2004: Christmas Eve ~ Silent Night
night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in Heavenly peace
Sleep in Heavenly peace
Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from Heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah
Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born
Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy Holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth
Sunday, December 19 ~ Hallelujah
Today marks the beginning of our holiday. There are no more concerts or other live musical performances until New Year's Eve.
It's been an amazing, exhausting, wonderful year of experiences and growth. We're ending this year fulfilled and, really, over-joyed with 2004.
Here's wishing everyone good health and good times ~ always.
As a gift for the season, you'll find movie files of Allison's live performance of Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen's beautiful song, on her Music page.
And, here's Alley visiting with someone who, in one form or another, will soon be making a journey 'round the world...
Peace on earth, goodwill to all ( :
Tuesday, December 14 ~ good tidings all 'round
There's lots of new reviews and features to be found
in the Press
“Tidings” album becoming a new holiday favourite, and her
distinctive versions of traditional songs alongside tunes by Leonard
Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLachlan, The Beatles and the Rolling
Stones gaining fans world-wide, this year is coming to a very joyful
completion for Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe.
Allison’s original song collection, Secrets, has just been named one of the “Best CDs of 2004” by Minneapolis-based Collected Sounds. A literate and passionate guide to women in music, Collected Sounds’ Producer Amy Lotsberg says: “Allison Crowe is an amazing talent and the music world would be doing itself a huge favor if it paid her the attention she deserves.” (Allison is the only independent Canadian artist to be so recognized. The other Canucks to make Collected Sounds’ best-of year-end list for 2004 are: Sarah Slean, Oh Susanna! and Sarah Harmer.)
Crowe’s music remains among the most downloaded at Amazon.com. Her
tracks are presently #1 in a remarkably wide range of download
categories including: Contemporary Folk; Alternative Rock/Britpop;
Traditional British Celtic Folk; Folk Rock; Vocal Pop; Opera and
Vocals/Carols; and Hymns. And, she’s among the top five
most-downloaded artists in categories ranging from Vocal Jazz, to
Blues, Singer-Songwriters and Alternative Rock/Indie and Lo-fi -
keeping company with Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Waits, Modest Mouse and The
This weekend, “Allison Crowe: Tidings”, a festive, one-hour, television special featuring Allison's music and thoughts of this season, will be broadcast nationally across Canada on CHUM’s NewNetwork and satellite/digital tv affiliates.
On Friday, December 17, at 20:00 p.m., the New VI (Channel 12 in British Columbia, and Channel 256 Bell ExpressVu across the nation), kicks things off with its broadcast of "Tidings". Hosted by New Day's Bruce Williams and filmed last year "Inside Pandora's Box" (at the station's Victoria, B.C. studios), "Allison Crowe: Tidings" airs next on Saturday, December 18 at 19:00m on CHUM's The New VR (Barrie, Ontario - Bell Satellite 216 & StarChoice 346), The New RO (Ottawa and the National Capital Region, ON - Bell Satellite 207 + StarChoice 342), The New PL (London, ON - Bell Satellite 219 + StarChoice 349), The New NX (Wingham, ON), and The New WI (Windsor, ON). Please check local listings to confirm broadcast channels and times. On Tuesday, December 21 @ 22:00, the “Tidings” special will again be shown on all the NewNet stations noted above.
Here's how the show's creators have billed this tv special:
With a voice that has been described as "poetic and haunting," "rich and dark," and "preternaturally worldly," 23 year-old pianist / singer / songwriter Allison Crowe combines "Janis Joplin's ballsy power and Sarah McLachlan's lilting sweetness." Her 1-hour performance includes original works and traditional carols from her recently released seasonal CD, Tidings, as well as songs by Leonard Cohen and Sarah McLachlan.
Have your cocoa ready ~ and happy holidays, everyone!
Saturday, November 25 ~ Stones fans salute "Shine a Light"
The Rolling Stones Fan Club Office has saluted Allison Crowe's recording of "Shine a Light" on its web home-page. The song, which originally appeared on the Stones' 1972 masterwork, "Exile on Main Street", can now be heard on Allison's 2004 Tidings CD - an album labeled "great" and "remarkable" by the long-time Stones fans.
The RSFCO, established in 1964, and run by fans for fans, lists news about the Stones first contract being up for auction, The Stones and Beatles induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame, Marianne Faithfull on tour, and other current items of interest to Stones Planet inhabitants.
