Allison Crowe Blog
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Beatlemania Hits Fab 50: Allison Crowe Performs
Jan. 10 2014
“Beatlemania, as it is called, affects all social classes and all levels of intelligence,” The New York Times reported in December 1963.
We’ll hear all manner of takes on similar themes over the coming month, with this February 7 marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles landing at JFK International (New York City’s Idlewild airport rechristened on December 24, ’63 in tribute to the recently assassinated US President). The group’s appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show – broadcast over the three succeeding Sundays - electrified a new continent.
Plenty came before, and much has happened since, Pan Am Flight 101 delivered the Fab Four aboard a Boeing 707-331, known as the Clipper “Defiance”, to a world ready for joy and release.
Celebrating the musical legacy of John, Paul, George and Ringo – here’s Allison Crowe performing “In My Life” – captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry Anschell at Turtle Recording studios by the sea in White Rock, BC, Canada:
(This is an higher-fidelity video recording than has been previously available!)
"Something to Crowe About" Sings Telegram
Jan. 4 2014
Allison Crowe - photograph by Cory Hurley in The Western Star / The Telegram
"Something to Crowe about" sings The Telegram - sharing word of the discerning culture blog, Muruch , naming two of Allison Crowe's albums among the best of 2013 and one of her new original songs its top pick for the year.
The newspaper notes:
"The West Virginia-based Muruch placed Crowe’s album “Heavy Graces” at No. 10 and “Newfoundland Vinyl” at No. 2, second only to “Pure Heroine” by Lorde. The blog also selected Crowe’s “Words” from the “Heavy Graces” record as the top song of the year for its annual list of the 50 best songs of the year, which also found room for three cuts from “Newfoundland Vinyl”: “Black Velvet Band” (No. 12), “Men Who Die for a Living” (No. 18) and “Skipper Billy’s Wake” (No. 28)."
The Telegram is Newfoundland and Labrador's major daily newspaper. Pioneering website Muruch has been sharing favourite albums, live performances, films and literature online since 1999. The full article can be enjoyed @ http://www.thetelegram.com/Living/Entertainment/2014-01-02/article-3561458/Something-to-Crowe-about/1
Song of the Year, Top Albums Nods for Allison Crowe
Dec. 31 2013
“The difficult I’ll do right now, the impossible’ll take a little while”. That’s pretty much always been the way of musician Allison Crowe.
This year proves ”weirdly typical” as ever for the amazing bi-coastal Canadian artist - to quote a phrase from one of 2013’s fine reviews.
In it, Crowe’s released three peerless albums (“Newfoundland Vinyl”, “Heavy Graces”, and the compilation “Songbook”), musically directed a hit theatre show (TNL’s “Newfoundland Vinyl”), saw one song recording used brilliantly in a trailer for a major independent motion picture (“Hallelujah” w. “The Pardon”), and appeared, pretty much as herself, in one of the year’s biggest Hollywood blockbusters (“Man of Steel”).
Now ‘Top Song of the Year’ nod for Allison Crowe's "Words" comes from the annual list of Muruch, the passionate and uncompromising culture blog that’s been sharing favourite albums, live performances, films and literature online since 1999.
“Words”, from the album “Heavy Graces”, features, for the first time, Allison playing her Great-Grandfather’s fiddle (along with her singing, playing guitar, arranging, engineering, producing and all those things she regularly does!). A trio of songs from her "Newfoundland Vinyl" album, also released this year, are found in the Top 50: "Black Velvet Band" (12); "Men Who Die for a Living" (18); and "Skipper Billy's Wake" (28).
Artists joining Allison Crowe in the top ten picks are: Alice Boman; Trent Dabbs; Lorde; Vienna Teng; Foxygen; Imagine Dragons; MS MR; & Janelle Monae (feat. Erykah Badu). Enjoy videos and music – of “Words” and all of Muruch’s ‘Top 50 Songs’ @ http://www.muruch.com/2013/12/muruch-2013-top-songs.html
The West Virginia-based blog follows the song list with its Top 25 Albums – and Allison Crowe’s two new albums this year both land in the top ten. Remarking: “The top three are really interchangeable, they are far too brilliant and too different from each other to truly rank”, Muruch slots Crowe’s “Newfoundland Vinyl” second, book-ended by Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” (#1) and Foxygen’s “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic” (#3).
