Allison Crowe, one of the greatest voices and natural talents in popular music, is home in snowy Corner Brook, Canada this Winter, writing and recording songs before launching a new concert touring year.
So far, in 2011, Crowe has captured basic vocal, piano and guitar tracks for five originals - "Arthur", "By Any Terms", "Chasing the Rain", "Don't Breathe", and "Pull You Through" - and, for more fun, she's covering two 'Americana'-hued songs by sublime singer-songwriter Patty Griffin - "Mary" and "Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)".
It's a welcome, extended, stay in one spot, after a hectic 2010 that saw Allison Crowe again navigate concert dates between her Atlantic and Pacific Ocean homes, and expand continental touring territory. Crowe's latest album, (of seven), "Spiral", made best of lists from America to Europe and beyond.
Arts and entertainment blog Muruch, naming "Spiral" one of the top releases of last year, says: "Her voice flawlessly flows between the most pristine soprano and gut-wrenching, full-bodied wails. I hear Allison Crowe sing, and I remember the effect music is supposed to have on you."
Crowe's reputation encompasses her original songwriting, and singularly exciting live performances - and her art of interpretation. On her most recent visit to the City of Lights, Paris Voice Editor Bob Bishop called her "one of the best interpreters to come along since Joe Cocker".
Allan Showalter, author of the uniquely popular Leonard Cohen-centric blog, "One Heck of a Guy", expands on this theme: "Allison, whose covers include not only outstanding versions of Joni Mitchell's 'River' and 'A Case of You,' Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah,' 'The Beatles' 'In My Life' and 'Let It Be,' Lennon's 'Imagine,' and Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time,' but also the most provocative and seductive (forgive me, Aretha) take I've heard on Ronnie Shannon's 'I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You).' And, I stand by my conviction that Allison Crowe is the best thing to happen to 'Me And Bobby McGee' since Janis Joplin changed Kristofferson's lyrics."
On YouTube, Allison Crowe's audience is approaching nearly ten million (non-rigged) views. When makers of Hollywood movie, "Sucker Punch", were searching for how to reinvent the Eurythmics (Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart) song, "Sweet Dreams", they called on the "mistress of coversongs" as Crowe's been crowned by "Cover Lay Down" blog. Director Zack Snyder loves Allison's approach so they asked her to strip the song to an emotional core Actress Emily Browning performs the movie version (out later this month).
In present culture, it can seem anachronistic that popular music was once a fertile community for rebellion and honesty, and the mainstream of pop and rock artists aspired to something more substantial than a bauble in a corporate chain. As rare as her talent is Allison Crowe's integrity. Like inspirations Janis Ian, Ani DiFranco, and a few others making music today, she does not "play the game".
Allison Crowe's path less-travelled brings her to Fredericton, New Brunswick, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John's, Newfoundland for concerts this Spring - before her next European tour. Details of all shows and music is available @ www.allisoncrowe.com