“A new album by Canadian Allison Crowe (22 years) reached the record market in time for the Christmas sales. This star is an absolute outstanding singer, and her ‘Shine A Light’ by Jagger/Richards is the whole album worth, but there are lot more, look here.”
Here's a link to the track, recorded by Allison Crowe
and her trio live-off-the-floor in a single
take ~ and captured for posterity by Producer/Engineer Larry Anschell (Pearl Jam, Sarah McLachlan, k-os, Bif Naked):
Rock and roll ( :
Thursday, November 4 ~ Tidings "one of the best holiday albums this year"
Very simply, Allison Crowe has created "one of the best holiday albums this year" says Christmasreviews.com The online world's comprehensive holiday album review source notes: "This is no casual background music for your holiday party; be prepared to be amazed."
Tidings will be released as a full-length album this November 11. After achieving critical and popular success as an EP in North America last year, Tidings' songs are now earning praise overseas.
Record of the Day, U.K.-based trade journal and prognosticator of musical talent, (which tipped people early to such artists as Damien Rice, The Darkness, Keane and The Black Eyed Peas), selected Allison's version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as its Record of the Day and Record of the Week recently, saying the Canadian singer-songwriter "has
a voice to fall in love with."
Earlier this month a track off the upcoming Tidings release, the Joni Mitchell-penned "River", landed Allison a spot on the Saturday night show of esteemed BBC Radio DJ Bob Harris.
Here's what Carol Swanson, Professor of Law at
Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, has to say about Tidings
Tidings ~ Allison Crowe
What a find! Tidings is an exceptional holiday album, and Canadian Allison Crowe is a stunningly talented performer. 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 for your holiday party; be prepared to be amazed.
For the most part, this album is all about Crowe's spectacular, unique voice and her exceptional piano playing. Given her incredible vocal power, the minimal production provides just the right showcase. She easily fills the room with soulful energy all on her own. On three tracks (#4, 10 & 11), Crowe gets some fine support from two friends on bass (David Baird) and drums (Kevin Clevette). The artist's vocal delivery is so intense, one wonders how Crowe retains the energy to provide piano accompaniment. In fact, her piano abilities are so natural--so personal--that the keyboard seems to operate as an organic extension of her body, just another "voice" emanating from her musical soul.
Somebody pinch me--the song selections here are outrageously fine--a folk rocker's paradise! To start, there are six lovely pillars of traditional holiday music ("Silent Night," It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," etc.). Then things truly take off--Crowe includes Joni Mitchell's "River," Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," two songs by the Beatles (the John Lennon/Paul McCartney tunes of "Let It Be" and "In My Life"), one Rolling Stones number ("Shine a Light" by Mick Jagger/Keith Richards), and Sarah McLachlan's "Angel." Although these tracks stray from the holiday path most commonly tread, each cut relates to spirituality on its own terms, and the overall package works in grand fashion. Interestingly, although Crowe is herself an acclaimed songwriter, she has penned no holiday numbers here. Perhaps next year.
The artist opens with an unadorned, a cappella presentation of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," then rolls cleanly into an intensely moving rendition of "River," one of my favorite holiday tunes. When the artist sings the crystalline, sorrowful line "I made my baby cry," you can almost feel the tears welling up inside. Crowe's wonderful "Hallelujah" is an absolute show-stopper. To be honest, this album is packed with highlights from stem to stern. Every song radiates sincerity, creative flair, and emotional intensity.
No doubt about it--Tidings is one of the best holiday albums this year. If you crave folk/rock music that speaks from the heart, invite Allison Crowe into your home this Christmas season. She's sensational!
Friday, October 29 ~ BBC debut, rave reviews+ follow Secrets tour
Allison has returned home to the west coast following her month long
"Secrets" tour of eastern Canada and the U.S. Performing in
cities from Charlottetown to Sudbury, the Canadian singer-songwriter
demonstrated, again and again, why audiences and critics alike place
her among the most original and exciting performers in the world today.
The concert tour began in Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada's smallest incorporated town, and wrapped boisterously with a show in New York City at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on West 42nd. Ben Strothmann, (who shoots for Playbill, NYC's Broadway institution), captured Crowe's Manhattan debut in a series of still photographs. Images, and more, from this show will be posted here in coming days.