Crowe’s tribute to songs of her Atlantic home region contains traditional tunes, such as “Black Velvet Band” as well as interpretations of such modern classics as “The Mobile Goat Song”, (a Tom Cahill-penned hit for Joan Morrissey), Gary O’Driscoll’s elegiac “Men Who Die for a Living” and Ron Hynes’ anthemic “Sonny’s Dream”. This set, released on vinyl, “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…full of dazzling melody and such a unique charm…Allison’s voice is so strong and spectacular,” says Muruch. “It has the timeless beauty of a classic folk album.”
“Heavy Graces” combines Allison Crowe’s newest original song recordings with singular covers of Leonard Cohen (“Famous Blue Raincoat”) and Pearl Jam (“Better Man”) – and this album occupies the tenth spot on the albums of the year list, as described by Muruch: “what a lush piece of work…a touch of Celtic folk in the instrumentation, haunting backing vocals and a slow building, seething tension until Allison unleashes her wail”. The complete list of top album picks – which also includes this year’s releases from Elton John, Molly Drake, Hem, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Janelle Monae and more – is available @ http://www.muruch.com/2013/12/muruch-2013-top-albums.html
Here’s to a very happy, healthy, New Year – one and all!
Words - Song of the Year
Dec. 24 2013
Fun Universe Brings Allison Crowe’s Music Home this Holiday Season
Nov. 24 2013
How does one of the world’s great musical voices, and most independent artists on the planet, land amidst a face-off between man and Superman in an Hollywood blockbuster?
“I’m a big Johnny Cash fan. And I’m a big Allison Crowe fan. So the combination to me seemed like an awesome opportunity if we could make it happen,” explains “Man of Steel” Director Zack Snyder. “Allison and I had talked about trying to get some of her music in one of my movies whenever we could – and I thought, well, if I just put her in the film then there’s no way that it won’t work. So, that’s where you get Allison from.”
The film-maker, along with his stellar cast and crew, deliver insights into the production of this epic science fiction adventure, in “Journey of Discovery”, a just-released special feature of MoS in Blu-ray edition.
“(Zack) keeps trying to get me into movies and it’s amazing,” responds Crowe in the feature. “I first kinda met Zack over the internet about songs online... I think about four or five years ago the first one would have been the ‘Watchmen’ and he was looking to do ‘Hallelujah’. And then the second one we were looking at another song for ‘Sucker Punch’ and so now we have Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ and the altercation ensues…”
Allison Crowe with Zack Snyder on "Man of Steel" set - photo courtesy Clay Enos / Warner Bros.
The movie itself reveals how all the pieces fit – and it’s an exhilarating ride and humbling experience for the Canadian singer-songwriter. And it’s all inspiring.
“In an entertainment world that increasingly genuflects at the altar of instant fame, Crowe seems an anomaly, building her career slowly and carefully,” commented Times Colonist newspaper scribe Adrian Chamberlain some years back. Fine-tuned at the keyboard in arts reportage, (and an r’n’b combo), the writer noted how the “Nanaimo songbird seems uninterested in celebrity and its trappings”.
The universe is ever-expanding for the now Corner Brook, Newfoundland-based, Vancouver Island-born, Crowe, still her goals and values are constant. "Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," she’s said. More than a dozen years along the road less-traveled, she succeeds like no one else.
From attending the red-carpet premiere and festivities of “Man of Steel” this Summer, she traveled from New York City to Cow Head, NL to musically direct the hit stage show “Newfoundland Vinyl”, a production of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Her LP/album of the same name, joins her latest, “Heavy Graces” among 2013’s best new releases. Crowe’s third album out this year, “Songbook”, is an oeuvre-spanning 22-song compilation.
People everywhere can enjoy the music – and folks in Allison Crowe’s hometowns can join in “Tidings”, a celebration of music for the season and all-time, happening:
Nov. 30 – Arts and Culture Centre, Corner Brook, NL
Dec. 7 – Fairfield United Church, Victoria, BC – to aid Artemis Place and HepCBC
Dec. 12 – Real Food, Old City Quarter, Nanaimo, BC – Community Sing-along to aid Haven Society
Dec. 14 – St. Andrew’s United Church, Nanaimo, BC – with guests: Chelsea Peckett; Daniel Knapp; Melissa Kahan; Taylor Johnstone; Raymond Salgado; & Joshua Holloway - to aid Woodlands Secondary Band and Basketball
Concert and community sing-along details coming soon.
