“16 Songs” Video Album from Allison Crowe = Music + Movie Magic

“Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make.”

That’s how Allison Crowe framed things near the start of this century before launching Rubenesque Records Ltd., one of the world’s truly independent music labels.

Through legendary live performances, broadcasts, and a dynamic oeuvre of recordings, globally-acclaimed and loved, Crowe’s distinguished herself among today’s finest songwriters, recording and concert acts, and as a supreme interpreter of popular song.

Combining versatility and virtuosity, the amazing Canadian musician transmits emotion into a visceral joy – sharing heart and soul with audiences.

Timeless artistic expression has its own tradition in Canada, a land plentifully represented by: wordsmiths & tunesmiths, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young; by jazz pianist/composer Oscar Peterson; classical composer Marjan Mozetich; in theatre and opera – beautiful voices of Teresa Stratas, Richard Verreau, Léopold Simoneau; and other sublime standard-bearers.

Allison Crowe’s singularity carries her across the globe and into such company as the Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Britain’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, and dates with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Thrilling, fun, and moving, the Nanaimo, BC-born musician traverses Europe and North America from home-base in Corner Brook, Newfoundland earning hoorays even from Hollywood where appreciative movie Director Zack Snyder invited her to cameo in the latest Superman blockbuster.

Coming soon Allison Crowe releases “16 Songs” a video album reimagining century-spanning film, three decades of songwriting, and a dozen albums of modern music. Renowned for gorgeous, often ground-breaking, interpretations of Mitchell, Cohen, The Beatles, Pearl Jam +, Crowe’s set-list here is radiantly international, mixing original tunes (Disease, Circular Reasoning, Double-Edged Swords +) with covers of: Annie Lennox & Eurythmics, Radiohead, Tori Amos, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Matthew Good, Hunters and Collectors.

"16 Songs" Video Album from Allison Crowe Coming Soon

16 Songs” Video Album from Allison Crowe Coming Soon

We’ve recently witnessed novel approaches to twinning of music and video releases in the American mainstream. In December 2013, pop superstar Beyoncé paired a video with each of her album’s 14 new song tracks adding three bonus music videos all as part of the “Beyoncé” album physical release. Partial clips of the vids were posted online upon the album’s surprise launch.

This Summer “Weird Al” Yankovic built upon the model of his 2011 “Alpocalypse” album. For his July 2014 release, “Mandatory Fun”, pop music’s über-parodist-satirist-accordionist amped awareness by production-partnering with an array of web portals to release eight videos online the same week his album’s 12 music tracks became available.

Allison Crowe’s music videos for most of this millennium comprise, either, documentary, live-in-performance, films (eg. the hugely popular “Tidings” series from director Alex Postowoi’s cinéma vérité crew), or, audio recordings with ‘still’ images. The exceptions – a pair of music videos in narrative style – were both made in 2003: “Midnight” (also directed by Steadiman’s Postowoi), and “Scared” (from the transmission2media duo of Angela Kendall and Brian Dutkewich – known for their later work with musical twins Tegan and Sara).

Starting with 2011’s luminous “Arthur” – a song exploring love, memory and aging – Crowe’s videos also marry her song recordings with vintage footage from home-movies, silent films and classics of Georges Méliès, Dimitri Kirsanoff, Nadia Sibirskaia, Salvador Dali, Dominique Monfréy, Josef von Sternberg, D.W. Griffith plus other pioneers and visionaries of cinema (impressionists, surrealists, Dadaists, avant gardists, pop-artists+).

“The strange thing about cinema, and this would go for television film, is that no one really knows why music is needed. I would say after a lifetime in it I could not tell you why. But it is not complete without it… As a matter-of-fact, I may be bold enough to say that with very few exceptions, a piece of film, or a film cannot come to life without the help of music of some kind,” reflected composer Bernard Herrmann, a frequent collaborator with film director Alfred Hitchcock.

The “Master of Suspense”, Hitch himself, observed: “Art is emotion.”

16 Songs” is an artful collection of Allison Crowe musical works with visuals from great creators and innovators – film-makers, animators, painters, photographers: Fernand Léger, Jean Vigo, Buster Keaton, Dave Fleischer & Max Fleischer, Edwin S. Porter, Man Ray, Hans Richter, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Winsor McCay, Augusto Genina, René Clair & Georg W. Pabst. Iconic images and figures – Louise Brooks, Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman, Michel Simon, Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, and Kiki de Montparnasse – populate the video album playlist.

