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Allison Crowe / Blog

"Why Music? Why Breathing?" Celtic Music Fan on Allison Crowe & Band's Debut

“I have not heard of anyone who sings with the vulnerability or childhood innocence and the piercing intensity of Edith Piaf the way she does, well at least not in this lifetime,” says writer/editor Baxter Labatos, founder of “The Celtic Music Fan”, in a review of Allison Crowe and Band’s debut. “It is quite amazing how she can do so many things with her voice. She’s a woman with a guitar who belts out like Aretha Franklin, a bodhran player with soul in her heart and, yes, a pianist with the grace of a classical performer.”

Of “Introducing / Heirs+Grievances”, the double-disc now coming to North American audiences in concert, the percipient international blogger sums up: “The powerful voice and instrumental prowess will delight fans and new converts of Allison Crowe’s artistic genius.”

Enjoy the full review – and the music @


Allison, LIN, Sarah & Dave Thrilling Live

Prepare for joy and fun, gravitas and levity in harmony, across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast as a great artistic, journey courses on-stage again soon – when Allison Crowe (vocals, piano, guitar, fiddle & bodhran) and bandmates LIN (cello, vocals), Sarah White (mandolin, guitarist, vocals) & Dave Baird (bass) bring their “Introducing / Heirs+Grievances” tour to North America.

Experience the excitement of the group and its evolving sound live: Sat., October 22 @ 7:30pm – Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre, Tofino Thur., October 27 @ 7:30pm – Ladysmith First United Church, Ladysmith Sat., October 29 @ 7:30pm – Charlie White Theatre, Sidney/Victoria Thur., November 3 @ 7:30pm – Port Theatre, Nanaimo Sat., November 5 @ 7:30pm – Tidemark Theatre, Campbell River Thur., November 10 @ 7:30pm – Patricia Theatre, Powell River Sat., November 12 @ 7:30pm – Heritage Playhouse Theatre, Gibsons (Sunshine Coast)

The quartet’s thrilling hybrid of Canadiana, Celtic, jazz, roots, folk, soul and rock flowed across Europe this Spring. It’s now somewhere else – be part of it all in-person and online:

https://www.facebook.com/AllisonCroweMusic/events + http://allisoncrowe.com/tour.html + http://music.allisoncrowe.com

On Tour Soon - Stirring Anew the Magic of Introducing / Heirs+Grievances

Allison Crowe and Band will come together and be back on the road/stage this October and November stirring anew the magic of the Introducing / Heirs+Grievances Tour! Allison Crowe – vocals, piano, guitar, fiddle, bodhran; Lin - cello, vocals; Sarah White – mandolin, guitar, vocals; and Dave Baird – bass. Concert details and more very soon!

Allison Crowe's Rubenesque Records Celebrates 15 Years

Rubenesque Records, the music label of Allison Crowe, is 15.

An artist, a person with the integrity of this Canadian islander was always going to find her own way and on August 23, 2001, Allison incorporated Rubenesque Records Ltd. and carried on the road less-traveled – stating: "Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make."

Righteous Babe Record’s founders, musician Ani DiFranco and manager Scot Fisher, remain a model of truly independent spirit and creativity in today’s record industry – hopeful proof that "If you are disgustingly sincere and terribly diligent, there are ways for any serious artist to operate outside the corporate structure."

Rubenesque Records marks its 15th year with the debut of Allison Crowe and Band – “Introducing / Heirs + Grievances” – the 20th release by the label, and the launch of another, exciting, creative phase.

Virtuosic, versatile and visceral – Allison Crowe’s amazing body of work is experienced through more than 150 original song recordings, on board with Canadiana, sea chanteys, Celtic aires, hymns, carols, tunes of Newfoundland and Labrador, centuries-old broadside ballads renewed, as well as singular interpretations of Counting Crows, Pearl Jam, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Tori Amos, The Beatles, Broadway, jazz, soul and so much else.

Allison’s talents and accomplishments are too vast and varied to be summed up in words. The music says it all @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com

“Allison Crowe August” is what DJ Mark Jabroni of CHMR Radio in St. John’s, NL has proclaimed this month. Rubenesque itself has some special music releases, tours, concerts and more fun in the works to celebrate with gusto this August – and everything after.