Newfoundland Vinyl's "timeless beauty" praised + Man of Steel soars
Aug. 12 2013
"What a voice, what a voice, what a voice!" remarks veteran music reviewer Muruch posting on the ‘No Depression’ blog. The West Virginia-based folk aficionado highlights a feature ever-present in the music of Allison Crowe – whether it’s rock, gospel, jazz, grunge, classical, blues, soul or other genres she’s making.
For her newest album, the 11th release on Rubenesque Records, the bi-coastal Canuck lends her voice and musicianship to great songs that come from, and out of, the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Newfoundland Vinyl” covers songs popularized by vinyl-era Canadian 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.
“It has the timeless beauty of a classic folk album,” writes Muruch. “The album is full of dazzling melody and such an unique charm.” Alluding to the rare path taken by the artist to achieve success, the review continues: “I’m starting to think Allison Crowe’s DIY folk style is Canada’s answer to Ani DiFranco.”
She’s enjoying fun this Summer in movies, too, as “Man of Steel” opens around the globe. Crowe has a cameo in the new Superman epic directed by Zack Snyder – performing Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” in a scene that unfolds as Clark Kent /Superman – embodied wonderfully by Henry Cavill – searches for his place in this world.
Musician Allison Crowe and Director Zack Snyder on the set of filming "Man of Steel" - photo courtesy Clay Enos / Warner Bros.
MoS has earned more than $600 million at the box office so far. Allison Crowe flew home from the movie’s New York City premiere to begin rehearsals with the cast of “Newfoundland Vinyl: The Flipside” – the follow-up to last year’s rollicking hit – part of the Gros Morne Theatre Festival happening in Cow Head, NL. Jeff Pitcher, Artistic Director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador is Writer and Crowe Musical Director again this Summer.
The production runs July 12 through August 30 at the GMTF. Allison Crowe says cast rehearsals are “AMAZING” – and indicate the show, which gave her newest album its name and raison d’etre, is going to be a super experience.
“Newfoundland Vinyl”, the limited-edition, 180-gram-quality, vinyl LP is available on Crowe's home islands -- on Atlantic shores at Gary Bennett Music in Corner Brook, and via Craig Payne's daROCK Stories & Songs, 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 Music Site and on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and other fine sites that make music available online.
Superman to Super Songs: Allison Crowe Changes Tack as "Newfoundland Vinyl" Sets Sail
Jul. 20 2013
"Newfoundland Vinyl", the newest album of music from Allison Crowe, is out now on Rubenesque Records.
The limited edition, 180 gram vinyl, LP is available in Canada at Gary Bennett Music in Corner Brook, NL, Fascinating Rhythm (Nanaimo), Lyle's Place (Victoria), and Salt Spring Sound (Salt Spring Island), BC, Canada - and online, worldwide, in digital formats @ allisoncrowe.com, on Bandcamp, iTunes and more.
As Musical Director for TNL's production of "Newfoundland Vinyl: The Flip Side" at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival, the Canadian musician, born in Nanaimo, BC, on the Pacific, is active now in her Atlantic setting, curating and arranging songs for this Summer's GMTF cast.
It's a rich and varied collection harvested from the island region's popular music and oral traditions. The album's 10 tracks traverse parlour songs to country tunes and folk favourites, songs of land and sea that share the strength and the struggles, the joys, heartbreaks and the humour of people.
As well as being a premiere songwriter, musician and performer of original material, Crowe's recognized as one of the great modern interpreters of song - via her internationally-acclaimed and much-loved versions of songs by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, and plenty more greats - Allison Crowe's singular performances deliver familiar and much-loved songs afresh and with renewed joy.
Crowe's just returned to her home in Corner Brook, NL, after attending the World Premiere in New York City of "Man of Steel", the Zack Snyder-directed Superman epic in which she has a cameo - as a musician performing "Ring of Fire", a song made famous by Johnny Cash. MoS is currently the #1 box office draw on planet Earth. (Had things not gone so wrong on Krypton, it'd surely be a smashing success there as well.) Next she rolls on to Cow Head, in Gros Morne National Park -- and says:
"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."