“Oh, this is wonderful, it really is,” says Slovenia’s Milka of an advance screening, “I love it.” The art-aficionado from Izola comments: “It is marvellous amalgamation of Allison’s voice and movie’s poetry. Both benefit from each other and give a viewer another dimension for song’s interpretation. While the movie, not known to me, suddenly takes me to place where one never ages. Love it.”

Curtains rise on Allison Crowe’s “16 Songs” video album daily from the New Moon of September 23 to the Full Moon of October 8, 2014. Visit your favourite online video portal to know how it feels.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy (early) 80th Birthday, Leonard Cohen!!

The Real Rick Rutt” ‏@RickRutt  tweets: Sunday, Sept 21, will be Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday + This song has entranced me for decades. Here is #LeonardCohen80’s fellow Canadian Allison Crowe’s 2004 “Jeanne d’Arc

YouTube Preview Image

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sing Out! In Our Global Village

The Leonard Cohen Files’ now lists 567 different cover versions of Leonard Cohen’s much-loved “Hallelujah” – recordings made in dozens of countries and numerous languages: http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/coverlist.php

Hallelujah” is a popular song we’ve been able to widely and directly witness become a standard – as this process has occurred during, and, in part, thanks to, this age of the internet reaching near-ubiquity.

The global expanse of songs such as The Beatles’ “Yesterday”, (with some 3000 interpretations on record), and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”, (nearing 1000 covers at latest count – http://jonimitchell.com/music/covers-most.cfm ), and most other tunes which have become standards in the canons of pop and rock – and many more in folk, jazz and other genres – has, largely, been a phenomenon experienced offline (and these songs grew into universal favourites not in our real-time view).

The introduction of “Hallelujah” to a mass audience – via such channels as 2001’s Hollywood hit animated film “Shrek” – has been augmented and amplified by the world wide web.

Music and video sites online enable songs to be shared around, enjoyed and learned – grassroots traditions of jam sessions, campfire sing-alongs, church choirs and other communal ways that music is transported, today can be propelled by the advance in technology (and digital devices, in hand, enable more people to make recordings).

Not only can people world-wide experience music more readily, and in greater richness and variety, than in pre-internet times, folks are now able to express what it all means to them and reflect back to the same giant community “so that all souls can see it”.

For myself, serving as manager to Allison Crowe, a musician creating in these exciting times, one of the profound pleasures now possible is regularly hearing how people are moved by music.

Reflections on Hallelujah” @ http://blog.farmgirlwrites.com/2014/06/reflections-on-hallelujah.html – posted by Washington, DC-based blogger, “Farmgirl Writes”, is the sort of thing that inspires appreciation and understanding of a song and our fellow beings.

And, (especially for those with more dexterity and musical talent or dedication to this course than I), there’s such sites as “Chordify” – which show how we can play the music we love – http://chordify.net/chords/allison-crowe-hallelujah-live-in-the-studio-adrian22

Chordify - Allison Crowe

Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words” – a new book that’s exactly what its title promises – Joni’s voice heard through a trio of decades-spanning interviews with her friend, artist and journalist, Malka Marom – is released this week (officially, September 9, 2014).

Allan Showalter, aka DrHGuy, offers a typically entertaining and enlightening post in review @ http://1heckofaguy.com/2014/09/03/book-review-joni-mitchell-talks-about-growing-up-art-songwriting-love-and-leonard-cohen

I’ve mentioned this previously in a post to my own (Adrian’s personal facebook) page and – not unrelated to L. Cohen, the nature of popular songs, their interpretation and sharing – this book includes choice commentary.

River... Joni Mitchell’s whole album Blue is timeless,” Allison remarked when she covered the uniquely ever-green song on her own album “Tidings” in 2004.

And “River”, like “Hallelujah”, has witnessed an accelerated cultural expanse and embrace in these digital media times. Currently, Bob Muller, the Grand Poobah of Covers at JoniMitchell.com, tracks 402 different versions of Mitchell’s song @ http://jonimitchell.com/music/covers-most.cfm

The song established itself steadily over the decades – with some 200 covers being made from the time of its release on “Blue” in 1971 to 2007. In these last seven years, the total number of “River” covers has doubled.

In this new book, the brilliant singer, songwriter, composer, painter+ tells her confidante and interviewer: “There was a funny article in the L.A. Times. The guy was ranting, ‘Why are all these people covering Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’? It’s overexposed.’ That’s what he said, and I thought, ‘This person has no concept of what a standard is. A standard is a good song enjoyed by many.’ A lot of singers wanted to sing it, and it kept the song alive.”