Right now, bridging the years, here’s vintage video of Allison performing in Vienna early this century paired with audio from her band’s most recent concert in Vancouver. “Secrets”, Allison Crowe’s piano and vocals with cellist Lin Lin is part of “Introducing”, the live disc half of Rubenesque’s newest (RRL 00020). Sláinte mhaith!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpdhNMTIQsI

An Artful Sunday Serving

Today, Sunday, July 3, Michael Enright, Host of CBC Radio’s “The Sunday Edition”, starts the first hour of his program with an essay on ”why we don’t know anything”. Following this, Enright meets up with “extraordinary polymath” Steve Martin, known to many as comedian, musician and more – and the pair venture through the Art Gallery of Ontario. On Canada Day the AGO opened its comprehensive exhibit, “The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris”, curated by Martin, “an eloquent missionary on behalf of” Harris, a member of Canada’s famous “Group of Seven” landscape painters.

Bridging this gallery tour with the show’s next segment, a serenade to a “smart, long-living, matriarchal animal” (the donkey) – is a celebratory musical performance from Allison Crowe and Band. (No spoilers as to the song.) Tune in across Canada (on CBC Radio One - Sunday at 9 a.m. outside NL and 9:30am in NL + 'Round Midnight' Monday at 12 midnight).

Around the world, as well, enjoy the show, any time, by visiting http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/getting-it-wrong-steve-martin-art-curator-in-praise-of-the-donkey-the-biological-clock-canadian-diplomacy-1.3655850 - and clicking on LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE 01:42:58. Allison and Band are heard a little more than 32 minutes into the program – but stick around, as 'The Sunday Edition' delivers more stories in its second hour, and, as promised, “a full course of great music to garnish your Canada Day weekend from Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington, Allison Crowe, Papa Haydn and the Gene di Novi trio”.

Introducing / Heirs & Grievances

Allison Crowe & Band have just recorded a new album. Collectively, 27 song tracks, (representing 20 unique song titles), will be released in the New Year from recent sessions at White Rock, BC’s storied Turtle Recording Studios and from a live concert in Vancouver, Canada.

Allison’s titled the studio set “Heirs & Grievances” and the live set “Introducing”.

Growing up on rock and popular music – before its mass corporatization – it was thrilling to experience the creative vitality, the ideas and sounds of such bands as The Beatles, The Kinks, Mott the Hoople, The (Small) Faces, Pink Floyd… and original voices on the radio and turn-table – Van Morrison, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Luke Kelly, Otis Redding, David Bowie, Elton John, Patti Smith and so many, many, more singular talents.

My rock/pop roots are seeded in a time before Allison and her fellow musicians are born. Thankfully, these new tracks deliver the same, genuine, feelings as did those recordings from such artists emerging in previous generations.

"Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," says Allison Crowe. And she does - with bandmates Billie Woods (guitar, vox), Lin Lin (cello, vox), Sarah White (multi-instrumentalist), and Dave Baird (bass).

Melting down some lines lacquered on the body of an earlier water-shed recording of lore, “Introducing / Heirs & Grievances”, today, “is a magnificent album that pays off on every bet ever placed…”

Sláinte! Adrian (du Plessis)

Coming Ashore: Allison Crowe and Band with Recordings and Concert Joy

Bi-coastal musician, who’s cameoed in the latest Superman movie and toured with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, brings her band to Canada's mainland for the first time

Islander Allison Crowe (vocals, piano, guitar, fiddle, bodhran) and bandmates Billie Woods (guitar, vox), Lin Lin (cello, vox), and Dave Baird (bass) bring their singular hybrid of Canadiana, Celtic, jazz, roots, folk, soul and original rock to mainland Canada with a concert at Vancouver’s St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Ave.) on Friday, November 13 at 8pm.

This weekend the group's in recording sessions at White Rock’s storied Turtle studios with Engineer/Producer Larry Anschell (Pearl Jam, Bif Naked, Sarah McLachlan) – capturing what will be, either, Crowe’s fifth album of 2015 (including a 21-song curated collection), or her, first release of 2016.