Allison @ The Laurie Beechman Theatre, NYC ~ October 16, 2004 - Photo by Ben Strothmann
Overseas, Allison's profile continues to rise ~ and as an interpreter of
Canada's great musical poets. This past August, U.K. trade journal "Record of the Day" named her version of the Leonard Cohen
song "Hallelujah" its Record of the Day and Record of the Week,
saying: "Bet you thought you heard all the versions you need to hear of this song,
right? Think again, because Allison Crowe has a voice to fall in love with. She is from Vancouver Island in Canada, descended from 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."
Earlier this month, Alley made her British radio debut. BBC DJ Bob Harris, described by 'Radio Times' as "one of the greats of British contemporary music broadcasting.still an independent champion of great music", played a track off Allison's upcoming album, Tidings ~ her rendition of "River" by Joni Mitchell. Harris' program play-list brought together Allison Crowe with fellow Canadian artists, including Rufus Wainwright, Gordon Lightfoot, Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson and Neil Young.
Here's a link to the song played by the BBC ~ River There'll be more word on the Tidings album release next week. "This is no casual background music for your holiday party; be prepared to be amazed," says a review just published by the world's most comprehensive holiday music site.
CD WoW!, UK etailer, is now physically selling Crowe's singer-songwriter album, Secrets. And Rollingstone.com is now offering Secrets in downloadable form. Distributed in her home country by Festival, Secrets continues to draw critical praise from reviewers as far away as Sweden, where Anna Maria Stjärnell wrote: "Secrets is a great album and Crowe is a brilliant artist", to nearby scribes, the latest thumbs up coming from Joseph Blake in Victoria's Times Colonist, who calls Secrets "a showcase for Crowe's big, emotive vocals" and, simply: "A great debut CD."
Home for the holidays does not mean a lot of rest for Allison Crowe. Between now and the New Year, she'll release her Tidings full-length album, prepare for the national broadcast of her one-hour Tidings tv special (taped live and originally shown last year on CHUM's New Network), perform a series of regional concerts (including a date with the Huron Carole troupe in Victoria, B.C.), and compose songs for a third album of original material. (The prodigious Crowe still has her second "debut" album, the rock and roll collection, "Alive and Breathing", to be released when she catches her breath. And, maybe, once she's had a sip of water...)
The pause that refreshes ~ EDA Adrienne Smith catches Alley in a familiar position.
Tuesday, September 21 ~ Secrets Tour launch!!
“I sing just to know that I’m alive.”
Those words sum up Allison Crowe.
Today, the Canadian singer-songwriter hits the
road on the first, month-long, leg of her Secrets Tour, in support of
her just released album of the same name. It’s a journey that begins
with a special benefit show in Hartland, New Brunswick, the smallest
incorporated town in Canada, and closes October 16 in New York City,
one of the bigger burgs in world, for another good cause.
Between these dates, Allison Crowe will perform in
a dozen Canadian and American cities from Charlottetown to Sudbury
It’s a hand-made tour, crafted with love and attention to Allison’s
performances being in venues where music is passionately appreciated,
and the communication between artist and audience is genuine.
Special thanks to Ember Swift and the good folks who are building the fewllignitesound.com database ~ an invaluable tour resource for those who believe people do have the power.
Seeing as today also marks the birthday of
Canada’s pre-eminent lord of song, Leonard Cohen, let’s launch this
ship with a tune:
“I play just to feel that I’ll survive”
Allison Crowe "Secrets" Tour Itinerary:
Thursday, September 23 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~ Hartland High School,
Hartland, New Brunswick w. musical guests Gemma Marr and Brittany Shaw
Friday, September 24 ~ 10:00 p.m. Ginger's, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Saturday, September 25 ~ 8:00 p.m. The Music Room, Halifax, Nova
Monday, September 27 ~ 8:00 p.m. Confederation Centre Art Gallery,
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Wednesday, September 29 ~ Firefly Club, Ann Arbor,
Friday, October 1 ~ 8:00 p.m. Mackenzie Hall, Windsor, Ontario,
Saturday, October 2 ~ 9:00 p.m. Happy Badger Performing Arts
Palace, Toledo, Ohio
Monday, October 4 ~ 8:00 p.m. Tabaret Hall, Room 112 (Chapel),
Wednesday, October 6 ~ 9:00 p.m. Manhattan's Jazz Bistro, Guelph,
Friday, October 8 ~ 8:00 p.m. Church of St. George the Martyr,
Toronto, Ontario 197 John St. w. special artist Tanisha Taitt
Saturday, October 9 ~ 8:00 p.m. Huntington Social Centre, Sudbury,
Ontario w. guest performer, Aimee Leonard
Sunday, October 10 ~ 9:00 p.m. The Staircase Theatre, Hamilton,
Ontario w. special guest, Ophelia Syndrome
Tuesday, October 12 ~ 9:00 p.m. La Sala Rossa, Montreal, Quebec,
4848 Boul. St-Laurent
Saturday, October 16 ~ 8:00 p.m. Laurie Beechman Theatre, New York
City, New York, U.S.A.
