“Imagine” peace again – and again

Among her interpretations of songs by the Beatles, during the group’s collective and solo years, chanting the mantra – peace and love – here’s “Imagine” performed “Live at Wood Hall” by Canadian musician Allison Crowe.
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Gerry Deiter, assigned by ‘Life‘ magazine, was the only photographer present for the entire eight-day Bed-In staged by John Lennon and Yoko Ono at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel in 1969. His collection of images from that happening come together in the book “Give Peace a Chance: John & Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace” – compiled by Joan Athey and edited by Paul McGrath.
And Joan Athey’s graciously allowed Gerry Deiter’s photographs to accompany the music to make this video.
Since it’s Groundhog Day leading us into the week celebrating 50 years of Beatlemania in North America+ – here’s an encore version of “Imagine” recorded by Allison at home – with peace signs courtesy of Top Pun.
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“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.)

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“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

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Superfun Year

To quote a phrase, it’s been a “weirdly typical” year for musician Allison Crowe – who’s released three peerless albums in 2013 (“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’).

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Allison’s recording of “Hallelujah” is soundtrack to trailer for “The Pardon” – starring Jaime King and John Hawkes

Of the latter experience, super-fun was also had by Allison when she was invited by “Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder to New York City in June for the premiere of the epic science-fiction adventure movie. Newly-posted video from the Lincoln Centre red carpet chaos captures arrival on the scene of: Rebecca Buller (Jenny Olsen), Cooper Timberline (very young Clark Kent), Allison (about one minute in), Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-O), Zack and Deborah Snyder, Superman himself, Henry Cavill, with his family, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjQ7BdacR3Y

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Arrivals for the red-carpet premiere of “Man of Steel” in NYC

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Words – Song of the Year

Top Song of the Year is Allison Crowe’s “Words” on 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 of 2013′ @ http://www.muruch.com/2013/12/ muruch-2013-top-songs.html

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Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet Opens “Doorway” Anew

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet will perform its brilliant and beautiful dance, choreographed by Jorden Morris – “The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen” in a mixed repertoire program – January 25, 2014 at the Eric Harvie Theatre, The Banff Centre – Alberta, Canada:

http://www.banffcentre.ca/event/6346/royal-winnipeg-ballet?d=2014-01-25+19%3A30

Royal Winnipeg Ballet returns to The Banff Centre with a unique mixed program that will not appear anywhere else on their Canadian tour. The complex and beautiful songs of Leonard Cohen come to life in Jorden Morris’s new ballet, The Doorway. Plus works by Banff Centre alumnus Peter Quanz, William Forsyth, and Canadian dance legend, Brian Macdonald.

Repertoire includes:

Quantz by Quanz – Peter Quanz

The Doorway – Jorden Morris

Pas D’Action – Brian Macdonald”

Amazing choreography, dancers and spirit combine for one of the most exciting and enervating collaborative opportunities ever enjoyed by Allison Crowe – whose interpretation of Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, she’s thrilled, is part of this ballet:http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/hallelujah

Banff, already a wonderful place to be, will be even moreso when theRWB comes to town!

Sophia Lee in performance of "The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen" - Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Sophia Lee dances to Allison Crowe’s performance of “Hallelujah” in “The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen” – during the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s debut run in May 2012

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Allison Crowe in Triple-Bill of Summer Hits

Movie, stage show, and vinyl LP find Canadian musician flying high in unique style

“Weirdly typical” is how the dean of Canadian rock music critics, Tom Harrison, describes the newest album from Allison Crowe. That fun billing aptly suits the approach Crowe’s taken to establishing herself as one of the great voices in popular music – as singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, live performer and more.

The 31-year-old bi-coastal Canuck celebrated in New York City earlier this Summer at the red carpet premiere of “Man of Steel” – the epic new Superman movie directed by Zack Snyder in which Crowe cameos as “Singer in Cassidy’s” – the bar where Clark Kent busses. MoS tops Yahoo!’s “Ultimate Summer Movie Poll”, (in this, Hollywood’s highest-grossing Summer ever), via its fresh science fiction vision crafted by a stellar cast and crew. The Warner Bros. mega-production has now grossed over $650 million at the global box office.

