Revolution in the air

Digging 50 years of Beatlemania in North America helps to unearth a Canadian cultural treasure in Allison Crowe’s home province on the Atlantic. The Beatles landing at New York City’s JFK International in February 1964 was emblematic of the new – the “jet set” – a revolution in air travel that made it possible for jet planes to cross the Atlantic in record times. In the era of propeller planes and the refuelling stop-overs needed to make the trip between Europe and the USA, the key North American terminal – GIA – was located in Gander, Newfoundland.

Gander International’s VIP Lounge played host to Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and Jackie O., among countless others, during those years GIA was popularly known as the “Crossroads of the World”.

Then a thriving global hub, in 1959 a new terminal opened and its construction and furniture featured creativity of leading designers – including chairs by Charles and Ray Eames -http://eamesoffice.com/charles-and-ray , “Primasteel” seating by Robin Bush, and a six-foot mural painted by Kenneth Lochhead – http://www.kennethlochhead.com

Gander International Airport – departure lounge photographed by Zach Bonnell

The advent of jet travel, however, soon redirected the flow of international air travel. With Gander facilities no longer bustling, it’s uniquely preserved a “time capsule” quality. Today, GIA is viewed as a marvel by art historians, architects and design aficionados – ”It’s still one of the most beautiful, most important Modernist rooms in the country, if not the most important,” says Alan C. Elder, Curator, Canadian Crafts and Design, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. (Recently renamed, the Canadian Museum of History is this nation’s most-visited museum).

Gander, and such nearby communities as Lewisporte, Twillingate and more, earned international renown in 2001 as GIA became haven for dozens of international aircraft grounded when airspace was shut-down in the wake of the 9/11 NYC attacks. The character of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians opening their hearts and homes to thousands of people – flight passengers and crew – during the crisis is legend – http://www.snopes.com/rumors/gander.asp#smvFTOCIkq43PMEj.99

Less-known, across even its home and native land, is how Gander long-served as “Crossroads of the World”. Awareness of GIA’s style is enjoying a renaissance in our internet age – with features in The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/travel/tmagazine/20TGANDER.html , Institute http://www.instituteartist.com/feature-Gander-Airport-Simon-Norfolk , “dwell” magazine – http://www.dwell.com/rewind/article/aviation-preservation – and more – http://itraveltree.com/virgin-atlantic-welcome-to-um-gander-canada

Most recently, Bloomberg’s high-end “Pursuits”, (a publication “for the world’s richest people”) put Gander International on its cover, with a fashion shoot – http://ca.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416276333&WT.mc_id=PUB_COM_DISC_GLOBAL_082813_Pursuits_Fall13 – calling it “the world’s coolest airport”.

GIA image – showing mural – from series by Zach Bonnell on flickr

In a fab, 18-photo, flickr gallery, Zach Bonnell of St. John’s, NL is our guide on a magical mystery tour of GIA @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachbonnell/sets/72157623762605690

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“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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“Let It Be” – Allison Crowe performs The Beatles

In My Life” – Allison Crowe performing a “John song” was our first video commemorating the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania in North America. With her take on a “Paul song” – here’s Allison now with “Let It Be”, again captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry “Turtle” Anschell (and in higher fidelity than previously available online).

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The ‘Tidings’ album version of the song – http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/let-it-be – was recorded a year or two earlier, as was Allison’s version of “Let It Be” that’s part of the NYC-produced “It Was 40 Years Ago Today” tribute album – a compilation also featuring Dee Dee Ramone, Sylvain Sylvain and other DIY, indie, alternative and punk rock musicians (released on February 9, 2004).

