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Allison Crowe and Band / Rubenesque Records - T-shirts
Allison Crowe t-shirts are now available - in two beautiful designs created by Allison and cellist LIN - comfortable, soft, heather grey, fashion tees.
One style has the dolphin ring logo of Allison's own label, Rubenesque Records, on the front in Royal Blue (approx. 9" diameter circle of dolphins). On the back of this shirt, near the tail, is the Allison Crowe and band logo as a black text tag (about 3").
And one style shirt has the Allison Crowe and Band text logo on the front in black (approx. 9"). On this shirt back, near the collar, is the Rubenesque Records dolphin ring logo (about 3") in Royal Blue.
Shirts come in a range of sizes: S, M, and L are Anvil 980 fashion tees - 90% ring-spun cotton w. 10% poly. XL and 2XL size shirts are slightly heavier, Gildan Ultra Cotton, also 90% cotton and 10% poly. All shirts are unisex and heather grey fabric.
To order your shirt(s) - please select the size(s) of each design, and, then, further down, select and add the shipping rate for your part of the world. Thank you - enjoy!
Dolphin ring - Rubenesque - logo front t-shirts:
Allison Crowe and Band - text - logo front t-shirts:
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Please write us c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 250-537-1286 should you have any questions, or want help with ordering t-shirts, music, or anything! Thank you! Danke schoen! Grazie mille! Merci beaucoup!+
Introducing / Heirs + Greivances ~ When critics liken you to Edith Piaf, Elton John, Aretha Franklin and Modest Mussorgsky, it’s a good sign you’re truly one-of-a-kind. So it is with musical explorer Allison Crowe who, since creating her own record label in 2001, uniquely inhabits the world of song – continually adding breadth and depth to a richly expressive repertoire for piano, vocals, guitar and bodhran.
Crowe’s “supernaturally agile and exquisite voice” is complemented ideally by her international touring band: CÚline Greb (cello, vocal harmonies); Sarah White (mandolin, vocal harmonies); and Dave Baird (bass). Longtime friend, musician and photographer Billie Woods contributes guitar and vocal harmonies to the band’s recordings. The combo’s gorgeously thrilling hybrid of Canadiana, Celtic, jazz, roots, folk, soul and original rock bridges vital originals with fresh interpretations of classics by Annie Lennox and Gary O'Driscoll.
Alongside multi-genre concert and recording projects over this past year the Nanaimo-born, Newfoundland-based artist’s active as music curator and arranger for acclaimed stage productions of: Atlantic Canada’s folk and popular song; the collaborative works of Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill; and choral renderings of traditional Christmas carols.
A singular artistry and virtuosity make Allison Crowe performances legendary - and fun. In the Scottish Highlands she brought down the house on a bill with Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s Poet Laureate, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Master of the Queen's Music. In Hollywood Superman movie director Zack Snyder is outspoken in his respect and admiration. Touring with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet audiences responded with spontaneous standing ovations.
"The most honest, heartfelt, and directly intimate concert in my entire life,” says longtime American public broadcaster Ross Hocker. “Allison has a special gift that is so very rare in musicians today. She is true to her mind, heart and spirit. She also has a most wonderful humor which envelops her audience."
"Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," sums up Allison Crowe.
"Heirs + Grievances" is the debut studio album of Allison Crowe and Band (and the 20th release on Crowe's label, Rubenesque Records Ltd.) The digital album contains 13 exciting tunes and honestly potent performances. It’s a magnificent set of songs from Allison Crowe and her extraordinary band of musicians. The physical CD is a double-album - pairing this studio set with a live concert set from Allison and Band – “Introducing”. Enjoy!!