Allison Crowe flew directly from festivities in NYC to rural Newfoundland for the release of her newest album – a collection of traditional tunes and vinyl-era songs of the region on which she provides all voices, instrumentation and production. “Newfoundland Vinyl” finds its name and inspiration in TNL’s hit musical show that’s delighted audiences these past two Summers at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

And the recording’s struck a chord ’round the planet. Muruch, on its own site and the No Depression blog, was first to rave: “It has the timeless beauty of a classic folk album.” The Celtic Music Fan blog, calling it an “one-of-a-kind must-have album”, says “There is something about this album that makes the songs become the soundtrack of your life.” The Province newspaper’s Tom Harrison off the top underscores the quirky nature of things – selecting the album “CD of the Week” and noting it’s not a CD: “Crowe’s ninth record is weirdly typical of her in that it defies convention, stick-handles around the pop idiom, shows imagination and daring, and opts for vinyl.” East Coast Kitchen Party, an hub for Atlantic Canada’s arts, entertainment and lifestyle news, points to the distinctive kitchen party-type approach to creation: “It seems simple, but it really is a classic treatment of the classic songs that are performed by Crowe. She has renewed with stylish vigor traditional songs that deserve new life and interpretations.” ECKP offers: “This record was made for sitting back in the big chair while relishing a favourite drink. Maybe Screech. It will probably bring a tear to the eye of a few. It’s that good.”

(Screech, a potent mainstay of Newfoundland life and lore, is an island tradition since the days when salt fish was shipped to the West Indies in exchange for Jamaican rum.)

Newfoundland Vinyl”, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s GMTF stage production, has just wrapped its two-month run. Allison Crowe, the show’s song curator and musical director, is home in Corner Brook, NL readying a panel presentation for the geek and nerd-fest that is Atlanti-Con 2. Atlantic Canada’s colourful convention celebrating sci-fi, fantasy, comics, gaming, anime+ happens September 28 and 29, 2013 at the city’s Sir Wilfred Grenfell Campus, MUN.

In dog-eat-dog entertainment world, Canada’s Allison Crowe dishes unique success – pictured here, Allison’s friend, Link

This time last year Crowe was preparing to rejoin Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet for a second engagement performing songs of Leonard Cohen on-stage with the company’s amazing dancers. The RWB, inspiring and vital as ever, will mark its 75th anniversary in 2014. Right now, a very different sort of institution, also high-flying and one with which Allison Crowe’s honoured and delighted to meet and experience in collaboration, turns 75. To salute Superman reaching the milestone, Canada Post and the Winnipeg-based Royal Canadian Mint this week issued philatelic and numismatic tributes. The Man of Steel leaped onto the world stage in Action Comics #1 – a joint creation of great friends, Toronto, Canada-born illustrator Joe Shuster and American writer Jerry Siegel (born in Cleveland, Ohio).

In a recent feature, “Canadian Music Rocks the Global Stage”, Epoch Times’ nation reporter Justina Reichel tells readers: “Singer-songwriter Allison Crowe is well aware of what it takes for a Canuck to achieve commercial success internationally.” The uber-independent musician’s choices on “the long road to success” are, indeed, weirdly typical – and, for her, an artist of supreme talent and integrity, the only way to fly.

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East Coast Kitchen Party Spins Newfoundland Vinyl

East Coast Kitchen Party serves up a stack of Atlantic Canada’s Arts, Entertainment and lifestyle news. At plate now is the site’s review of “Newfoundland Vinyl”, the new hale and hearty song collection from Allison Crowe – an LP that finds its name and inspiration in TNL’s hit musical show that’s delighted audiences these past two Summers at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

“It seems simple, but it really is a classic treatment of the classic songs that are performed by Crowe. She has renewed with stylish vigor traditional songs that deserve new life and interpretations,” says ECKP. “This record was made for sitting back in the big chair while relishing a favourite drink. Maybe Screech. It will probably bring a tear to the eye of a few. It’s that good.”

East Coast Kitchen Party - review of Allison Crowe's Newfoundland Vinyl LP

Feast on the full review, stream ECKP radio and more @
http://www.eastcoastkitchenparty.net/Music_Newfoundland_Vinyl.php

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Northern Lights ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 5)

The world is a wondrous place – and among nature’s beautiful displays is the Aurora Borealis. Here’s Allison Crowe’s song from “Tidings Concert” which reflects on that beauty and the expanses of love: “Northern Lights“.

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In My Life + Imagine – Allison Crowe’s “Tidings Concert” (encore songs 1 + 2)

In My Life“, penned by John Lennon and fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, the first encore song of “Tidings Concert“, performed by Allison Crowe.
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A double reality of “John” songs – here’s “Imagine“, by John Lennon, performed by Allison as the next encore.

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