Malka asks: “How do you feel when people sing your songs, any song, or play it completely different, like with ‘normal’ chords, and different arrangements?”

Joni says: “I think it’s great, I feel honoured. I like the idea of songs being sung. I like the idea that people who can’t even sing are singing them…”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 Songs – Video Album

We now know the song listing for Allison Crowe’s upcoming 16 Song music video series:

Disease

Why

Circular Reasoning

Creep

There Is

Doughnut Song

Running

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Spiral

Sweet Dreams

Effortless

Josephine

Double-Edged Swords

Running for Home

Alive and Breathing

Throw Your Arms Around Me

Allison Crowe - 16 Song Video Album - cover

This new music video series launches September 9, 2014 (a shift from the September 2 date originally announced).

A magical mystery tour of music with visuals from great artists and innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries – film-makers, animators, painters, photographers and more… – it’s a multi-media expression of the artist’s mission to make “Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music.” ( http://allisoncrowe.com/bio.html )

This 16 song video album pairs Allison’s originals with some singular interpretations – underscoring an observation of Allan Showalter, aka DrHGuy, delightful chronicler “On Life, Love, Lust, & Leonard Cohen” – “Once you’ve heard one Allison Crowe song, You’ve heard one Allison Crowe song.” ( http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/01/27/wedding-song-allison-crowes-small-masterwork )

It’s a season of cryptic crosswords and other, puzzling, fun. Here, now, are 16 visual clues – screenshots from each of the videos in the series. Some you may recognize, some you may not have seen before…

Imagine which goes with which song in the set-list – this September details will be revealed, and matches will be made.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Between Two Trees – Allison Crowe and Billie Woods – Live Jazzhaus Freiburg

In 1976, Harry Hibbs, one of Newfoundland’s favourite music-makers, most famously released “Between Two Trees” – this song of love penned by Charlie McKinnon of New Brunswick, Canada.

It’s revived in 2013 for the premiere run of “Newfoundland Vinyl”. Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s hit show enjoys its third revolution this Summer at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival as “Newfoundland Vinyl: The ‘C’ Side”. NV’s conceived by TNL’s Artistic Director, Jeff Pitcher, and its Musical Director is Allison Crowe – who curates and arranges the songs for TNL’s wonderfully talented and spirited cast and crew.

On her latest sensational European concert tour, Crowe carried with her music from home – and in this bootleg video, she duets on “Between Two Trees”, with Canadian musician and photographer Billie Woods.

YouTube Preview Image

Their performance delighted audiences, including here at Germany’s Jazzhaus Freiburg, a storied venue that’s soaked in the notes of such artists as Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, Bill Evans, Archie Shepp, and Betty Carter – and, for the first time, is serenaded with this sweet music from Atlantic Canada.

On the airwaves and online, passionate stewards such as DJs Rob Carnell, (of “Salt Water Music” on CFRC 101.9FM), and Wayne Tucker, (of CHMR 93.5 FM’s “Newfound Records Radio Hour”) share the musical riches of the region – from the vinyl era to the latest tracks. A mother-lode for music-lovers and players is “GEST Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador” – a marvellous celebration of musical heritage @ http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld (at last count home to 3660 songs, 2462 videos, and plenty of midis, song charts and scores and more). GEST’s Owner/Archivist Gery Deugauw, in addition to his own channel, is caretaker of two wonderful YouTube collections built with great love and rare dedication – ‘oldirishladdie’ @ http://www.youtube.com/user/oldirishladdie and ‘NLTreasure’ @ http://www.youtube.com/user/NLTreasure (this latter channel created by Jim Yetman, whose video legacy lives on).

TNL’s “Newfoundland Vinyl: The ‘C’ Side” spins each Tuesday and Friday from July 11 – August 29 at the GMTF – The Ethie Room, Shallow Bay Motel and Cabins, 193 Main Street, Cow Head, Newfoundland A0K 2A0 (http://www.theatrenewfoundland.com/shows/newfoundland-vinyl-the-c-side-2014

On July 28, 2014 Allison Crowe Sings “Newfoundland Vinyl” and More – in GMTF’s “Who’s Darkening Our Door” Concert Series at The Warehouse Theatre, Main Street, Cow Head, NL. (For info on this performance and all GMTF shows – call 709-639-7238 or toll-free 1-877-243-2899)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sie Liebt Dich

Super fun first show in Bernau! Amazing crowd, lovely room! Woot! (tweets Allison)

Allison Crowe - Bernau - Siebenklang 2014

Bernau bei Berlin last night welcomed Allison Crowe und Billie Woods – with friends old and new in life’s celebration of music and passion.

