Allison Crowe in Be-CREATIVE: Found in Translation

Italy’s Be-CREATIVE has Allison on its cover this month – http://be-creative.lifestylecommunity.it/3 – and, now, the feature is translated for us all by the fine Italian hand of Rhonda C.

Allison Crowe: La Sua Voce Ha Stregato Anche L’uomo D’acciaio,” says the publication’s cover – “Allison Crowe: her voice has bewitched even the Man of Steel” – and, here’s the rest of the story:

Allison Crowe, originally from Nanaimo, (November 16, 1981), is a Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist. She records for her own label, Rubenesque Records Ltd.  Her first albums, Secrets and Tidings, were published in 2004, while the double album Live at Wood Hall, recorded live on tour, was published in July, 2005.  She also produced a DVD containing live in-the-studio performances made during the recording of Tidings, in November 2005.

Of Irish, Scottish and Manx descent, Allison grew up listening to jazz, classical, and rock, and under the influences of musicians such as Ani DiFranco, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, and Counting Crows.

Her music is the result of the union of all these genres, and the uniqueness of her voice has such force that it has been compared to that of Mahalia Jackson.  She usually accompanies herself with the piano.

Her percussive style, characterized by a great physicality, was often associated with the pioneers of R&B and rock and roll like Fats Domino. She perform as a soloist, and has also been a part of musical bands, specifically a trio known as the Allison Crowe Band (2000-2003).

One of her songs, Whether I’m Wrong, composed in early 2003, was selected for the initiative endorsed by UNESCO, New Songs for Peace.  However, she is also very popular for her interpretations of songs by other authors, from Jerome Kern and Pearl Jam, through to John Lennon, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Her interpretation of the song Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) was named Record of the Week by Record of the Day (UK) in August 2004, and again in November, 2005.  Towards the end of 2005, she held a series of concerts in Europe, with stops in Dublin, London, Monaco, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Paris.  In the spring of 2006, Allison Crowe made a coast-to-coast tour of her own country, making most of the journey by VIA Rail Canada Company.

In October 2006, she released her new album, This Little Bird, and subsequently held a series of concerts that have touched England, Ireland, and Scotland. On March 17, 2010, she released the album “Spiral“.  Recently, she has also performed in Italy, specifically in 2010, and 2012, at the Teatro del Sale in Florence. In 2013, she appeared in a cameo role in the film “Man of Steel” directed by Zack Snyder and released in Italian cinemas on June 20.

Q: Hi Allison, how are you?  Singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist: with which of these roles do you identify most?

A: I’m doing great, thanks! I don’t know if there is one thing that I do that expresses myself the best – I’d have to say it’s likely a combo of all of these things! I’m always wanting to learn new ways to express myself and explore new things, and they sort of all work together in that way.

Q: In addition to having made several albums, you also really love the connection with the audience, and the thing that is more amazing is that your voice is as beautiful, and vibrant live as on CD.  How important is it for you the relationship with your fans?

A: I think my favourite part of what I do is the live performance and getting to interact with a live audience, and see and hear how they respond. My relationship with my audience is incredibly important to me, as the energy I get from people is energy I put in to doing what I do.

Q: Where do you prefer to perform: in large concert halls, or in a more intimate environment, perhaps with fewer people?

A: All of the different types of venues all have great features! A smaller, cozier show is nice because everyone is up close and it’s such a nice feeling, whereas a larger seated theatre show is maybe more dramatic and theatrical – due to the various circumstances that come with that. (lighting, seating, etc.) – and outdoor shows are big, fun and lively events with lots of energy. They are pretty much all good, in their different ways!

Q: From where does the  inspiration for your albums come?

A: I get inspiration for writing from different places for each album – a lot of it has come from my past relationships with people or the world around me. This new album (Heavy Graces) is more to do with my relationship with myself, than anything else, and how I go about dealing with and viewing that, from both in and outside of myself.

Q: Your slogan is “Why music?  Why breathing?”. With this phrase it is as if you want to say that music is life, energy for your soul. True?

A: It is! I find if I go too long without music, in one way or another, I feel like something is missing – especially live performance. It’s just who I am

Q: You recently loaned your song “Snow” for a dance performance – Ellipses Dance Company’s debut on video of a work entitled “The Writer”.  How has this experience left you?

