from the secular canon to create a modern classic: "music for the season and all time".

"Her voice celebrates the music with a bluesy rock-gospel intensity; her controlled vibrato, silken rasp, and powerful projection rivet your attention. This is no casual background music... be prepared to be amazed," says Carol Swanson, Hamline University Professor Of Law - and music reviewer. "Every song radiates sincerity, creative flair, and emotional intensity."

"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," says Bob Muller, curator of song covers at JoniMitchell.com "Treat yourself to one of the mightiest talents on the singer-songwriter scene today."

David Powell, Welsh-based DVD & Audio tech writes: "I'm listening to 'Effortless' on (Crowe's) This Little Bird album with my Pro-Ject headphone amplifier turned up about a quarter more than on most modern records. It sounds fantastic because unlike most modern records it hasn't had the **** compressed out of it to raise the loudness."

"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," forecast Robert Reid in The Record.

"Allison has a special gift that is so very rare in musicians today. She is true to her mind, heart and spirit," says Ross Hocker, long-time public broadcaster with NPR affiliate WGTE. Hocker, whose musical taste embraces Thelonious Monk, Bela Bartok and Charles Gounod, calls Allison Crowe's live performance "the most honest, heartfelt, and directly intimate concert in my entire life."

"In an entertainment world that increasingly genuflects at the altar of instant fame, Crowe seems an anomaly, building her career slowly and carefully," notes Adrian Chamberlain in Canada's Times Colonist newspaper.

"Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," says Allison Crowe.

You can lend an ear...

lineup

Allison Crowe voice, piano, guitar. producer, engineer
Billie Woods guitar, bgs
Celine Greb cello
Dave Baird bass

influences

Ani DiFranco
Beethoven
Counting Crows
Pearl Jam
Tori Amos
Aretha Franklin
Edith Piaf
Led Zeppelin
The Beatles
Joni Mitchell
Leonard Cohen
Chet Baker
Nina Simone
Bob Marley
Felix Mendelssohn
Janis Ian
Janis Joplin
Claude Debussy
Beastie Boys
Beck
Joan Osborne
Sylvan Hour
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
May, 2015
List Tracks ▼
Newfoundland Vinyl II
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
December, 2014
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Souling
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
November, 2014
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Tarry Trousers
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
April, 2014
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Songbook
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
March, 2014
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Heavy Graces
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
October, 2013
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Newfoundland Vinyl
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
June, 2013
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Snow
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
January, 2013
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Tidings Concert
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
November, 2012
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Arthur / Up to the Mountain
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
July, 2011
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Spiral
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
April, 2010
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Little Light
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
May, 2008
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This Little Bird
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
October, 2006
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Live at Wood Hall
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
July, 2005
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Tidings
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
November, 2004
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Secrets
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
May, 2004
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Tidings: 6 Songs for the Season
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
November, 2003
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Lisa's Song + 6 Songs
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
September, 2003
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Bif Naked (HRMR) Studio Demo
Rubenesque Records Ltd.
May, 2001
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upcoming shows

Oct 23 Sidney Charlie White Theatre
Oct 30 Nanaimo The Port Theatre
Nov 13 Vancouver St. James Hall
Dec 12 Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre

Video

Unstable 3:52

Unstable

Here’s “Unstable” - one of the songs Allison Crowe performed in her early touring days with bandmates Dave Baird (bass) and Kevin Clevette (drums). It’s recorded in White Rock, BC’s Turtle studios by Larry Anschell (who’s captured music of Bif, Pearl Jam, Sarah McLachlan ++): http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/unstable

Running 5:35

Running

Sylvan Hour” nears this Spring. Simply gorgeous. Gorgeously simple. It's an album of Allison Crowe music simultaneously familiar and revelatory.

Running” is one of 13 coming attractions in this traveling fair of song. Drawing us into the Big Top is “Betty Boop’s Crazy Inventions” – calliope and all.

http://music.allisoncrowe.com

Circular Reasoning in Wonderland 3:29

Circular Reasoning in Wonderland

Circular Reasoning” from Allison Crowe’s “Sylvan Hour” joins Betty Boop through the looking-glass. Allison’s wonderland of song finds reflection in a visual pool of classic animation from Fleischer Studios.

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things”.

Montreal 4:22

Montreal

On Allison Crowe’s first cross-Canada tour she and her trio (Dave Baird on bass, Kevin Clevette on drums) performed at Upstairs, a jazz club below-ground in Vieux-Montréal – Old Montréal, Quebec.