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Beatlemania Hits Fab 50: Allison Crowe Performs “In My Life”

“Beatlemania, as it is called, affects all social classes and all levels of intelligence,” The New York Times reported in December 1963.
We’ll hear all manner of takes on similar themes over the coming month, with this February 7 marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles landing at JFK International (New York City’s Idlewild airport rechristened on December 24, ’63 in tribute to the recently assassinated US President). The group’s appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show – broadcast over the three succeeding Sundays – electrified a new continent.
Plenty came before, and much has happened since, Pan Am Flight 101 delivered the Fab Four aboard a Boeing 707-331, known as the Clipper “Defiance”, to a world ready for joy and release.
Celebrating the musical legacy of John, Paul, George and Ringo – here’s Allison Crowe performing “In My Life” – captured in real-time by film director Alex Postowoi and crew and audio engineer Larry Anschell at Turtle Recording studios by the sea in White Rock, BC, Canada.
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(This is an higher-fidelity video recording than has been previously available!)
And, here’s another performance of the song by Allison – recorded, audio-only, at Turtle a couple of years earlier: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/in-my-life

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Coverville – Birds of a Feather

Coverville!, the long-running awarding-winning podcast and radio program today presents its “Episode 883: On a dark desert highway, indie hodgepodge in my hair“.

Coverville’s Host and Producer Brian Ibbott kindly includes “the amazing, amazing, voice of Allison Crowe” – performing Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire“, in this collection that also features covers of Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Badfinger, the Allman Brothers, Sara Bareilles, John Prine, Rolling Stones and an instrumental of George Gershwin’s “Summertime“.

Over the years, this pioneering ‘cast has enlisted Allison’s recordings for cover stories on the Eurythmics, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Counting Crows, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and fittingly – her first-ever appearance on Coverville was in Episode 202 – when she and Peter Gabriel, Madeleine Peyroux, Laura Burhenn, The Pixies, Maxx Klaxon, kd lang, and Jennifer Warnes were heard in “The Leonard Cohen Cover Story“.

Allison Crowe – first-ever guitar performance in concert – Bewley’s Café Theatre, Dublin, Ireland – Billie Woods foto

Episode 370, airing October 9, 2007, John Lennon’s birthday – is devoted to on-air chat with Allison Crowe, and spinning her covers of Counting Crows, Hunters and Collectors, Cyndi Lauper, and Joni Mitchell.

You can play, and download, all 883 Episodes of Coverville, and become a Citizen, online – and hear Coverville on KYCY 1550 AM in San Francisco every day at 2 pm. And, if you’re going that route, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

It’s a show you can check out any time you like – but you can never leave unhappy :)

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In My Life: V Day Playlist #4 of 7

Here’s a tune first delivered to the world by The Beatles and George Martin on the “Rubber Soul” LP. From the timeless songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it’s a “John song”. Allison Crowe sailed to sea and performed for Lennon family and friends come together with Scottish villagers and music-lovers from all across Europe, in Durness, Scottish Highlands. The Scotsman newspaper calls Allison a “Canadian angel” and her “In My Life” cover “one of the weekend’s most magical moments”. Here’s a video version -

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and a different performance from Allison on her “Tidings” album.

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Allison Crowe Brings Tidings 2011 from St. John’s to Victoria

It’s coming on the season to celebrate with one of the great voices in popular music.


Expect plenty of rocking holiday cheer, laced with overtones of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles and more when Allison Crowe delivers “Tidings“. The 2011 edition of Crowe’s annual holiday favourite begins in St. John’s, NL, the eastern terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway, and wraps in Victoria, BC, the western terminus.

The internationally-acclaimed musician, born on Vancouver Island, and home in Newfoundland for years now, stirs together traditional Christmas carols and holiday favourites with an organic blend of rock, jazz, folk, gospel and soul. “Be prepared to be amazed,” chimes ChristmasReviews.com Longtime NPR broadcaster Ross Hocker calls Allison Crowe’s show, “The most honest, heartfelt, and directly intimate concert in my entire life.”

Italian radio calls Allison Crowe “Una voce incredibile per una forza della natura.”

As a performing artist, Crowe is akin, in ways, to the late, great, Swedish power-house soprano, Birgit Nilsson, about whom it’s said “No record or CD could quite prepare a listener for the real thing, live in the opera house”.

Tidings is Allison Crowe’s melding of the sacred and secular in “songs of the season” and spirit. Some of the music is familiar repertoire, delivered in singular style. Some is not like anything customarily heard in a holiday-time concert.