A: It’s very cool to see a song I’ve written be used for dance – I love dance (and I wish I could dance like that!). I love seeing someone’s interpretation of what I’ve written through movement, and they’ve done such a wonderful job!

Q: You recently participated in the film “Man of Steel” about the origins of Superman. How’s it to play “yourself”, a singer, in such an important movie?

A: It was such a cool experience being in Man of Steel – just to see how everything works, and what everyone else does in making a movie, and how good they are at what they do! For me, playing a singer in a bar definitely wasn’t a stretch, and is something I’ve done for a very long time, so it felt pretty natural.

Q: Plans for the future?  Maybe a visit to Italy for your concerts?

A: My new album, Heavy Graces, was released on October 15, and I will be in Europe for a tour in 2014, in the Spring, and hopefully in Italy soon.

Nota Bene: Allison Crowe anticipates at least two European tour visits in 2014

To the Be-CREATIVE collaborators we say grazie!! Buon Natale – to all! :)

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Allison Crowe’s Synchronous Orbit with “Man of Steel”

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

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Tonight Will Be Fine

Combining heart, soul and vision – in words, music and images – Allan Showalter, the much-loved Leonard Cohen+ blogger, presents this video:

http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxcf8ij

Allison Crowe performs Leonard Cohen’s song, “Tonight Will Be Fine“, accompanied by images from the fabulous and free-spirited photog Billie Woods, a painting by Vienna’s boki.b and pics of posters by dedicated German concert promoter “Andreas” – and North American rock poster legend Bob Masse.

And, there be a related DrHGuy blog post as well @ http://drhguy.com/2013/04/03/ten-women-singing-leonard-cohen-songs

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Allison Crowe Concert Tour Launch: National Holiday in Germany

It’s “Tag der Deutschen Einheit” – Day of German Unity – today and Allison Crowe, one of the great performing artists of our time, or any time, launches her newest concert tour in Frankfurt amidst a wave of national celebration. As well as being present to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall and the re-union of West and East Germany in 1990 – Axel Dollheiser, Crowe’s European Road Manager, reports this visit to the continent will include a few pints at Oktoberfest in Munich.

Concert performances this month by the Canadian singer-songwriter, vocalist-pianist, Allison Crowe and special guest musician, and photographer, Billie Woods, include:

03.10.2012 – Frankfurt, Germany @ Jazzlokal Mampf
05.10.2012 – Berlin, Germany @ Evangelische Osterkirche
10.10.2012 – Mons, Belgium @ SHAPE Club
13.10.2012 – Inning Am Ammersee, Germany @ Inninger Spectacel
17.10.2012 – Florence, Italy @ Teatro del Sale
19.10.2012 – Quedlinburg, Germany @ Palais Salfeldt

We’re ready!!” says Christine Geyer, who posts this foto from Mampf, Frankfurt

Before embarking on this tour, for the past year Crowe’s been extremely active in North America where she’s served as Music Director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’sNewfoundland Vinyl,” a rollicking hit at this Summer’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival. As well, she’s super-busy off-stage with movie projects, including a “Tidings Live” documentary, directed by film-maker Peter Buckle, set to premiere in December 2012.

On-stage, Crowe’s performed “Hallelujah” for the World Premiere run of “The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen” – the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s thrilling, new, Cohen-inspired ballet. This November, she rejoins the RWB as the dance, choreographed by Jorden Morris (“Moulin Rouge”), delights audiences again – and she’ll perform “Hallelujah” solo as well as duet on “Bird on a Wire” with Cris Williamson, the legendary American singer-songwriter, activist, and independent music trail-blazer.

Fuller details upcoming @ allisoncrowe.com

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Freedom Fighters Rock Relay for Life 2012

Allison Crowe and team-mates, Lil Alexander, Louise Brake, Linda Bursey, Debbie Callahan, Mary Cashin, Sharon Fifield, Janine Gillis, Veronica Hunt, Judy Scott, and Captain Joanne Fiander, the “Freedom Fighters“, came together for the 2012 Relay for Life in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

It’s a celebration – walking, running, dancing, and more. This year the team raised $1,754.00 in contributions to the fight against cancer. Thanks to everyone who donated – and, in Allison’s support, cheers to Jeff, Fiona & Jack, to Cathie, and to Dad, Mom, Lea, Jane, Ross for your care and generosity :)

Here’s some images of the day’s colour, including a sign even bigger than the cookie Allison baked for the occasion…

(btw, the recipe for this cookie - which can be made gluten-free – comes from Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Liebster Award-winning healthy dessert blog:  NB this is no Kenner Easy-Bake Oven-top pictured here with the cookie more-than-covering one grill. It’s a regulation size CB mod-con, so’s you knows.)