Monday, August 9 ~ Allison's music now on iTunes
A tremendous European supporter has alerted us to the fact that the songs from 6 Songs+, Tidings, and secrets are now available on iTunes ~ where Allison has been play-listed by international fans alongside such artists as Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Janis Joplin, Norah Jones and Heart!
Now, the iTunes store is not yet available here in Canada ~ so, those who can play and purchase tracks on it, have fun, and please let us know how things sound ( :
Thursday, August 3 ~ Hallelujah: UK's "Record of the Day"
Widely read and influential London,
England-based music industry website/newsletter, Record
of the Day, has selected Allison Crowe's version of the Leonard
Cohen song "Hallelujah" as its record of the day, for today,
August 3, telling its audience:
"Bet you thought you heard all the versions you need to hear of this song, right? Think again, because Allison Crowe has a voice to fall in love with. She is from Vancouver Island in Canada, descended from 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."
You can hear this track at the RotD site and here on Allison's own site.
Record of the Day is a prognosticator of musical talent, and has tipped people early to such artists as Damien Rice, The Darkness, Keane and The Black Eyed Peas.
Hallelujah, as with most releases of Allison Crowe, was recorded live-off-the-floor in a single take. This track remains the #1 download at Amazon.com in the Jazz/Vocal category. Songs off Allison Crowe's newly released CD, Secrets, are also top downloads in genres from Alternative Rock, to Singer-Songwriter, Blues, Jazz and Traditional/Celtic Folk.
p.s. we've learned that Allison's "Hallelujah" was also named Record of the WEEK!
Wednesday, July 27 ~ Secrets is #1
Secrets (That Aren't My Own) is #1 at Amazon.com among song downloads in the Singer-Songwriter genre. This autobiographical track, which helps give Allison's new album its title, has been top of the Blues category for weeks (followed by Susan Tedeschi, R.L. Burnside, Marc Anthony and Leadbelly), and has now climbed past Tom Waits' "Alice" to claim the #1 position among Singer-Songwriters. Allison currently holds three of the top spots in this genre, alongside Tom Waits. Another Canadian artist, Sarah Harmer, is steady at #10. Joining Modest Mouse, The Hives, and others, Allison's songs "What About You" and "How Long" are top five downloads in Alternative Rock categories. Her cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", which earlier reached #1 in the "Opera & Vocal/Hymns" downloads, is #1 in Vocal Jazz, followed by tracks from Ella Fitzgerald, John Pizzarelli and Sarah Vaughn.
Hotcha, as Billie would say...
In other news, Alley has just made some beautiful recordings of songs by Joni Mitchell, The Beatles and... more on that another
Festival, Canada's premiere distributor of jazz, blues, folk, roots and world music (Ani DiFranco, David Francey+), now has Allison Crowe's secrets album in its catalogue ~ as a "hot pick". A major media mail-out commences next month (August). Allison will be touring Eastern Canada this Fall in support of her debut singer-songwriter album before returning west. U.S. concert dates are being set for later in the year.
Saturday, July 24, 2004 ~ summer wishes from Allison
In the melting heat, there's a new message from Alley ( :
Friday, July 23 ~ Amazon downloads up
With the release of her album, "secrets", several of Allison's recordings have recently been posted on Amazon.com, the world's largest online store, and these tracks are now charting at, or near, the top in their respective genre categories (based on unique listener downloads).