"Heirs + Grievances is a gorgeous, full circle showcase of Allison’s growth as a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her extraordinary voice is unrestrained and beautifully accompanied by her bandmates." ~ Muruch
“I don’t believe Crowe ever sings a song without an absolute personal commitment... This is an album that should and could develop a greater audience for Crowe beyond those who already adore her.” ~ Some Diurnal Aural Awe
“In the past, Crowe has devoted herself to trad folk, contemporary rock, Christmas songs and music of Leonard Cohen, all of which have merged into these two discs to create a portrait of an idealist — with the addition of her between-songs talk on the live recording revealing a bubbly personality.” ~ Tom Harrison, The Province
“I have not heard of anyone who sings with the vulnerability or childhood innocence and the piercing intensity of Edith Piaf the way she does, well at least not in this lifetime,” says writer/editor Baxter Labatos, founder of “The Celtic Music Fan”, in a review of Allison Crowe and Band’s debut. “It is quite amazing how she can do so many things with her voice. She’s a woman with a guitar who belts out like Aretha Franklin, a bodhran player with soul in her heart and, yes, a pianist with the grace of a classical performer.”
Of “Introducing / Heirs+Grievances”, the double-disc, the percipient international blogger sums up: “The powerful voice and intrumental prowess will delight fans and new converts of Allison Crowe’s artistic genius.” Enjoy the full review @ The Celtic Music Fan
Newfoundland Vinyl 3 ~ Here's the third album of songs from “Newfoundland Vinyl” - a perennial favourite attraction of Canada's cultural treasure that is the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Conceived by Jeff Pitcher, Artistic Director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, (TNL - the Atlantic Canadian professional theatre company founded in 1979), the hit stage show’s under the Musical Direction of Allison Crowe from its launch in 2012.
Each Summer Allison Crowe delights in residing in the beauty of Gros Morne National Park - an UNESCO world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland. In working with her wonderfully-talented cast and crew, Allison records a selection of songs to be included in the show repertoire. Once the play’s run its season, she selects some of her favourite tunes to share from this collection.
TNL describes the latest edition: “Hits of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s by Newfoundland’s biggest recording stars come to life! For your toe-tapping, tear-jerking enjoyment the music and songs of Ryan’s Fancy, Harry Hibbs, Gary O’Driscoll, Dick Nolan, Joan Morrissey, Bob Porter and more…”
“I have had such a wonderful time learning this year's crop of songs for Newfoundland Vinyl - from waltzes and parlour songs, to torch songs, to songs with the same spirit as 1960s protest anthems and beyond - simply great music from throughout the decades,” notes Allison. “The silly, the sentimental, the sad, and serene all converge in this GMTF show… So, please, enjoy and do sing along!”
“Sylvan Hour is truly a
masterpiece” says pioneering culture blog
Muruch. Discover this music from a remarkable
artist at a personal and creative crossroads in her life.
“Sylvan Hour” is an album of songs bridging west and east,
piano and guitar, then and now…
For fans of Allison Crowe at her purest, this is voice, one accompanying instrument – one take. Real-time performances in the sequence they're played and sung by Allison in a log-home on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada.
That afternoon the musician was in the midst of migrating from her birthplace of Nanaimo, BC, on Canada’s Pacific, to a new nest in Corner Brook, NL, on the Atlantic coast. Soon to fly east, Crowe bade farewell to those near and dear on western shores – including compatriot Kayla Schmah on Salt Spring, neighbouring Vancouver Island.
Decades earlier Schmah’s parents had made an epic trek to the Pacific Northwest from Central Canada – in a repurposed donut truck. Planting themselves in the Gulf Islands archipelago, they lived at first in a converted parachute in the woods. From the ground up the home-steaders then built a family dwelling out of Douglas Fir – their “sylvan castle”.
Allison and Kayla, as musicians had shared stages together from their teens onward (and, years later, becoming a film-scorer in Hollywood, Schmah brilliantly orchestrated and produced Crowe’s album “Spiral”.) Among the friends together on SSI this day was Ryan Adams (who, like Schmah was a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music and was en route to becoming an in-demand tv/film audio engineer in Los Angeles).
With mics and a laptop set-up in the living-room, Adams captured this set of the newest songs in Allison’s repertoire – originals including “Skeletons and Spirits”, “Running”, and “Silence” as well as a trio of covers (interpreting songs famously by Joni Mitchell, The Lovin' Spoonful and Aretha Franklin).
Also gorgeous, but differently so, essentially group versions of most of these songs were released near the end of that same year (2006) on Allison Crowe’s album “This Little Bird” (the title track a celebration of her migration). “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” is the sole sylvan session recording released before – it’s presented now within the full hour of music for all time.
