Dr. Heck’s Holiday Prescription

The much-liebed “Heck of a Guy“, a shining star in the universe of Leonard Cohen-centric blogs, is rockin’ around the tree to the sounds of Allison Crowe’s just-released “Tidings Concert” album. Listening is invited: “if you’re into something more enthusiastically, gleefully, contagiously joyous… welcome home”.

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Tidings Concert video playlist

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New album, concert tour, and documentary film come a’pealing

It’s coming on “Tidings” – and that means the voice of Allison Crowe will soon ring out traditional favourites, Christmas carols such as “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, “In the Bleak Midwinter”, and “The First Noel”, alongside the modern canon of Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, Lennon & McCartney and original song selections including the elegiac “Arthur”, and the epic, foot-stomping, “Disease”.

Allison’s just off the road, wrapping up her second engagement of this year with Canada’s amazing Royal Winnipeg Ballet – performing songs of Leonard Cohen. With the love experienced on the dance stage, as well as recent European concert dates and this Summer’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival hit, “Newfoundland Vinyl”, still touching souls – it’s time to rally a repertoire that decks us all in comfort and joy whatever life’s circumstances.

“Allison Crowe is a stunningly talented performer. Her voice celebrates the music with a bluesy rock-gospel intensity; her controlled vibrato, silken rasp, and powerful projection rivet your attention. This is no casual background music… be prepared to be amazed,” says Carol Swanson (ChristmasReviews).

Drawing themes of faith, hope, sorrow, joy, redemption, transcendence and more from an abundant well of music, this year, there’s plenty of ways to rejoice with Allison as she melds the sacred and secular in “songs of the season” and spirit.

Tidings Concert”, captured truly by Engineer and Mixer Brad Graham, and FOH Engineer Ed Johnson, and mixed at Turtle Recording in White Rock, BC, Canada is released on November 25 (debuting @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/tidings-concert with some days grace for iTunes and other folks observing Thanksgiving this weekend). This album set, her eighth full-length collection, features 19 in-concert performances, and, for the first time, audio from Crowe’s “Hallelujah” video which now has a worldwide audience of greater than 10 million people (more than eight million genuine views on YouTube alone).

Right after this music release, Allison embarks on a “Tidings” concert tour allied with special guests and special causes:

NOVEMBER 29 – Campbell River, BC, Canada – St. Peter’s Anglican Church – featuring The Campbell River Childrens Choir’s “Zephyr” w. Director Barbara Prowse and accompanist Judy Melny – presented by Rockin’ Ron Nicolaye to aid Campbell River Hospice Society & CR Food Bank

DECEMBER 1 – Victoria, BC, Canada – Fairfield United Church – with guest artist, singer-songwriter, Billie Woods – to aid Artemis Place, (girls’ educational and life-skills), and HepCBC

DECEMBER 5 – Nanaimo, BC, Canada – Old City Quarter – Community Carol Sing-along in support of “Light up a Life” campaign for Haven Society

DECEMBER 8 – Nanaimo, BC, Canada – St. Andrew’s United Church – with a cavalcade of Vancouver Island’s finest young musical talent: Chelsea Peckett, Daniel Knapp, Paige Hughes, Raymond Salgado, Kaleigh Hargrove & Emily Blake – to aid The Mind’s Eye (youth newspaper) + Woodlands SS Band and Basketball programs

DECEMBER 14 – Corner Brook, NL, Canada – Arts and Culture Centre – Tidings fun barrels down the chimney in this caring and creative Atlantic community

DECEMBER 15 – Corner Brook, NL, Canada – Arts and Culture Centre – World Premiere screenings of the Peter Buckle-directed documentary ~ “A Corner Brook Tidings” – a film featuring Allison Crowe and you – created with gracious assistance of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC)

Fuller details @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/tour.html – and plenty more to come!

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“Absolutely fabulous” Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Musician Allison Crowe in the dressing room at the lovely Imperial Theatre, Saint John, New Brunswick, on the final night of touring with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet – performing in “The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen“.

Allison says her friend, photographer, and fellow-musician Billie Woods took a photo like this a few years back, when Alley, Billie and band were on tour. So, she’s trying it out here :)

The view from backstage – Allison’s piano and bench is bathed in blue light so you don’t see it out front…

“Absolutely fabulous” – this description by writer and educator Lori Mayne neatly sums up the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Maritime Tour. “Had chills during the selection set to Leonard Cohen’s words and music.”

Here’s a family portrait of the RWB on the road! (photo by Ingrid Kottke)

NB The people in this picture are having the time of their lives. You can, too :)

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Dancing Days Are Here Again

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the first organization to present a theatrical or dance production of the works of Leonard Cohen, (1970s “The Shining People of Leonard Cohen“), in May, 2012, presents the World Premiere of “The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen“, contemporary dance wedded to the words and music of Cohen, choreographed by Jorden Morris. Musician Allison Crowe performs “Hallelujah” live on-stage (voice, piano) in this new ballet’s first run.

In November 2012, “The Doorway” opens in Canada’s Maritime provinces – touring as part of the RWB’s virtuosic quadruple bill… and the legend grows!

Allison Crowe reprises “Hallelujah” in this newest dance incarnation – and also brings to the stage new versions of “Bird on a Wire” and “Sisters of Mercy“.

A sensation in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet nextt takes to the stage in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and Saint John, NB.

Allison Crowe is loving the opportunity to again collaborate with the amazing RWB – performing songs of Leonard Cohen :)

“Here comes Allison Crowe’s piano for tonight’s RWB ballet performance at the Confederation Centre (of the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI) tweets Darcy Campbell about this photo

Andrea Nemetz, Dance Critic for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, attended opening night of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Maritime Tour – and has this to say about the Leonard Cohen-rooted ballet in the program:

RWB technique, emotion dazzle in Halifax return

The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen‘ was the evening’s only departure from classical ballet. Choreographed by Jorden Morris, the emotionally charged piece was the story of lovers in different stages of relationships told through Cohen’s music and words.

The Letters (sung on tape by Cohen and Jennifer Warnes) showcased a man and a woman desperate for communication, eagerly anticipating missives from lovers, dismayed or elated at their receipt, leaping over chairs or tables or draping themselves miserably over the objects.

Bird on a Wire, sung by Allison Crowe, was a duet in which the couple were achingly and joyously in love, while Sisters of Mercy, also sung by Crowe, showcased the supportive friendship between a group of women.

Since you Asked, a poem from a CD, was a duet for two men, powerful and full of loneliness.

And while the glorious sounds of Crowe’s signature rendition of Hallelujah filled the room, Sophia Lee transfixed the audience with the poignancy of her performance.”

Full ballet review @ http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/166277-rwb-technique-emotion-dazzle-in-halifax-return

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet paid homage to a Canadian legend in The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen during its performance in Halifax. (Bruce Monk photo)

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