Allison's passionate rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is #1 in 'Opera & Vocal/Hymns' downloads, and, she joins Tom Waits, Sarah Harmer, Howie Day and others in the upper reaches of the 'Singer-Songwriter' category at #2 with "Secrets (That Aren't My Own)" and #4 - "Hallelujah. (And Alley's version of "Hallelujah" reached #10 overall, among indie downloads of any genre, at Amazon.com) Four tracks from "secrets" have made it into the top ten 'Singer-Songwriter' downloads including "Whether I'm Wrong", (a hit at the UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace project site), at #5 and "What About You" at #6. "Whether I'm Wrong" is #1 among Contemporary Folk downloads. Allison is currently one spot below The Strokes in Alternative Rock/Indie & LoFi with "What About You" at #2. Two Allison Crowe tracks are nestled in the top 10 list for 'Alternative Rock', alongside offerings from Pennywise, NOFX, The Distillers and other diverse acts. "Secrets (That Aren't My Own)", the title track off the new album, has climbed to #1position in Amazon's 'Blues/General' downloads ~ atop tracks by R.L. Burnside and Grammy-winner Susan Tedeschi. Further reflecting her eclecticism, Allison's original song, "How Long", held the #1 spot in the 'Folk Rock' category, and her acapella rendition of the Irish air, "Believe Me If All (Those Endearing Young Charms)", is the #1 downloaded song in the 'Traditional British & Celtic Folk' genre, ahead of talented fellow-Canadian, Natalie McMaster. (This latter, simple, recording, was also the #1 downloaded indie song, in all genres, at Amazon.com )
Friday, July 9 ~ Festival to distribute "secrets"!!
Starting this month, Festival Distribution, Canada's premiere distributor of folk, blues, jazz, world and roots music, is making available coast-to-coast Allison's first debut album, "secrets".
The Festival team, under leader Jack Schuller, is responsible for
delivering the music of two-time Juno Award winner David Francey, new
soul sensation Ruthie Foster, east/west music-blender Harry Manx and
other artists of the highest calibre. And, in Canada, Festival is the
distributor for Ani DiFranco, "the little folk-singer who
could" ~ one of Alley's greatest inspirations.
As well as getting "secrets" to retail outlets anywhere in Canada, Festival mails out music all over the world. In North America they can be reached toll-free at 1-800-633-8282. You can check out their site and secure web-store by clicking on the banner below ( :
Thursday, June 24 ~ moving day + DOA review
Spurred by a tremendous increase in web-traffic, people visiting this site and downloading Allison's songs, images+, we are moving web-servers so the additional activity can be handled in all ways. This means allisoncrowe.com and related email addies may be out of service for a day or two, sometime in the next week+, as things get moved online. Sorry for any temporary disappearance!
Once we're back up, at our new home, we'll be rolling on with the distribution and "official" release of the "secrets" album, announcing tour dates, and plenty more ( :
"Secrets" continues to make friends with listeners. Music writer Jennifer Patton says "it is Allison’s voice and her use of it that really packs the punch. She is soulful, poignant, and always intense." Jennifer's CD review, appearing in Delusions of Adequacy, notes: "Allison plays with styles and infuses bits of blues, folk, jazz, and more into each song, all beautifully packaged around piano and limited use of guitar and other instruments."
Wednesday, June 16 ~ National distribution for "secrets" + Top Ten at Amazon.com
has secured national distribution for her first debut full-length
album, Secrets. Full details will be announced later this month.
This key organizational advance will see an official release and
roll-out in Canada this August for secrets. (A new album
review from the popular European ezine Luna Kafé is reprinted in
the press section.)
This past month, a number of Allison Crowe’s recordings have gone online at Amazon.com and they are charting near the top in their respective download categories. “Hallelujah”, Allison’s passionate rendition of the Leonard Cohen song, is #1 in “Opera & Vocal/Hymns” downloads, and, she joins Tom Waits, Sarah Harmer, Howie Day and others in the Top Ten in the Singer-Songwriter category, at #9. Two tracks from “secrets” are also in the top thirty Singer-Songwriter downloads: “What About You” currently is #21, and “Whether I’m Wrong”, a hit at the UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace project site, is #29 on the Amazon.com Singer-Songwriter chart.
Once Secrets is physically available across Canada, and internationally via online services, Allison Crowe will resume touring. Eastern Canadian dates will precede a Western Canada swing. Select U.S. and European dates are also being planned at this time.
As ever, thanks for listening!
Thursday, May 20 ~ "secrets": the album only Allison Crowe could make
"It took me so long to
understand who I needed to be for myself; and it
took me too long to realize that I didn't need anybody else."
From this opening declaration, to the purity of the final words sung
acapella, the release of Secrets, the new album from singer-songwriter
Allison Crowe, heralds the arrival of a major music talent.