Dear friends - nos copains, Gerry, Gilles-Mathieu – introduced us to tasty smoked-salmon spread, maple pies in Côte des Neiges Farmers Market, the Tam-Tams of Mont Royal, and Brother Andre’s heart at home still, above it all, in St. Joseph’s Oratory.

I Don't Know 4:53

I Don't Know

Lights out… for this motion picture music mash-up – Allison Crowe’s “I Don’t Know” haunts the original cinematic interpretation of Gaston Leroux’s gothic novel, “The Phantom of the Opera”.

Music captured live by John MacMillan. String arrangement and production by Kayla Schmah.

Footage, like some spectral documentary, is from the unrestored version of the 1925 film - which features the genius of Lon Chaney as The Phantom.

TheWild Rover 4:01

TheWild Rover

Like Edith Piaf, John Lennon, Luke Kelly, and other such vital, visceral, music-makers, Allison Crowe rocks.

Singing and playing everything, here's Allison's take on one of the liveliest of Irish and/or Scottish tunes, "The Wild Rover". (The original author is unknown.) This be the newest recording of a song that's sailed forward from the 12th century lapping along the foggy shores of time.The song is found on "Newfoundland Vinyl II", Allison Crowe's latest album.

Disease 8:18

Disease

An all-time great rock song and performance kicks off “16 Songs”. Here’s Allison Crowe live-in-concert – captured by Turtle Recording’s Larry Anschell and Brad Graham.

Lyrical and social themes “as we replace marble with plastic” mesh visually with a sequence from “Dreams That Money Can Buy” – the avant garde cinematic creation of surrealist, Dadaist+ Hans Richter and collaborator Fernand Léger.

Silence (live–in-the-studio) 5:50

Silence (live–in-the-studio)

"Silence" - a song first heard on Allison Crowe's "This Little Bird" album - is performed by her in the very popular “Corner Brook Café” - hosted by Producer Wendy Woodland and filmed by lensman Editor Michael Rigler (MrShadowySouls). "Threshold" visual processing's chosen here by the duende of the music.

 

This Little Bird 3:42

This Little Bird

"This Little Bird", from Allison Crowe's album of the same name, flies here with excerpts from "The Story of the Birds" - created by animation pioneer Max Fleischer in 1935 (as the fourth entry in his "Color Classics" series).

No Matter the Battle 4:11

No Matter the Battle

“No Matter the Battle” again unites musician Allison Crowe with “Spiral” album producer, Hollywood film-scorer Kayla Schmah.

The genius of film magician Georges Méliès (director, producer, writer, actor) is once more on display – in this entertaining excerpt from his 1902 classic “Le Voyage dans la Lune”, (“A Voyage to the Moon”).

Going Home Tonight 4:43

Going Home Tonight

“Going Home Tonight”, on Allison Crowe’s album “Spiral”, features wonderful orchestration and string arrangement by record producer and Hollywood film-scorer Kayla Schmah.

Music is here accompanied by other-worldly visuals of pioneering film magician Georges Méliès.

Méliès’ 1902 movie “Le Voyage dans la lune”, (“A Trip to the Moon”), has been gorgeously restored.

How Long 4:01

How Long

“How Long”, opening track on Allison Crowe’s first full-length release, “secrets”, remains among her most popular songs globally.

Visual pairing here comes from a collaboration between legendary Soviet Russian directors Grigori Aleksandrov and Sergei Eisenstein. The film-makers created the poetic, experimental, “Romance Sentimentale” in France in 1930. It stars Mara Griy as “The Singer”.

Crayon and Ink 4:35

Crayon and Ink

One of Allison Crowe’s much-loved, “early”, songs on-stream with animation begun in the 1940s by Salvador Dali and realized by succeeding generations of Disney studio animators.

Secrets (That Aren't My Own) 6:09

Secrets (That Aren't My Own)

Allison Crowe, voice and piano come together on this version of her song, “Secrets (That Aren’t My Own)” – from the album/CD “secrets”:

http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/secrets-that-arent-my-own

Visually accompanying the song recording is an excerpt from the silent film era's modernistic and emotional classic “Ménilmontant” by auteur, director, Dimitri Kirsanoff and starring his collaborator Nadia Sibirskaia.

Skeletons and Spirits 3:15

Skeletons and Spirits

Allison Crowe, voice and piano, along with Dave Baird, bass, and Laurent Boucher, percussion meet up with a classic of the silent film era.

"Skeletons and Spirits" as heard on Allison Crowe's "This Little Bird" album/CD: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/skeletons-and-spirits

This song recording is presented together with "The Haunted Castle" (Le Manoir du diable), an 1896 film from boundlessly imaginative and inventive cinema pioneer Georges Méliès.

