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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“Canadian Music Rocks the Global Stage” reports Epoch Times

Journalist Justina Reichel keys on the Canadian music revolution inThe Epoch Times. US-based blogger Muruch recently commented: “I’m starting to think Allison Crowe’s DIY folk style is Canada’s answer to Ani DiFranco…” and in this new feature article Crowe reveals her recipe for success.

Allison Crowe Zack Snyder - Man of Steel - film set - Clay Enos / Warner Bros.

B.C. musician Allison Crowe with Hollywood director Zack Snyder on the set of “Man of Steel” in Cassidy, B.C. Canadian music is becoming more popular and lucrative around the world, according to the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. (Courtesy Clay Enos/Warner Bros)

Above – as pictured and reported in The Epoch Times feature: “Canadian Music Rocks the Global Stage” – click on the photo or newspaper and story titles for links to reach the full, in-depth, news reportage. Or, or use this URL below:

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/244344-canadian-music-rocks-the-global-stage

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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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Allison Crowe lands on MarsBands

The universal appeal of Allison Crowe now includes Mars – the founder of MarsBands.com – which launches its web station today with this entertaining interview. On this well-read planet it’s reigning cats and dog. ack! ack!

More exploration of MarsBands turns up this fun profile – which describes Allison Crowe as “the best thing to come out of Canada since hockey.” High praise, indeed :)

Allison Crowe - Vienna - photo by Billie Woods

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Independence Day

Ani DiFranco is inspiring to Allison Crowe for so many reasons. Here’s a musical one – “Independence Day“. Allison has been performing this song in concert pretty much since she took to the stage as a teenager. The passion level is ever constant. Track banter/intro for this song
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In this video, one of the earliest recordings of Allison, she performs the song in a singer-songwriter coffee-house in Winnipeg, Canada. Years later she recorded “Independence Day” for release on her “Live at Wood Hall” album/CD.

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It’s Snowy Rock and Roll but Allison Crowe Likes It. She’s In Good Company.

 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).
 
http://www.covermesongs.com/MP3s/Premieres/SweetDreams.mp3
 
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

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