Balancing strength and intimacy, Allison Crowe's performance has been
likened to the passionate force of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and, at
once, the "troubled quiet of Joni Mitchell's voice". Or, as one
commentator has said, "Like liquid and fire at the same time."
Crowe is clearly herself. Her complex nature is reflected in such songs
at the title track (with its chorus: "I am not an angel, more like Mona
Lisa, there's always something hiding behind my smile") and her social
conscience shines through on such cuts as her acclaimed song for peace,
"Whether I'm Wrong" (presented here in a live version).
Secrets is an album of solo songs that bridge the personal and
confessional with the epic and universal. Recorded by Allison Crowe at
home, with production and engineering assistance from Rainer Willeke of
Raindog Productions, in Victoria, B.C., it has an honest sound that
grows richer with repeated plays.
And, already, the album is finding fans around the world.
"Brilliant Tori Amos-like album with its own soul. Lovely version of
(Leonard) Cohen's Joan of Arc. Recommended" writes Swedish reviewer Anna
Maria Stjärnell (in a capsule preview of her upcoming review for Europe'
s Luna Kafe music program/site).
"This incredible chill-inducing voice coming out of a young person is
such a rare treat in the age of Britneys, Hilarys and so on. This girl's
the real deal. This release showcases Crowe's beautiful, strong, gutsy
voice, as well as her piano playing and songwriting that seem way past
her young years. Though she doesn't really sound like either of these
two, fans of Sarah McLachlan and Vienna Teng should take notice,"
comments Amy Lotsberg, Producer of Minneapolis, U.S.A.-based Collected
The Collected Sounds review concludes "Allison Crowe is an amazing
talent and the music world would be doing itself a huge favor if it paid
her the attention she deserves. Another (more 'rock') album, 'Alive and
Breathing', is also slated for release late 2004. One of these CDs ought
to bring Allison Crowe to the forefront of today's music. Get her CDs
now, and you can say you knew her 'when'."
Saturday, May 8 ~ Throw Your Arms Around Me ( :
Marsha and Sam, music-lovers and
fans of Allison, are being wed today in our nation's capital - Ottawa.
To celebrate, Alley has recorded Throw
Your Arms Around Me - a lovely song by Aussie band Hunters and
Collectors. The link to the mp3 became active once the ceremony
started. You can hear the church organ if you listen up close...
"All things pass away; love and music last forever"
Wednesday, May 5 ~ Happy Birthday Lisa ( :
remember Lisa Marie
Like the candles held in their hands, hope burns brightly for friends and family that Lisa Marie Young will come home soon.
A celebration of life for Young was held Sunday, close to the date of her 23rd birthday and 22 months after the Nanaimo woman went missing.
"It hurts everyday from the time you get up to the time you go to bed," said Don Young, Lisa's father.
Two of Lisa's uncles said prayers in their native language. Songwriter Allison Crowe performed two songs, including Lisa's Song, a piece she composed after Lisa's disappearance.
Friends and family then gathered in a circle, each holding a lit candle.
To end the ceremony, the pink and white balloons that had decorated the small church were taken outside and let go into the sky.
(from the Nanaimo News Bulletin)
Tuesday, April 27 ~ "secrets" album release May 10th
Allison Crowe has been active in
2004, creating a pair of full-length albums ~ with a hand in
engineering, producing, as well as singing, playing piano, guitar,
organ, and adding percussive "thumps".
The first of her two debut albums to be completed is Secrets ~ a solo, singer-songwriter, collection that will be released on Monday, May 10. ("secrets" is available now for pre-order in the Shop)
Allison Crowe's music is iconoclastic not generic, honest and real rather than calculated and formulated.
Poet/dramatist Valentino Assenza, writing for Latchkey.net, the literary and cultural website which features Allison this month, says she combines "jazz, rock and blues into a wonderful melodious collage."
There's a good reason Peter Karroll, manager for Bif Naked and other rock acts, has called Crowe "one of the most amazing vocal talents anywhere today." And, Vicki Gabereau, Canada's "Queen of Chat", has observed of her: "You don't sound like anybody else, honey. Nobody sounds like you."
Allison Crowe spent much of last year writing and rehearsing, as well as gleaning wisdom from Jack Ponti, the U.S. music industry veteran who, as manager, pivoted India.Arie to multi-platinum success and numerous Grammy nominations before forming his own record label.