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Chocolodka at the Dance

Today is the final performance of the debut run of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen” and the season finale for Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Following this Mother’s Day performance of “Pure Ballet” we salute music, dance, motherhood, you and me, a dog named Boo, and all else, with this special elixir – Chocolodka. Na zdrowie! Sláinte!

Visit “1 Heck of a Guy” for:

The Heck Of A Guy

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CHOCOLODKA

And, for the instructional inspirational:

How To Make The Original Chocolodka – The Video

NB pictured in this post is Chocolodka: Travellers Edition – the creation of which, in an hotel room, requires some variance from the traditional methodology – though the ingredients remain true to the original recipe, and, according to all involved, optimal standards for Chocolodka have been maintained. Furthermore, no one was harmed in the making of this product. In fact, quite the contrary :)

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I Can Stand a Little Pain au Chocolat

Paris Voice magazine calls Allison Crowe: “One of the best interpreters to come along since Joe Cocker”. Appropriately, it’s a French pastry that brings to mind a Cocker song, or, is it the song that brings to mind the French pastry… either way, Allison’s newest posting on her 7 Thumbs Up blog, “A Celebration of Life, Love and Food”, makes me go “I Can Stand a Little Pain au Chocolat“:


A nod to the goodness of flaky, buttery, croissant dough, chocolate and this Jim Price tune performed by mighty Joe from Sheffield on his 1974 album…

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Free to Fly

It’s four in the afternoon and not raining. Not in Baltimore. Not in Cleveland where the world’s first rock concert happened – sixty years ago this weekend.

In 2006, the wonderful songwriter and jug-band-Jedi, John Sebastian, told The New York Times: “The (record) industry has been in the corporate noose for so long, it doesn’t even have a leg jiggle left. There’s no one left saying, ‘Wait, we want to make art’.”

Keith Richards’ tranfusion at a Swiss clinic is urban legend. The new cultural blood that’s coursing through our digital world is ready to become truly legendary. A force :)

It’s a fantastic voyage from the “Moondog Coronation Ball” to now.

Among this week’s way-stations, we hear from the newest blogger to enter ourstream: THW – the UK music blog of The Human Wreckage – very kindly features Allison today, and says: “In a nutshell; Allison Crowe is what is missing from the music industry. She has a strong mind, follows her heart and just oozes talent.” With Allison blazing her own path, and such pioneers as Ani DiFranco and Janis Ian showing what’s possible, making music stronger than the corporate establishment, these are the best of times for music-makers andmusic-lovers!

Sister THW blog – Forget the Freak You’re Just Nature – presents Allison’s captured-live-in-the-studio performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah“.

And the buffet is laid out at Muruch – enriching blogger on music, literature and film, and a site familiar to fans of Allison Crowe. Muruch premieres a new recording of “Disease” – an exciting early listen to “Tidings Live:)

Muruch

Tough Mama. Katey Sagal and the Sons of Anarchy.

Allison Crowe, with Zimmy’s “world of illusion” at her feet, is free to fly. “Free to possess truth in one soul and one body“.

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The Liebster Awards – Allison Crowe Picks

It’s with great delight, cheery pride and warm thanks that Allison Crowe, this here blog, this weekend received a prestigious Liebster Award from “1 Heck of a Guy” – everybody’s favourite blog written by a psychiatrist that is rife with Leonard Cohen-based hilarity, love stories, essays on broomcorn, and proposals for a county seal featuring Dick Tracy.

In something of a reverse engineering feat to the drummers in Spinal Tap spontaneously combusting, the recipients of a Liebster Blog Award spontaneously come together. It’s a fun way to share passions, and introduce more people to singular blogs – Liebster being a German word for dearest, beloved, or favourite.