Part of Siebenklang 2014: Bernauer Musikfestspiele it’s an extraordinarily well-presented, promoted, attended and received show – and so much more :)

Siebenklang 2014 - Allison Crowe im konzert - 03.05

Allison at the fleugel here in the Ausverkauft! (sold-out), beautiful, historic venue in Bernau.

Vielen dank, everyone!!! Feiern sie :)

Following the sensational launch @ Siebenklang, here are upcoming concert dates on Allison Crowe’s current “Heavy Graces” tournee:
07.05 - Frankfurt, Jazzlokal Mampf
11.05 - Freiburg, Jazzhaus
13.05 - Neunkirchen, Stummsche Reithalle
15.05 - Inning am Ammersee, Inninger Spectacel
17.05 - Florence, Circo-lo Teatro del Sale
20.05 - Münster, Hot Jazz Club
22.05 - Potsdam, Lindenpark
Full event calendar and info/links @ http://allisoncrowe.com/tour.html

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Allison Crowe Drives to New Lands: “Heavy Graces” Tour on Deck

She comes from a land of ice and snow. Some years more-so than others. And, like such phenomena, Allison Crowe’s preternatural talent, and her peerless body of music, is marked by a pure, crystalline, uniqueness.

“How can someone so small and young have such a big voice and write such heavy duty songs?,” legendary West-coast Canada musician and publisher Barry Newman found himself wondering upon discovering a teen-aged Crowe on a Vancouver Island stage in the year 2000. For a cover feature in Cosmic Debris, (the magazine he founded), Newman observed: “The inflections in her piano stylings were so mature too… there was a blues edge in there.”

“The first thing you notice about Allison Crowe is her voice. Rich and dark, it seems to come from a place most singers can only dream of accessing. Then there are the songs. Filled with raw passion and accompanied by eloquent piano playing,” notes Clodagh O’Connell, (The Courier, Rolling Stone+), in a maiden review of Crowe’s voyage to new lands.

Cultural critic for The Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria, BC, Adrian Chamberlain, also caught the artist in her early concert rounds: “(Listening to) Crowe is akin to sipping the richest of brandies.” The writer, himself a funk soul musician, explained: “Crowe’s singing is tremendously powerful; almost operatic. When she digs into a sustained note, as she so often does, the voice is huge, rounded, with a dark timbre.”

The amazing sound crossed the main. Before long UK music maven Dave Henderson, (MOJO, Q and Kerrang!+), was tipping MOJO mag’s audience to this siren from o’er the sea: “Once famously described as possessing a style akin to ‘Elton John meets Edith Piaf’, the Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe is renowned for her ability to blend control and melodrama.”

Moving deeper into this century, the musician’s voice is ever more complex – striking on its own and, most frequently, accompanied by 88 hammers of the gods in the hands of a virtuoso. “You really have to see Allison Crowe live. The way she splits those notes, it’s like light through a prism – all the colours of a song,” says Canadian radio and television veteran Rick Dennis.

Eight years back, Crowe migrated from her island birth-place of Nanaimo, BC, on the Pacific Ocean, to Corner Brook, nestled on another lovely isle, Newfoundland – near the Viking Trail on Atlantic shores. Acoustic guitar, fiddle and tin-whistle now figure alongside voice and piano in her musical palette – creating rock, folk, jazz, roots, country, Celtic and more thrills. Her newest recording, (released globally April 28), is an addictive variant of a centuries-old song of the seacoast, “Tarry Trousers”.

“Weirdly typical” is how BC dean of Canuck rock writers, Tom Harrison, describes a new album from Allison Crowe – and that legend is key to any map of her course. She presents bi-coastal “Tidings” concerts each Christmas season in her homeland. These past two years Crowe’s focused on: recording (four acclaimed albums – “Tidings Concert”, “Newfoundland Vinyl”, “Heavy Graces”, and “Songbook”); dance (performing songs of Leonard Cohen on-stage with Canada’s brilliant Royal Winnipeg Ballet); theatre (musically directing Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s rollicking hit show, “Newfoundland Vinyl”); and film projects – one recording riveting in the trailer for a major indie motion picture (“The Pardon”), and cameoing, pretty much as herself, in “Man of Steel”- a #1 box-office Superman movie among the decade’s biggest Hollywood blockbusters.