The GMTF season runs May 31 through September 14 - and "Newfoundland Vinyl: The Flip Side", written and directed by Jeff Pitcher, is on the boards July 12 - August 30, 2013!
"Newfoundland Vinyl" - Allison Crowe's newest music release on the record rack at Lyle's Place, Victoria, BC, Canada
Here, now, is Allison Crowe's take on these songs that, over 200 years, come from, and out of, Newfoundland and Labrador - with ageless melodies and meaning:
BLACK VELVET BAND - lively traditional song recorded on both sides of the Atlantic, including a version by the legendary 'His Nibs' Harry Hibbs
EASY - penned by Terry Skinner and made a classic radio hit by country star Eddie Eastman
MEN WHO DIE FOR A LIVING - Gary O'Driscoll, award-winning songwriter and producer from Bay Bulls and NL's southern shore, wrote this potent elegy "for the miners here and gone"
CLIFFS OF BACCALIEU - Jack Withers sea-faring song has previously been sailed by such distinct voices as Anita Best, Louise Morrissey and Stan Rogers
SKIPPER BILLY'S WAKE - songwriter Ellis Coles' jaunty mix of moonshine, Screech and more was well popularized by Dick Nolan
SONNY'S DREAM - Newfoundland's "Man of 1000 Songs", Ron Hynes, created this anthem of the heart and home
TINY RED LIGHT - a traditional Newfoundland song revitalized in the vinyl era by The Dorymen (popular east-coast combo founded by John Drake and Tom Rose - a pair of lads out of Fortune Bay communities Belleoram and Bay du Nord)
THE MOBILE GOAT SONG - composed by St. John's Tom Cahill, frequent collaborator with "Newfoundland's First Lady of Song", Joan Morrissey, who released this cheerful romp on her 1973 LP "Home Brew"
SEVEN OLD LADIES - a bawdy song which musically plumbs a 1700s nursery rhyme, ("Johnny's So Long at the Fair") - and a tune also recorded by the great Joan Morrissey
SWEET FORGET ME NOT - first published in 1877, this tender tune by Bobby Newcomb was the first single, and a vinyl hit on the mainland as well, for Cape Shore's Eddie Coffey and his Coffey Mates
Songs performed, arranged, engineered and produced by Allison Crowe - home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
Allison Crowe's Synchronous Orbit with "Man of Steel"
Jun. 18 2013
Allison Crowe returns to Canada from the World Premiere screening of "Man of Steel" in New York City. Alongside the thrills of walking the red carpet at NYC's Lincoln Center, the musician is proud and humbled to have a cameo in the artistic and commercial hit cinematic reframing of the Superman myth.
Frank Zappa famously commented: "It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia." On this, the 75th anniversary of the birth of Clark Kent / Superman, MoS film-makers - which includes Hollywood auteur Zack Snyder and writers David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan - have soared past the potential of "Death by Nostalgia" by delivering into today's world the most super of all comic book heroes - portrayed by island of Jersey-born Henry Cavill. Helming the film's music is maestro Hans Zimmer.
Allison Crowe appears in the film very much as she does in concert - a troubadour of fiery spirit and true passion. Her cameo, performing the iconic Johnny Cash tune, "Ring of Fire", is result of a day of filming at the Cassidy Inn - an historic miners-to-bikers bar located on Vancouver Island, just about ten minutes drive south of where Crowe's born.
A relationship begun in 2008, between the bi-coastal artist, who is at home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, and her birthplace, Nanaimo, British Columbia, and the dynamic movie duo of Director Zack Snyder and Producer Debbie Snyder, is cherished by the independent Canuck.
Celebrating the experience of "Man of Steel", released this month by Warner Bros. studio and its partners, Allison Crowe's own label, Rubenesque Records Ltd., has compiled "Songbook" - an oeuvre-spanning, 22 track, collection representing each album+ release from Crowe's dozen+ years of recording as one of the great singer-songwriters, interpreters and live performers in popular music.
Canadian musician celebrates connection with celluloid heroics of Superman
Allison Crowe's Super Summer Launches with "Man of Steel"
May. 25 2013
Musical wonder-woman Allison Crowe makes her Hollywood screen debut this Summer in “Man of Steel” – opening Friday, June 14, 2013.
(To help preserve the great thrills and surprises in store for audiences ’round the world, Allison Crowe will make no revelations about her role, nor about anything that happens, in the movie until after its release.)