Enjoy this most natural of talents – in this most natural of settings.
Newfoundland Vinyl II ~ “It’s here! Allison Crowe just released Newfoundland Vinyl II and it’s the perfect followup to her traditional folk masterpiece, Newfoundland Vinyl,” says Muruch, the discerning culture blog. “Like its predecessor, Newfoundland Vinyl II is comprised of traditional Canadian, Irish and Scottish folk songs newly arranged, performed, produced and engineered by Allison Crowe.”
On this album, Crowe’s amazing talent in service of songs roves o’er centuries-old carols to a modern canon of such stellar writers as Gary O’Driscoll, Ron Hynes, Al Pittman and Andy Vine – and tunes originally performed by such popular acts as Corey & Trina, Figgy Duff, & Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers.
Allison Crowe’s voice, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, tin-whistle, percussion, arrangements, engineering, production and photography come together – with guest backing vocals by NL actor/teacher Adam Brake (on "Out from St. Leonard’s").
The album further celebrates a creative bond between Crowe, the internationally-loved touring and recording artist, and Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, the professional theatre company founded on the island’s west coast in 1979.
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."
Heralding “Newfoundland Vinyl II”, the Celtic Music Fan blog says: “It is about singing from the heart. It is about singing the songs of people that have been passed from every generation.”
Of her immersions as Musical Director with TNL, and the melodic bounty that’s landed, Allison Crowe notes: "There is so much wonderful music - you could piece together multiple anthologies and still only scratch the surface of such an extensive and rich collection. Each of these songs is its own story, of land and sea, of people, and each story in-and-of-itself could be an entire show. I’m truly grateful that you are here to hear the story these songs have to offer.” She gives special thanks to “the incredibly talented and versatile” casts and crews of TNL’s productions for their inspiration.
Souling ~ “Souling is an album that redefines the usual traditional holiday tunes and also about how they are being rendered. It is in this rendition that an artist tells the listeners her true identity. It’s beautiful and fresh,” says Baxter Labatos, editor of The Celtic Music Fan blog.
Allison Crowe’s gorgeous voice brings tidings of comfort and joy with “Souling”. The songs themselves, performed wholly a cappella, have a purity of expression – a 21st century take on music of faith and spirit – sounds and themes aired by carollers and ‘soulers’ of old.
The genesis of “Souling” is found within the creative family of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, an Atlantic Canadian professional theatre company founded in 1979. Each Summer from 2012 through 2015 Allison Crowe's served as Musical Director of "Newfoundland Vinyl" – an hit stage show produced by TNL for the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Alongside this ongoing success, TNL Artistic Associate SaraH McDonald invited the Corner Brook, NL-based musician to also be MD for a vibrant production of “A Christmas Carol”.
The Adaptation of this classic Charles Dickens story by playwright Jeff Pitcher, TNL’s Artistic Director, excited Crowe’s musical imagination – as did the desire of McDonald, the play’s Director, to incorporate songs in the style of Victorian Era carollers.
So inspired, Allison Crowe immersed herself in curating and arranging the music for choral presentation – a process which gave an unique breath of life to these solo performance recordings. “Her arrangements are undeniably exquisite,” notes Celtic Music Fan.
A decade ago, Allison Crowe first released Tidings – an album of singular interpretations - “River” (Joni Mitchell), “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen), “In My Life” (The Beatles) and more from the secular canon – alongside such favourite traditional carols as “Silent Night”, “The First Noel”, and “O Holy Night”. Tidings has proven to be a modern classic – “music for the season and all time”.
Now, Allison Crowe delivers another timeless musical gift – bringing new voice and light to the sacred songbook. Plus - on Allison Crowe's music site - a bonus, modern, song of peace.
Songbook ~ Richly diverse, “Songbook” is an oeuvre-spanning collection of 22 tracks representing each album release from Rubenesque Records’ first decade: 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); and Tidings Concert (2012) - plus music not released on any other album in this period.
It’s a resonant set-list that includes songs of: love that’s candid, "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 defiant, "Skeletons and Spirits" ("Take your sympathy and shove it"); and compassionate, as in "Whether I'm Wrong" featured by the UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace ("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"). The epic “Disease” addresses such social 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 the signature "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. “Songbook” samples her fresh takes on tunes from Phil Ochs, Annie Lennox, The Beatles, Cyndi Lauper and more.