Tidings viscerally surveys a musical terrain of carols – It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, In the Bleak Midwinter, What Child Is This, First Noel, Silent Night, O Holy Night – performed with rare artistry and passion, and emotive arrangements, alongside the modern canon of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Lennon/McCartney+, and Allison Crowe’s original songs, (including the just-composed “Arthur“, and the epic “Disease“), that draw on themes of faith, hope, sorrow, joy, redemption, transcendence and more from life’s well.

First staged in 2003, Tidings is an exciting experience shared by music-lovers around the world. This holiday season, Allison Crowe, with some very special musical guests, brings Tidings to:

St. John’s, NL – D.F. Cook Recital Hall – November 25

Corner Brook, NL – First United Church – December 2

Nanaimo, BC – St. Andrew’s United Church – December 10 – Featuring: Christopher Wood; Raymond Salgado; Kiana Smith; Kaleigh Hargrove; Taylor Manns; Emily Blake & Guests to aid The Mind’s Eye + Woodlands SS Band and Basketball programs

Vancouver, BC – St. Jame’s Hall – December 11 – Featuring guest artist: Juniper Watters

Campbell River, BC – St. Peter’s Anglican Church – Dec. 15 – Featuring: The Campbell River Childrens Choir with Director Barbara Prowse to aid Campbell River Hospice Society & CR Food Bank

Victoria, BC – Fairfield United Church – Dec. 17 (NB a shift from original date of Dec. 9) – Featuring guest artists: Haley Walker; & Billie Woods to aid Artemis Place, (girls’ educational and life-skills), and HepCBC

On Thursday, December 22, you can join Allison Crowe in her birth-place of Nanaimo, B.C. for the “Light Up a Life” Sing-along – part of the campaign for Haven Society organized by the Old City Quarter Merchants.

Full details of the “Tidings” concerts and sing-along will be posted @ allisoncrowe.com

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Bauerfeind – zdf.kultur features Allison Crowe and remixers

Christian Hufgard (Musikpiraten e.V.) sends word on a program broadcast by German tv channel zdf.kultur. He notes:
“German tv produced a spot about remixing/mashups and the FreeMixter. Allison Crowe as its patron has been featured – and a couple of remixes:
http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/1408600/Bauerfeind-am-14.-August-2011 (Starting at 08:17)”
Bauerfeind am 14. August 2011
Von angesagten Nerds, digitalen Gutmenschen auf Soforthilfe-Suche, Samples und Kopien mit Recht und der wunderbaren Joy Denalane. Schaun wir mal, dann sehn wir schon!
The Beatles, Danger Mouse, Jay-Z,  Allison (a clip of her “Hallelujah” video appears at about 11:43), and sounds of remixers Jeris, Salvatore-J, Incoherent Mumble Train and more.
Wunderbar! Danke Christian, ZDF and to all involved! Enjoy :)

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In My Life

We’ve heard a “Paul song” from “Tidings“, here, now, is a “John song”. Allison Crowe performs “In My Life“. On the stage of the Village Hall, Durness, Scottish Highlands, Allison played this Beatles’ favourite for John Lennon’s sister, Julia, and other relatives, local villagers and musicians and music-lovers from across Europe come together to celebrate the “John Lennon Northern Lights Festival.” We all shine on…
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In this video, Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe performs, live-in-the-studio, The Beatles’ beautiful In My Life. “There are places I’ll remember/ All my life though some have changed…” wrote John Lennon ~ and, with Paul McCartney contributing on the musical side, the song marked a beginning of a more literary creativity for The Fab Four.

This version is a different performance to the song recording found on Allison Crowe’s “Tidings” album. It’s recorded in the same room – Larry Anschell’s Turtle Recording studio in White Rock, B.C., Canada.

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Let It Be

Let It Be” is our next “Tidings” song – captured live-off-the-floor at Turtle studios in White Rock, Canada. The Beatles’ songbook is rich for interpreters and this gospel-inflected tune by John Lennon and Paul McCartney is one which Allison Crowe loves to perform and have people sing along.

Here’s another “Let It Be” performance, recorded in the same studio as the Tidings version:

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