After returning to Canada from NYC, and launching Rubenesque Records Ltd. last Fall, she has remained independent, and, this past Winter recorded the songs for her debut albums (using a MOTU 828 firewire audio interface + Cubasis) with Production and Engineering Assistance from Rainer Willeke of Raindog Productions in Victoria, B.C. Willeke also shakes a tambourine, joining guest artists: Del Crowe, on guitar; Jo Lundstrom on accordion; and Eric Reiswig, on Uilleann Pipes.
"Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," says Allison Crowe.
Hear, now, a couple of tracks from her soon-to-be-released "secrets": the self-penned, What About You; and Leonard Cohen's Joan of Arc
Wednesday, April 7 ~ pair of debut albums coming together ( :
Allison Crowe is creating her debut albums right now - with a hand in engineering, producing, as well as singing, playing piano, guitar, organ, and adding percussive "thumps". Following Peter Jackson's approach to making the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, (on a considerably more modest, Hobbit- sized, scale), the current plan is for a pair of albums to be born of this same production phase.
The first to be completed is a solo,
singer-songwriter, recording. It's very simple and true. And it promises to be blue ( :
Titled "secrets", this album contains 'old' fan favourites (some of which are radically redefined), newer songs (including "Whether I'm Wrong", which has been featured by the UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace project), and a couple of Allison's personal picks from other artists: Counting Crows' "Raining in Baltimore" ~ the first song Allison performed when she launched her career as a singer-songwriter; and "Joan of Arc", another exemplar of Leonard Cohen's poetic brilliance.
"secrets" will be released next month. Here is the track listing:
How Long (4:06)
Raining in Baltimore (4:56)
Secrets (That Aren't my Own) (6:22)
Sea of a Million Faces (3:20)
What About You (5:07)
Joan of Arc (4:58)
Whether I'm Wrong (4:24)
(The second of Allison Crowe's proposed two full-length albums, "Alive and Breathing", is a rock album and will be released later in 2004. Here's a sneak preview of an unmixed version of that next album’s title track, “Alive and Breathing”.)
Contributing recently to "It Was 40 Years Ago Today", the Beatles tribute CD featuring Dee Dee Ramone, Sylvain Sylvain, and other punk/DIY acts (released last month by NYC’s ArtMonkey Records), was a straightforward, fun, way to create music for Allison ~ in a way, getting back to the idea behind the Beatles' "Let It Be: Naked". Today, as we know, a lot of music heard is not about artistry, emotion or soul. Joni Mitchell describes the current approach to making records as acts/labels who "interior-decorate their music". Observes Joni: "Now, this is all calculated music. It's calculated for sales, it's sonically calculated, it's rudely calculated."
Allison’s upcoming releases will
put the focus back on the songs, and the singer, as was more the spirit
in the ’60s and ’70s.
Band activities are on hiatus while
the albums are created in a stripped-down way. Dave and Kevin are busy
working on their own projects ~ musical and otherwise.
And, we’re working on a new model for funding recordings that will enable us all to be part of the future of Allison’s music if we want. This process will be about the music and faith in it.
That's our goal!
More word soon ( :
Tuesday, March 2 ~ New Songs for Peace Spotlight
"Allison Crowe may not be well-known now but this young woman has the voice and talent to be the next Alanis or Norah. The raw emotions in her hauntingly beautiful rendition of 'Angel' should convince you of her potential."
So begins the intro to a feature on the New Songs for
Peace website, where Allison Crowe has been selected Spotlight
Artist for the month of March 2004. The Canadian singer-songwriter,
currently in pre-production for her debut album, is subject of a full
and exclusive Q+A
The UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace Project gathers together "songs which promote peace, cultural acceptance and understanding for those who work towards peace throughout the world". It is a growing initiative endorsed by organizations including the Centre for Political Song and the Woody Guthrie Archives, and such individual advocates as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and artists Pete Seeger, Philip Glass, and Abbey Lincoln. A wide range of musicians, from U.K. tub-thumpers, Chumbawumba, to Grammy winner and New Age icon Kitaro, and Canucks Kate Fenner and Chris Brown, have contributed to NSFP.
Allison Crowe is represented in the project by a pair of live-off-the-floor recordings. Her original song for peace, "Whether I'm Wrong", was recorded live in CBC Radio Studio 2 in Vancouver last fall. Her interpretation of the Sarah McLachlan-penned "Angel", was recorded live at Turtle Studios in White Rock, B.C. one recent winter's eve.