Disease - Live Jazzhaus Freiburg 9:07

Disease - Live Jazzhaus Freiburg

Musician Allison Crowe performs her song "Disease" before a rocking audience at Germany's Jazzhaus Freiburg - a stage that's hosted: Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, Bill Evans, Archie Shepp, Betty Carter und mehr greats. This tune and Crowe's wildly impassioned performances have drawn her comparison in Europe to innovative Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky - and famed German singer-songwriter ("Liedermacher"), composer, author, and actor, Konstantin Wecker.

Arthur 3:33

Arthur

Playing her vintage upright-grand piano, at home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada, Allison Crowe sings of love weighed through life and time. "Arthur", the newest recording from musician Allison Crowe, is one-half of a double-A-side single release - along with "Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)" -- a guitar version of the Patty Griffin tune.

http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/arthur

Northern Lights 4:03

Northern Lights

Canadian indie singer-songwriter Allison Crowe performed this new song to launch the 'John Lennon Northern Lights Festival' in Durness, Scotland.

Yukon-based David Cartier, Sr. shares his beautiful images of the Aurora Borealis on flickr @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcartiersr/sets/72157594420812359

Angels 3:21

Angels

Here's a live version of "Angels", a song on Allison Crowe's "Little Light" album/CD. Steve C. contributed the home video footage of Allison having fun in the Canadian Winter time.

Wedding Song 3:58

Wedding Song

This guitar-song closes Allison Crowe's 2008 album/CD, "Little Light". Images married to the music are all by the great young Canadian photographer (and musician) Billie Woods ( http://www.billiewoods.com ) who took the shots in an artist apartment in Vienna, Austria - where they lived for a time while on tour across Europe in 2008.

Circular Reasoning 3:34

Circular Reasoning

Song of the Summer - dive in!In advance of the full Allison Crowe video show – here’s “sneak peek” fun in the form of her song “Circular Reasoning” with visuals from a 1930s French silent film that also became a talkie. "Prix de beauté” is directed by Augusto Genina, written by René Clair & Georg W. Pabst and stars a radiant Louise Brooks. Enjoy :) Allison Crowe's 16-song-video-series launches September 2, 2014.

 

Skeletons and Spirits (live-in-the-studio) 2:45

Skeletons and Spirits (live-in-the-studio)

From Allison Crowe's "This Little Bird" album comes this jaunty take on relationships - captured "Out of the Fog" in Newfoundland.

Going Home Tonight (pre-album version) 4:29

Going Home Tonight (pre-album version)

On the road to creating a new album, musician/singer-songwriter Allison Crowe teams up with a longtime friend in orchestrator, arranger and producer Kayla Schmah. Here be a pre-album version of "Going Home Tonight", a song on Crowe's upcoming CD, "Spiral".

Scared 4:31

Scared

This video accompanies the song "Scared" ~ recorded live-off-the-floor by Allison Crowe and her trio for Crowe's debut disc, "6 Songs". Filming was done entirely in the downtown streets and dock area of Nanaimo, British Columbia - Canada's "Harbour City" - by Angela Kendall and Brian Dutkewich" (directors of transmission2videos). The highly creative transmission2videos team has since gone on to create cool videos for Tegan and Sara, Death Cab for Cutie, and Jets Overhead - among others.

Whether I'm Wrong 5:12

Whether I'm Wrong

Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe performs, live-in-the-studio, "Whether I'm Wrong" - her song featured by the UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace project. This song is found on Crowe's album "Secrets" and, a different, also live, version is on her double-CD-set "Live at Wood Hall".

Soul Cake 2:42

Soul Cake

Here's the first track from Allison Crowe's all a capella album - it's a traditional song for souling.

The genesis of “Souling” is found in the bond Allison Crowe’s formed with the creative family at Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador.

What Child Is This (Greensleeves) 3:36

What Child Is This (Greensleeves)

From Allison Crowe's "Tidings" sessions, live-off-the-floor at Turtle Studios, White Rock, B.C., Canada comes this recording of the traditional carol - "What Child Is This (Greensleeves)".

Disease (White Rock/Corner Brook) 8:11

Disease (White Rock/Corner Brook)

Allison Crowe's concert performance is a bi-coastal video experience. Music audio's captured on International Women's Day at Turtle Recording's 20th anniversary celebration in White Rock, British Columbia. Visualizing the live intensity is footage from "A Corner Brook Tidings" the Peter Buckle-directed documentary filmed in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. "Power-house intense" says an European reviewer, "the energy of 'Disease' can easily provide electricity to a small country for a decade."

where to buy
Box 227, Ganges P.O., Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2V9
250-537-1286
 Limited Play
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artist

Allison Crowe

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