Being an award sparked by humanity, and non-corporate in nature, there’s not a lot of red-tape to the proceedings. Still, we learn from Dr. Heck, aka DrHGuy, aka Allan Showalter, blogmeister of “1 Heck of a Guy”, for recipients there is some form to keep things functioning:

“1.. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2.. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
3.. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog.
4.. Reveal your own 5 blog picks.
5.. Let them know you chose them by posting on their blog.”

(Dr H further advises: “The policy indicates that blogs selected should have fewer than 200 followers, but this appears to be uniformly ignored.”)

Now, following a vegan drum roll, here are the five recipients of the Liebster Blog Award, as so bestowed by Allison Crowe:

Heather on a Rock – Acting, physiotherapy… These are just a a couple of the many things that my über-talented friend Heather Rumbolt can do! Add writing to that list – you can now check out her humorous and incredibly honest blog, Heather on a Rock (Warning: contains some strong language and adult themes – and total hilariousness.) Here are two posts to get you started on your road to Heather: Half-baked Recipe for a Happier You + Flamin’ Hot Yogi Ready to be Lululemonated

the little red chicken – Another of my super-talented actor friends, (she’s touring right now with the NL play “Tempting Providence” all across Canada – to rave reviews!), Willow Kean’s passion for food is legendary – and now you can learn her ways through her blog! Willow’s fun and charming stories create the perfect setting for the delicious recipes within!

CornerBrooker.com – Corner Brook super-citizen Tom Cochrane, (a writer and photog, among many, many other things!), created this blog originally as a site to keep us up with the local happenings in and around Corner Brook, Newfoundland – and it has done an AMAZING job of doing just that! It’s now exploded on to the scene with multiple talented writers, photographers – you name it, they’ve got it. Way to go Tom!

Post Punk Kitchen – This is my go-to site for looking up what I want to have for dinner. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a super-vegan extraordinaire! Her book “Veganomicon” has become a vegan kitchen staple – among her many other books – and she is kind enough to share her recipes with those of us who turn to her online. She is always willing to help out if you have a question on her facebook page! – thank you Isa for all that you do!

Chocolate-Covered Katie – So much delicious, delicious chocolate – and many other delicious desserts – and all of them good for you! Katie posts super-often, which is great, because I am always waiting to hear what genius healthy dessert she’s come up with now! She’s always willing to help out if you have a question as well – which is fantastic – and you can LITERALLY have your cake and eat it too. Her larabar recipes are to die for – and seriously, try the cookie dough dip – made with chickpeas! It blows my mind. (don’t overblend it though!)

Enjoy!!!!!

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Rock Liebster – 1 Heck of an Award

Capping a week of fresh delights, I woke this a.m., St. Patrick’s Day, to find Allison Crowe’s blog, for which I serve as caretaker, is a recipient of the prestigious Liebster Award.

I learned this by visiting “1 Heck of a Guy” – everybody’s favourite Leonard Cohen-centric blog written by a psychiatrist and “featuring song, dance, snappy chatter plus notes on prose, poesy, love, lust, life, and beyond.”

There, the erudite blogmeister Dr. Heck, aka Allan Showalter, reveals the exceptional roster of blogs upon which the Liebster’s bestowed. He explains the nature of things, especially fitting on this day for pledging fealty to friendliness – with or without a Guinness in hand.

Even the name of the award brings forth cheer, musically echoing, as it does, this German-language performance by the Fab Four – Sie Liebt Dich:

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together with this also fabulous recording by T. Rex – Jeepster:

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(One of today’s bands, The Black Keys, say, seems a natural to update Marc Bolan’s lyrics for the digital age: “Girl, I’m just a Liebster for your blog”.)

In handing out a Liebster to Allison Crowe’s blog, the always entertaining, (and, to some, mysterious), Dr. Heck, says:

“Allison Crowe’s official site not only offers information, videos, and music about the next Canadian singer-songwriter but not infrequently issues a shout-out to other artists that have left an impression on Ms Crowe, including Leonard Cohen. In any case, Adrian du Plessis, who serves both as Allison’s personable manager and webmaster of the site writes prose that is entertaining, informed, and, on occasion, not unlike pirate lingo.”

Allison and I have savoured drinking in the history and import of this charming recognition. Thank you, danke, merci, grazie, and more, Dr. Showalter!!

In the spirit in which it’s delivered, and, further, to fulfill the duties and obligations of accepting a Liebster Blog Award, over the coming days, we shall choose other blogs to so honour in kind.

Stay tuned…

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