Thanks for listening.
February 9, 8:00 pm EST ~ "It Was 40 Years Ago Today"
Beatles tribute painting by Paul Kostabi
A version of "Let It Be" performed by
Allison will be among the tracks on "It Was 40 Years Ago
Today", a Beatles tribute compilation to be released on February 9
by NYC's Art
Monkey Records. Crowe's solo rendition of this much-loved song,
recorded live-off-the-floor in a single take, is true to the raw
musical spirit of the Beatles' Get Back/Let It Be sessions.
This CD release commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Beatles in America. Forty years ago this Sunday, the Fab Four performed live in the NYC studios of the Ed Sullivan Show, an historic appearance broadcast to a record-breaking television audience. Artist listings for "It Was 40 Years Ago Today" were posted on February 7, the date that, in 1964, the Beatles first landed on this continent at JFK Airport.
The brainchild of NYC producer/manager/painter Paul Kostabi, Art Monkey Records delivers iconoclastic rock from the East Village and beyond.
Allison is excited to contribute to this Beatles tribute featuring tracks by legends, stalwarts, and new bloods of the DIY, indie, alternative and punk rock communities from North America's east coast to west coast, including:
Dee Dee Ramone, one of the pioneers of punk, sadly Dee Dee died in 2002, the same year that the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; More featuring Arion Salazar of San Francisco rockers Third Eye Blind (last year, 3eb portrayed another British Invasion band, The Kinks circa 1964, in an episode of the NBC drama "American Dreams"); guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, co-founder of proto-punk glam rock legends, The New York Dolls, and the She Wolves; fenton lawless, senior member of NYC's Anti-folk community and movie actor ("Air Force One"); The Church of Betty, premiere purveyors of Indo-Pop (The Village Voice says CoB leader "Chris Rael has consistently blended rock and Indian music better than anyone else, ever."), Youth Gone Mad (a Kostabi/Ramone combo); Joie/Dead Blonde Girlfriend, NYC alterna/underground singer-songwriter; NYC punk band Roadkill; plus Jesse Bates, The Hitch, Doug Holland, Michel Solis, The 9th, Allon, Daddy, Wolfmann, Paleface, Rats of Unusual Size, Greg Di Gesu, & Dopers and Speedsters.
In taking the punk/DIY ethos into the digital age, "It Was 40
Years Ago Today" will be available online only through
artmonkeyusa.com starting February 9, 2004 at 8:00 p.m. EST.
All proceeds go to Adopt-A-Minefield which raises awareness and funds to clear landmines and rehabilitate landmine survivors in many countries around the world. This charity was championed by the late Princess Diana, and now lists among its chief patrons Heather Mills McCartney and her husband, Sir Paul McCartney. "Clear a path to a safer world."
Sunday, January 18 ~ Open Minds Open Windows
A multi-disciplinary show, "It Only Takes a
Moment", involving musicians, dancers, actors, a painter, even a
stilt-walker, happened this weekend before a packed house at The Port
Theatre, Nanaimo, B.C's premiere concert venue. It was a benefit for
Open Minds Open Windows (OMOW), a newly-formed Canadian charity
dedicated to making a difference in the way society views mental
illness. OMOW's mission is to reduce the stigma and prejudice
surrounding people with mental health issues.
Allison participated, performing her new song, "Secrets (That Aren't My Own)", and Leonard Cohen's song, "Hallelujah", before leading the assembled all-star band for the closer, John Lennon's "Imagine". It was a wonderful, amazing, production, and one that achieved its purpose in so many ways.
OMOW has also released a compilation album ~ a 17
track benefit CD featuring a "who's who of West Coast
musicians" (which includes Joelle Rabu, Valdy, Jim Byrnes, Powder
Blues, Bill Hicks, Camille Miller and many others). Allison's
contribution to this project is a rare recording of "Fade
Away", the first song she wrote. This, definitive, version of
Away" was recorded in Spring 2002, with Producer Larry
Anschell (Pearl Jam, Sarah McLachlan, k-os) joining Alley's trio on
Daily newscasts remind us of the ways in which people can mess up themselves and this planet. Community groups like OMOW reveal the other side of human nature, and demonstrate the beauty and power of people getting together in a common cause.
As Patti Smith sings:
"I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth's revolution
we have the power
People have the power..."