“Allison Crowe is the best thing to happen to ‘Me And Bobby McGee’ since Janis Joplin changed Kristofferson's lyrics," blogs Allan Showalter of "Cohencentric", noted as “arguably the greatest living (Leonard) Cohen expert”. Also here is an hugely-loved cover from her “Tidings” album – about which Semper Ubi Sub Ubi blog says: "Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'... as performed by Allison Crowe, may be one of the most amazing things ever recorded onto magnetic tape."
This collection debuted in June 2013, coincident with the premiere of "Man of Steel", (the new Superman movie in which Allison appears in cameo), and it’s globally released via the world of digital outlets on March 17, 2014.
"Songbook is, basically, a collection of songs, originals, and covers, of mine going all the way back to 2001 up until now! I think it's a great introduction to my music for anyone who has no idea who I am and has never heard of me, and for people who like to kind of have all the songs in one place!" Allison Crowe tells Steve Younis of Superman Homepage.
Cover drawings by Allison Crowe, and design/artwork by Rubenesque's long-time graphics collaborator, Alix Whitmire.
Rubenesque Records - 'Taking the Road Less Traveled since 2001'.
Tarry Trousers ~ Allison Crowe shines like a diamond bright with this newest arrangement of a traditional song of the sea coast. "Tarry Trousers" is one of the songs selected by Crowe for inclusion in the third incarnation of "Newfoundland Vinyl" - a rollicking show at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. (She's Musical Director of this hit stage production conceived by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador's Artistic Director Jeff Pitcher.)
Allison, as she is so often, performing - voice and guitar - and, as well, is engineer, producer and arranger. Here's her addictively lovely version of a traditional tune with history on both sides of the Atlantic since the 1800s.
Heavy Graces ~ A new song set from Allison Crowe - and with this collection she's writing, singing, playing piano, guitar, doing percussion, engineering and production, album art, photography - and, for the first-time ever, picking up her Great-Grandfather's fiddle to add to her palette.
"Heavy Graces", an album which includes new songs from the pen and soul of Allison Crowe, alongside her interpretations of tunes composed by Leonard Cohen and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, is released October 15, 2013.
One of the world’s original and most passionate music blogs, Muruch, in its review of the album, says "After a surprise cameo in the summer blockbuster movie Man of Steel and the release of her exquisite traditional folk covers album, Newfoundland Vinyl, Allison quickly rushed back into the studio to write, record, engineer, produce and create the cover art for her upcoming album, Heavy Graces... it seems our favorite independent singer-songwriter is more determined than ever to forge her own path. I predict we’ll be seeing Allison Crowe not once but twice on our best of the year list."
Newfoundland Vinyl ~ On “Newfoundland Vinyl”, her 11th album for Rubenesque Records, Allison Crowe commits her voice and musicianship to traditional songs and covers tunes popularized by vinyl-era Atlantic Canada legends such as Joan Morrissey, Harry Hibbs, Dick Nolan, Eddie Coffey and Eddie Eastman. Add in tunes associated with The Dorymen, Stan Rogers plus modern troubadors Gary O’Driscoll and Ron Hynes for a moving and joyous showcase.
"What a voice, what a voice, what a voice!" remarks veteran music reviewer Muruch posting on the ‘No Depression’ blog. “It plays like a lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes with surprising retro, girl-pop harmonies woven throughout. The album is full of dazzling melody and such a unique charm. And Allison’s voice is so strong and spectacular,” writes the West Virginia-based folk afficionado. “It has the timeless beauty of a classic folk album.”
“It seems simple, but it really is a classic treatment of the classic songs that are performed by Crowe. She has renewed with stylish vigor traditional songs that deserve new life and interpretations,” says East Coast Kitchen Party.
"I am so grateful to have been asked by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, two years in a row, to put together songs and musically direct for a show called 'Newfoundland Vinyl'. As part of the Gros Morne Theatre Festival, I get to work with extremely talented and fun people each Summer in a gorgeous setting - Cow Head, NL. From the vast and encyclopaedic sea of beautiful music to come from, and out of, Newfoundland and Labrador, here is a collection of some of the songs from this year's show," notes Allison Crowe.