Allison Crowe – you will find her… in “Man of Steel” this Summer
“The experience of filming on ‘Man of Steel’ was one of the most fulfilling and INSANELY exciting (seriously) experiences I’ve ever had – if not THE most! I can’t say much about it – and that’s part of the fun. My lips are sealed,” says Crowe in a transmission received from a fog-shrouded island off Canada’s Atlantic coast.
“What I can say is – I was so excited I couldn’t sleep the night before, and that I am so incredibly humbled and overwhelmed and grateful to be a part of all of this – and it couldn’t have been with a lovelier group of people.”
Crowe, an wholly singular artist, expresses her profound gratitude to Director Zack Snyder and Producer Deborah Snyder, Producer Chuck Roven, their partners and team, everyone involved with Third Act Productions and Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, Syncopy ~ and more folks to be named and thanked at an appropriate time.
Signing off, from an unidentified location in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, she says: “Everyone was so amazing and down to earth on set that I had the pleasure of meeting – absolutely everybody involved – and I will never, ever forget it. Honestly, I can think back to it now AND STILL FREAK OUT, in the best way ever.”
This epic action adventure, a tale of hope and heroism, brings to the big screen the greatest super-hero of them all. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film stars Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Kevin Costner (Pa Kent), Diane Lane (Ma Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), Russell Crowe (Jor-El), and many more in a stellar cast – both revealed and still secret. The story is by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan, with music by Hans Zimmer – and an awesome array of talents in every area of the production.
Allison Crowe flies soon to New York City for the red-carpet Premiere of “Man of Steel” believing the fate of our planet is in good hands.
“Newfoundland Vinyl” LP Readies to Set Sail
May. 18 2013
Artwork and the track listing for “Newfoundland Vinyl”, Allison Crowe’s 11th release on Rubenesque Records Ltd., is ready. The album’s music sets sail worldwide next month.
As Musical Director for Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s production of “Newfoundland Vinyl: The Flip Side” at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival, Crowe’s active now curating and arranging songs for this Summer’s cast.
It’s a rich and varied collection harvested from the island region’s popular music and oral traditions – and from which she’s culled a selection for her vinyl LP. The album’s 10 tracks traverse parlour songs to country tunes and folk favourites, songs of land and sea that share the strength and the struggles, the heartbreaks and the humour, of a people.
Recognized as one of the great modern interpreters of song, Allison Crowe’s singular performances deliver familiar and much-loved songs afresh and with renewed joy.
Coming next month, then, is Allison Crowe’s take on these songs that, over 200 years, come from, and out of, Newfoundland and Labrador – with ageless melodies and meaning:
Black Velvet Band – lively traditional song recorded on both sides of the Atlantic, including a version by the legendary Harry Hibbs
Easy – penned by Terry Skinner and made a classic radio hit by country star Eddie Eastman
Men Who Die for a Living – Gary O’Driscoll, award-winning songwriter and producer from St. Lawrence and the South coast, wrote this potent elegy “for the miners here and gone”
Cliffs of Baccalieu – Jack Withers’ sea-faring song has previously been sailed by such distinct voices as Anita Best and Stan Rogers
Skipper Billy’s Wake – songwriter Ellis Coles’ jaunty mix of moonshine, Screech and more was well popularized by Dick Nolan
Sonny’s Dream – Newfoundland’s “Man of 1000 Songs”, Ron Hynes, created this anthem of the heart and home
Tiny Red Light – a traditional Newfoundland song revitalized in the vinyl era by The Dorymen (popular east-coast combo founded by John Drake and Tom Rose – a pair of lads out of Fortune Bay communities Belleoram and Bay du Nord)
The Mobile Goat Song – composed by St. John’s Tom Cahill, frequent collaborator with “Newfoundland’s First Lady of Song”, Joan Morrissey, who released this fun romp on her 1973 LP “Home Brew”
Seven Old Ladies – a bawdy song which musically plumbs a 1700s nursery rhyme, (“Johnny’s So Long at the Fair“) – and a tune also recorded by the great Joan Morrissey
Sweet Forget Me Not – first published in 1877, this tender tune by Bobby Newcomb was the first single, and a vinyl hit on the mainland as well, for Cape Shore’s Eddie Coffey
Allison Crowe’s “Newfoundland Vinyl” album launches June 25, 2013.