Steering well clear of the corporate record industry’s shallows, Crowe’s integrity is as steadfast as her sound is remarkable – a double-helix of traits akin to the DNA of previous generations’ mavericks. “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.”

Allison Crowe's "Heavy Graces" Tour reaches Europe this May

Allison Crowe’s “Heavy Graces” Tour reaches Europe this May

For her next act, Allison Crowe returns to the international concert stage this May – with eight concerts upcoming in Europe: Bernau (03.05); Frankfurt (07.05); Freiburg (11.05); Neunkirchen (13.05); Inning (15.05); Florence (17.05); Münster (20.05); and Potsdam (22.05). The opening concert on this “Heavy Graces” tour quickly sold out – Ausverkaft! Full event calendar @ http://allisoncrowe.com/tour.html

For most of these dates, Crowe’s joined by special guest artist, and super-simpatico tour partner, Billie Woods http://www.facebook.com/billiewoodsmusic Woods’ distinctive vocal and nylon-string guitar style is rooted in Canada’s Pacific Northwest and infused with the warmth and vitality of cultural rhythms of Brazil. From home-base on Salt Spring Island, BC, in “Canada’s banana belt”, she’s blended a life of passions – principally music and photography.

Crowe’s Road/Stage manager, Axel Dollheiser, hails from Bavaria and Salt Spring. popTrip Entertainment, (currently moving headquarters from Berlin, Germany to Toronto, Canada), is booking agent.

Toronto-based author and visual artist Lorette C. Luzajic concludes: “Not everyone can bring down the divine, not everyone can be vast and mythological or bring the gifts of the gods into a winter’s night. But Allison Crowe channels the spirit each and every time.”

Some words about Allison Crowe from around the world @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/pressquotes.html

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Hallelujah” – Allison Crowe performs Leonard Cohen

Tonight, at the Banff Centre, a cultural beacon alight in the majestic Rocky Mountains since 1933, Canada’s amazing Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents an exciting and inspiring mixed program of dance from three exceptional choreographers: “Quantz by Quanz” (Peter Quanz); “The Doorway” (Jorden Morris); “Pas D’Action” (Brian Macdonald).

The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen”, choreographed by Jorden Morris, lattices interviews/spoken word recordings, along with: “The Letters” performed by Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes for the CD “Dear Heather“; “Bird on a Wire” as recorded by Adam Cohen for the compilation “A Song for My Father”; “Hallelujah” – the “Tidings” album recording by Allison Crowe; “Since You Asked“, a poem composed by Judy Collins and recited by Leonard Cohen from the CD “Born to the Breed”; and “Sisters of Mercy” recorded live by iconic US singer-songwriter Cris Williamson on the CD “Circle of Friends“.

The RWB was the first company anywhere in the world to stage a production melding works of the Montreal-born singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist – presenting “The Shining People of Leonard Cohen“, with choreography by Brian Macdonald, in 1970. Choreographer Jorden Morris’ “The Doorway” opened in 2012 and, again, represents a company uniquely in tune with the zeitgeist.

Cohen, at age 79, is today enjoying universal appreciation of his works. “Hallelujah” is a much-loved modern standard. His recordings, from “Suzanne” to “The Darkness”+, remain as popular now as the day of their release. A key to such timeless appeal was revealed some years back – when asked by an interviewer about the impact of commercialization, the songwriter explained:

“Well, each person here at this table is a victim of the commercialization of life. I’m sure I haven’t escaped. But I can say one thing – I have been tempted by the money. I have been tempted by the glory… I don’t think there is any man that can escape those temptations. But I feel that I have not put out any songs that were designed to exploit the commercial market.”

http://www.vimeo.com/85053330

Allison Crowe’s first release of “Hallelujah” was over ten years ago – http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/hallelujah – and, it, too, has continued to increase in resonance since the “Tidings” EP of 2003. Here, in video form, Allison performs Cohen’s song – captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry Anschell at Turtle Recording by-the-sea in White Rock, BC, Canada. (As with recent Beatles’ interpretations from this same live-in-the-studio session, this is in higher-fidelity than has been previously available.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Something to Crowe About” Sings Telegram

Allison Crowe - detail of photograph by Geraldine Brophy in The Western Star / The Telegram

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Song of the Year, Top Albums Nods for Allison Crowe

“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!
Musician Allison Crowe sails through year with top albums, movies and more

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,