"Newfoundland Vinyl", a limited-edition, 180 gram vinyl LP, is available on Crowe’s home islands – on Atlantic shores at Gary Bennett Music in Corner Brook and venerable Fred’s Records in St. John’s, NL. On Canada’s Pacific coast, the LP is stocked at Fascinating Rhythm, in Nanaimo, Lyle’s Place, in Victoria, and Salt Spring Sound, SSI, BC. In the city of Vancouver, Canada - it's @: Highlife Records; Neptoon Records; Red Cat Records; and Zulu Records.
The album can also be mail-ordered for delivery anywhere, and, digitally, it’s available here on Allison's site and on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and other fine sites that make music available online.
LP Price incl. Shipping - Check Below - Vinyl LP + Digital Release
Snow ~ For Shannon: Ice blue, Beautiful silence, The first snow falls, And whispers peacefully...
Digital-only Release (Single)
Crowe: Covers, Live + Rare ~ is a special, digital-format-only, collection of Allison Crowe recordings. of interpretation - and is inspired by songwriters from all over the musical spectrum. Gathered here is a set of rare, and, often, live, covers and recordings of rock, folk/roots, and pop music captured over the years 2001 - 2013.
Hear Allison Crowe at the piano in her living room, picking up a guitar in the kitchen, or taking her spot beneath the lights to sing and play favourite tunes of Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen, Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco, Annie Lennox, Patty Griffin and other artists represented in recordings from home and stage.
Tidings Concert ~ It’s coming on “Tidings” – and that means Allison Crowe rings out such traditional favourites as “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, “In the Bleak Midwinter”, and “The First Noel” alongside the modern canon of Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, Lennon & McCartney plus original song selections including the elegiac “Arthur”, and the epic, foot-stomping, “Disease”.
Drawing themes of faith, hope, sorrow, joy, redemption, transcendence and more, it’s time to reflect and to rejoice in a musical melding of the sacred and secular. Stirring together Christmas carols and not-so-traditional songs, Allison Crowe's concert recording decks us all in comfort and joy whatever life’s circumstances.
On a Winter’s night in Canada – at St. James Hall, in Vancouver, BC – this “Tidings Concert” brought together fans old and new – along with folks making an Hollywood blockbuster (a movie code-named “Autumn Frost” which was then filming in the Pacific Northwest).
The film-makers invited Allison Crowe to appear in "Man of Steel" - an epic science fiction movie adventure featuring Superman. The scene in which Allison cameos was filmed just 15 minutes drive from where she was born! In a great north woods road-house, where Clark Kent is working for a spell, Allison Crowe is the 'Singer in Cassidy's' and 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.”
Allison Crowe’s excited and inspired by the professionalism and artistry of the stellar cast and crew – and the full team united in making this cinematic adventure. Adding to the festivities, all were invited to join in the fun of “Tidings”.
These sounds of the season are captured by Audio Engineer and Mixer Brad Graham, and FOH Engineer Ed Johnson - and mixed at Turtle Recording in White Rock, BC.
The album set features 18 in-concert performances, and, for the first time on record, audio from the “Hallelujah” video which now has a worldwide audience of greater than 10 million people (more than eight million views on YouTube alone).
A sister project is the Peter Buckle-directed "A Corner Brook Tidings" – “a film featuring Allison Crowe and you”. This documentary was created with gracious assistance of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council – and kind shepherding by Katrina Rice, NLAC Program Officer.
"Allison Crowe's voice is as much a manifestation of Christmas spirit today as Bing Crosby's was in 1942,” says The Pique. “It's as warm as an open fire; as gorgeous as snow-frosted evergreens; as tender as that hug you give your mother on Christmas day."
Playing her vintage upright-grand piano, at home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada, Allison Crowe sings of love shadowed by age - "Arthur" ("Would you hold me / If I disappeared now / And if I didn’t know / Who I was").
"Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)" - Already a lover of American singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, Allison Crowe's introduction to this Griffin tune came from Canadian rock and soul musician Bob Benvenuti when the two Canucks performed at a Christmas "Tidings" concert together. Crowe brings it on home with guitar and vocals - performing as her own Jordanaires for back-up.
