“Famous Blue Raincoat” mash-up

Concluding “Heavy Graces”, the audio album, and the music-movie mash-up series that accompanies Allison Crowe’s newest release – is this second version of “Famous Blue Raincoat”.

The song’s composer, Leonard Cohen, says, it reflects on the “tyranny” of possession — of the kind that enslaves us as women and men.
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Impressionistic visuals come from director Josef von Sternberg’s 1930/31 film “The Blue Angel” (“Der blaue Engel“). Experience this classic movie in full @ http://archive.org/details/theblueangel1930

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“Better Man”, “Control”, + “Dissolve”

“It seems our favorite independent singer-songwriter is more determined than ever to forge her own path. I predict we’ll be seeing Allison Crowe not once but twice on our best of the year list,” says music blogger Muruch in a review of Allison’s new album, “Heavy Graces”, (and referencing “Newfoundland Vinyl”, her LP/album out earlier this year): http://www.muruch.com/2013/10/allison-crowe-heavy-graces.html

Heavy Graces includes new songs from the pen and soul of Allison Crowe, alongside the Canadian artist’s interpretations of tunes composed by Leonard Cohen and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
It’s accompanied by a series of music-movie mash-ups.
Here she covers a favourite by Eddie Vedder – first performed by EV with the band Bad Radio – and, then, naturally, with Pearl Jam.

Allison Crowe identifies “Vitalogy“, PJ’s 1994 album, as one of the central music influences during her formative teen years. She tells music blogger, Stephen Thomas (co-founder of the UK’s Folkroom Records):

“And, of course, I have ALWAYS dreamed in colour and loved Better Man.”

“Singing along to ‘Better Man’ with an entire Vancouver concert audience the first time I ever managed to experience Pearl Jam live… is something I will never forget. We were freaking GOOD singers! I can’t wait to experience that again.”

With her own, roots rock, version of the song, Crowe brings past and present together musically. Visually, as well, time is elastic and themes impressionistic.

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The music is joined by an excerpt from the silent film classic “Broken Blossoms” – directed by D.W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish as Lucy Burrows, Donald Crisp as Battling Burrows, (her abusive father), and Richard Barthelmess as Cheng Huan (who befriends and nurses Lucy).

The original songs from Allison Crowe’s new album are visually paired with scenes from the classic Buster Keaton silent film, “The General” – several videos of which we’ve posted already – combining humor and pathos.

Now, here’s “Control“:

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and, “Dissolve“:

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Allison Crowe’s Timeless Voice Lifts “Heavy Graces”

Heavy Graces” is out now.

It’s musician Allison Crowe’s second album of new recordings in 2013 – the releases book-ending Crowe’s cameo appearance in the Hollywood blockbuster, “Man of Steel”, and her curating and music-directing TNL’s stage production of “Newfoundland Vinyl”, an hit show at this Summer’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

On this latest collection the Canadian artist is writing, singing, playing piano, guitar, doing percussion, engineering, production, album art, and photography. And she’s picked up her Great-Grandfather’s fiddle and includes it on several tracks – adding shades of Scarlet Rivera, had the Rolling Thunder Revue sought shelter from the storm in Corner Brook, NL.

“It seems our favorite independent singer-songwriter is more determined than ever to forge her own path. I predict we’ll be seeing Allison Crowe not once but twice on our best of the year list,” says music blog Muruch @ http://www.muruch.com/2013/10/allison-crowe-heavy-graces.html

Muruch’s review of “Heavy Graces” references, as well, “Newfoundland Vinyl”, Allison Crowe’s LP of popular and traditional songs of the island region where she’s home on the Atlantic. It’s an album which has listeners recalling Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Ryan’s Fancy, Anais Mitchell, and the McGarrigle sisters, Kate and Anna.

All told, Crowe’s released three albums so far this year: “Songbook”- an oeuvre-spanning 22-song compilation – the music of which, naturally, draws more diverse praise including comparisons with Solomon Burke, Joni Mitchell, and Modest Mussorgsky – all the while Crowe’s passionate singularity is recognized and enjoyed by critics and fans alike.

Heavy Graces“, features new songs from the pen and soul of Allison Crowe, alongside her interpretations of tunes composed by Leonard Cohen (“Famous Blue Raincoat” – in two versions) and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder (“Better Man”).

Allison Crowe delights in working with today’s film directors – this year, Tom Anton on “The Pardon”, and Zack Snyder for the Superman reboot, “Man of Steel” – and their amazing production teams.

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Via today’s digital archives, there’s now opportunity for artistry and fun to combine music and movies in timeless fashion. The songs of “Heavy Graces” are accompanied visually, in video form, by a series of excerpts from silent-era, and other classic b/w, films from directors D.W. Griffith, Josef von Sternberg, Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman.

(Album @ http://www.music.allisoncrowe.com/album/heavy-graces and via iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and all major music services online.)


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Famous Blue Raincoat (choral) – Allison Crowe (Heavy Graces)

Famous Blue Raincoat“, its composer, Leonard Cohen, says, reflects on the “tyranny” of possession — of the kind that enslaves us as women and men.

It’s territory covered here by musician Allison Crowe. (Crowe’s previously celebrated the Cohen songbook via renowned interpretations of “Hallelujah“, “Joan of Arc” and other tunes from the master songsmith.)
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Impressionistic visual accompaniment comes via film scenes from “The Blue Angel” (“Der blaue Engel” first released in Europe in 1930 saw its full North American release the following year.)

This choral rendition of the Leonard Cohen classic is the first of two versions recorded by Allison Crowe for her album “Heavy Graces“.

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BBC’s Hallelujah doc examines Leonard Cohen’s unique mix of spirit and flesh

In late 2003, Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” was mostly known as a male-sung ballad. Allison Crowe unleashed a vitally different interpretation on “Tidings” – her ‘03 EP that proved so popular it’s re-released the next year as a full-length CD.

Five years later, pretty much to the day, BBC Radio 2 in the UK broadcast an one-hour documentary on the song, which, by this time, was being covered almost continually. Host of “The Fourth, the Fifth, the Minor Fall” is Guy Garvey of the band Elbow.

The BBC crew caught up with Allison Crowe at View Two Gallery in Liverpool, England – where she was visiting as a guest for Beatles Week. The space was empty as an echo chamber, and special thanks go to producer Richard McIlroy who captured the audio in the moment – shared with his rapt two year-old.

Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has now been covered more than 200 times, and each performer, and audience, finds their own meaning and inspiration. For visceral Allison Crowe, as she explains in this interview excerpt from the full documentary, it’s about body and soul.

http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/the-fourth-the-fifth-the-minor-fall-allison-crowe-w-bbcs-guy-garvey-on-leonard-cohens-hallelujah

Also heard in this segment, chatting with Guy Garvey, are singer Kathryn Williams, The Bishop of Croydon – Nicholas Baines, and Cohen-collector and scholar Jim Devlin.

The BBC prefaced its broadcast on All Saint’s Day, November 1, 2008:

“Warning: Listening to this sampling of artists, critics, and other commentators talk about their perspectives on Hallelujah may put ones preconceived notions about the song at risk.”

http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/hallelujah

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