Allison Crowe & Band have just recorded a new album. Collectively, 27 song tracks (representing 20 unique song titles) will be released in the New Year from recent sessions at White Rock, BC's storied Turtle Recording Studios and from a live concert in Vancouver, Canada.
Allison's titled the studio set “Heirs & Grievances” and the live set “Introducing”.
Growing up on rock and popular music – before its mass corporatization – it was thrilling to experience the creative vitality, the ideas and sounds of such bands as The Beatles, The Kinks, Mott the Hoople, The (Small) Faces, Pink Floyd... and original voices on the radio and turn-table – Van Morrison, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Luke Kelly, Otis Redding, David Bowie, Elton John, Patti Smith and so many, many, more singular talents.
My rock/pop roots are seeded in a time before Allison and her fellow musicians are born. Thankfully, these new tracks deliver the same, genuine, feelings as did those recordings from such artists emerging in previous generations.
"Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," says Allison Crowe. And she does - with bandmates Billie Woods (guitar, vox), Lin Lin (cello, vox), Sarah White (multi-instrumentalist), and Dave Baird (bass).
Melting down some lines lacquered on the body of an earlier water-shed recording of lore, “Introducing / Heirs & Grievances”, today, “is a magnificent album that pays off on every bet ever placed...”
Image: Allison Crowe & Band concert poster – photo by Billie Woods, art design - Lin Lin / Contour Grafix. Audio discs – studio session engineered by Larry “Turtle" Anschell, live recordings engineered by Brad Graham. Coming together in 2016 for release.
Allison Crowe, Billie Woods and Celine Greb perform a gorgeous take on Wince Coles' “By the Glow of the Kerosene Light” in their second-ever concert together. This higher-fidelity bootleg audio comes from Pender Island, Canada – and the Allison Crowe Band's concert on Canada Day this year.
More concerts and ever-brighter musical fidelity from the group - which also features Dave Baird and Sarah White - is on its way.
And, to hear this great tune and more Newfoundland song treasures catch “Newfoundland Vinyl” at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival – on-stage through August 28, 2015. Take a spin through Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador's website for word on this show, and all the terrific productions, at GMTF http://www.theatrenewfoundland.com/shows/newfoundland-vinyl-2015
Her eyes they shine like a diamond and her voice, piano and guitar-playing be just as crystalline pure in beauty. Musician Allison Crowe is a colleen welcoming all to delight, (not to beware), when she takes the stage this Monday, July 13 as part of this Summer's “Who's Darkening Our Door” concert series at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.
Allison's back home in Newfoundland following a triumphal concert series on Canada's Pacific coast. Her performances – online and onstage - bring joy to millions of people. From her Corner Brook nest on this lovely isle she's toured with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, appears in the newest Hollywood Superman movie blockbuster, and, each Summer, she returns to GMTF as Musical Director of “Newfoundland Vinyl” - the hit show conceived by Jeff Pitcher, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador's Artistic Director.
Join Allison for a rousing concert of favourites from Joan Morrissey, Ryan's Fancy, Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, alongside modern classics by troubadours Gary O'Driscoll and Ron Hynes, her own internationally-acclaimed original songs and covers of the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and more.
Allison Crowe taps a vein of song that's deep and wide as it is rich. Here's one of the near 200 recordings she's made – her take on the traditional “Black Velvet Band”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2C9qFAEHWI It's a lively song popularly recorded on both sides of the Atlantic, including a version by the legendary 'His Nibs' Harry Hibbs - born on Bell Island.
West Virginia-based folk+ music afficionado, Muruch, comments on an ever-present facet - whether it's rock, jazz, classical, Celtic, blues, folk or other genres Allison's soul-mining: "What a voice, what a voice, what a voice!"
The first track on Allison Crowe's new album is "Soul Cake" - a traditional song for souling
The artist, one of our greatest living musicians, singer-songwriters and performers, has always created authentic music.
With this newest song set her voice is heard wholly a cappella.
The songs themselves 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 in the bond Allison Crowe's formed with the creative family at Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador. Founded in 1979, this professional theatre company presents a dynamic and diverse repertoire of plays and maintains, as well, a strong commitment to youth theatre in the Atlantic Canada community.
For these past three Summers TNL's engaged Crowe as Musical Director of “Newfoundland Vinyl” - a perennial favourite at the annual Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Following another hit season at GMTF, in late August of this year TNL Artistic Associate SaraH McDonald invited the Corner Brook, NL-based musician to serve the same role with 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 the music for the abundantly-talented, multi-aged, choir of singers who'll perform in “A Christmas Carol” at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre from November 27th – 30th, 2014.
This artistic process of selection and arrangement led to her recording solo versions of those songs that will receive another distinct breath of life from the TNL vocal ensemble.
(In parallel fashion, the first season's run of “Newfoundland Vinyl” brought forth Allison Crowe's album of the same name – one of 2013's top recordings. Culture blog Muruch praised it as a “lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes” possessing “unique charm” and “the timeless beauty of a classic folk album”.)
In 2003, (and expanded in 2004), Allison Crowe 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”.
This time out, as befits TNL's telling of “A Christmas Carol”, Allison Crowe gives pure voice to the sacred songbook. “Souling” is:
Soul Cake I Saw Three Ships That Night in Bethlehem (Don Oíche úd i mBeithil) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen The Wexford Carol The Holly and the Ivy In the Bleak Midwinter (Cranham) Ding Dong Merrily on High Once in Royal David's City Wassail Song