Spiral contains eight of
Allison Crowe’s original songs, ranging from the
tender and playful country/roots of “Dearly”, to the
upbeat pop of “Double-Edged Swords”, ’cross the loving “Oceans”,
and darker terrain of “I Don’t Know” and the hard rocking
title track. Raw, natural, emotion is embraced passionately with
elegiac beauty and melody in these, and such joy-filled tunes as “Going
Home Tonight” and “No Matter the Battle”. With the live
track, “Wake Up”, Crowe, again, renders the personal
universal, and the global, human.
Uniquely known not just as one of the most exciting songwriters of a new generation, Crowe is also one of our finest interpreters of popular song. Spiral’s mix of light and shadow includes a trio of fresh covers – revisiting music of Annie Lennox (“Why”), Leonard Cohen (“Chelsea Hotel No. 2”), and Hunters and Collectors’ Antipodean anthem, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”.
On this new song collection, the bi-coastal Canadian, (she calls Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Nanaimo, British Columbia, home), is joined by ideally-skilled and sympathetic west-coast musicians Billie Rocha-Woods (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Dave Baird (bass, backing vocals), Laurent Boucher (percussion), Brendan Millbank (cello) and Larry Anschell (electric guitar, and, also, Engineer/Producer at Turtle Studios in White Rock, B.C.)
Kayla Schmah, Los Angeles-based, Canadian-born, composer and film scorer, orchestrates and produces the album with, yes, "gorgeous" musical textures, and cinematic ideas artfully brought to life. Concert capturings by Engineers B.R.N. (aka Condor) and John MacMillan complete this diverse mix of music made in Corner Brook, Nanaimo, as well as Chilliwack, White Rock, Denman Island and Salt Spring Island, Canada, Vienna, Austria, and Hollywood, USA.
The visual art of Spiral matches its aural beauty - with cover paintings by Netherlands-based Tara Thelen, photographs by Canada's Billie Rocha-Woods, and California's Dan Goldwasser, fontage from Brazil’s Billy Argel and graphic design by Florida's Alix Whitmire.
Allison Crowe's band + orchestral album, Spiral ****REVIEWS****
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Little Light is a popular singer-songwriter collection from Allison Crowe. It opens with a rustically shimmering version of "Northern Lights" - a song Allison performed 'specially for the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival in Durness, Scotland. "Angels" is recorded live at St. Andrew's United Church, Christmas-time, in Allison's birthplace, Nanaimo, Canada. She's backed here by bassist Dave Baird and percussionist Laurent Boucher.
"Disease", a song of social commentary, has, through years of live performance, become epic - channeling Beethoven, grunge and more. Here 't'is captured in its raging glory by Larry Anschell (on International Women's Day 2008, the same night celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Engineer and Producer Anschell's Turtle Recording Studios - this live track co-engineered by Brad Graham). Title track "Little Light" is among a set of guitar songs that reveal a different sort of Allison Crowe's writerly reflections in music. "Happy People", like such earlier songs as Crowe's own, "Skeletons and Spirits", a bright melody coats more acid observations. Strong and gentle poetics of "Hold Back" warm us by a fire kindled in the '70s by Joni Mitchell. "Choose to Be" bridges the piano sound of Allison's "This Little Bird" songs with her new tunes. Bob Dylan's ramblin' shoes lead to a less restless farewell, as the album closes with "Wedding Song" - Crowe's sweetest, rootsiest, love song to date.
The interpretations on this collection are: "Time After Time" - originally a hit for that most unusual girl, Cyndi Lauper - Allison, a child of the '80s gives her impassioned take, live (Scott LittleJohn recording this, the same night as "Angels"); "Running for Home", is a cover of the Matthew Good Band, and one of the songs Allison has performed since her teens; and, by way of the Righteous Babe, Ani DiFranco, comes Allison's vocal-guitar nod to the great peace-loving bard, Phil Ochs - "When I'm Gone". "Can't be singing louder than the guns when I'm gone, so I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here."
Allison Crowe's guitar + piano collection Little Light ****REVIEWS****
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