News  Notes from Alley

Saturday, June 23 ~ Riding a Wave With Great Lake Swimmers, Emily Haines, Arcade Fire+

It's often observed that to be respected at home, it can be necessary to gain recognition afar. As with much she does, Allison Crowe subverts the status quo. Making music without the "machine", she's loved by international audiences, but, also, at home in Canada.

In recent times, Allison's recordings have been heard on a range of Canadian terrestrial radio stations - including: CKUA, Village 900 (CKMO), CHLY college radio, and a host of programs on the nation's public broadcaster, the CBC; Q, Skylarking, Shift, Mainstreet, All Points West, Saskatchewan Weekend, and North by Northwest among them.

Earlier this month, a French reviewer observed that Allison Crowe has an appeal "à quelqu'un qui aime les années 60-70 mais n'était pas encore né!" Her music, without being retro, or aping sounds of that era, is honest and creative in the spirit of the best popular sounds of the '60s and '70s.

"The industry has been in the corporate noose for so long, it doesn't even have a leg jiggle left," says John Sebastian (The Loving Spoonful musician who's now sticking to jug band music).

Allison Crowe, untamed, kicks back. Unafraid to create songs and performances that are not calculated, she stands in contrast to those of today's singer-songwriters described as "style inventions" by Joni Mitchell.

The Scene, one of Australia's premier culture sites, has just introduced its audience to Allison and her new album, "This Little Bird"": "Get a piece of paper and write Tori Amos in the top left hand corner. Then write Patti Smith top right, followed by Stevie Nicks and Leonard Cohen (stay with me) in the bottom two positions. Then draw diagonal lines from their names to the centre, forming a big symmetrical cross. Here is where you will find Alison Crowe's music."

Aussies are digging it online - she is currently the second most downloaded Acoustic artist @ (a top entertainment-multimedia website Down Under). On popular, U.S.-based,, Crowe is also prominent - among Canadian rock and pop music-makers, only Great Lake Swimmers' tracks were downloaded more often last week. Allison Crowe, in the #2 position, is comfortable between the Ontarian folk-rockers and fellow Canucks Emily Haines (#3) and Arcade Fire (#4).

Steve Johnson, Internet Critic with the venerable Chicago Tribune newspaper, recently published an article on the Allison Stokes privacy controversy (she being the young California-based pole-vaulter who's found unwanted celebrity online). The Trib pointed people to a YouTube video of Allison performing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". Allison's music videos on YouTube have been viewed over half-a-million times - a number reached without bucks or 'bots (grease and tools used by corporate players and indies, alike, to inflate their figures).

Allison Crowe's reach is people to people. Canadian and European tour dates will be announced shortly.


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