“Sylvan Hour is truly a masterpiece”, says pioneering culture blog Muruch of Crowe’s Springtime offering. “The music seems to rise from deep with her chest, sometimes ripping out of her throat in full roar, other times being restrained and shaped with the skill of a master sculptor.”

And, her newest song collection to reach ears carries forward with winning praise: “Newfoundland Vinyl 3 by Allison Crowe brings the beautiful winter breeze early,” says The Celtic Music Fan. “Allison’s music offers an “unique listening experience as I don’t think I have met a kind of style or recording like hers. The styles vary from traditional to modern… Fiddlers Green, The Irish Rover will appeal to lovers of Irish music. While the rest are infused in folk, pop and blues style… Allison Crowe’s arrangements are simple and they exude an intimate air which is rare these days, in a world where music is overblown or over-produced. You get the sense of organic simplicity in each track. It’s the feeling of coming home after a long hard day from work.”

“Further jaunts and ‘me boys’ abound with Crowe bringing a joyous appreciation to the traditional folk roots of the songwriting and authentic presentations… This is definitely traditional fare delivered with genuine, folk-honest class” notes Some Diurnal Aural Awe. “A fine guitarist and an absolutely stunning pianist, Ms Crowe plays and sings with a genuine passion that is completely void of vacuous histrionics. She skates the edges of soulful folk and folky soul with a commanding ease… With this release she accomplishes what few artists even attempt” is the comment @ “It’s Only Rock’n’Roll”.

Out now is Souling (Bonus Tracks Edition)” – an album which expands upon Allison Crowe’s popular acapella release of last Christmas season. This year she’s added one traditional carol plus fresh takes on the secular holiday songbook. With characteristic distinction, Crowe’s crystalline pure approach brings new emotional colour to “Blue Christmas” and other classics.

Allison Crowe with Band: Revolution on its Way

Allison Crowe, the amazing Nanaimo, Vancouver Island-born musician, home in Newfoundland for a decade now, is here in British Columbia this month to resume the launch of a new band and creative phase.

In the record-melting heat of this Summer, Crowe (vocals, piano, guitar, bodhran, fiddle) and bandmates Billie Woods (guitar, vox), Celine Greb (cello, vox) and Dave Baird (bass) performed their first shows. The group’s hybrid of Canadiana, Celtic, jazz, roots, folk, soul and original rock is next on-stage: October 23 in Sidney’s Charlie White Theatre; October 30 at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre; and November 13 at Vancouver’s St. James Hall. (NB “Tidings”, Allison Crowe’s Christmastime concert series, resumes next year in BC.)

Between concert dates the band is in sessions at Turtle studios in White Rock, BC with engineer/producer Larry Anschell (Pearl Jam, Bif Naked, Sarah McLachlan). Several of Allison Crowe’s 15 album releases, including the classics “Tidings” and “Live at Wood Hall”, have been captured by Anschell and his audio team.

Capping more than a decade of primarily solo touring and recording, Crowe has three releases coming this season.

"Muruch.com Presents: Allison Crowe”, out this week via Bandcamp, is a 21-song anthology and playlist curated by one of the first, and now longest-running, legal-mp3 music websites. The West Virginia-based culture blog gathers its personal favourites from her recorded repertoire explaining: “Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe has long been Muruch’s musical mascot, so it seemed fitting to celebrate her music along with Muruch.com’s 15th anniversary.”

October 20, 2015 brings the release of “Newfoundland Vinyl 3” (on Bandcamp, iTunes et al), newest in the acclaimed series of albums refreshing folk, traditional, and popular music of Canada’s Atlantic coast. Waltzes, parlour songs, rousing tunes of land and sea emerge from Crowe’s role as Musical Director with Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s hit show, “Newfoundland Vinyl”, at the annual Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

Allison Crowe’s bond with the TNL family, and the region’s wonderful musicians and actors, provides inspiration as well for “Souling (Bonus Tracks Edition)” out this October 27 (worldwide through all major digital outlets). Expanding upon 2014’s singular all-acappella collection of sacred and traditional Christmas carols she performs – acappella and with choral-focus – select songs of heart and hearth from the popular songbook.

Concert, recording, and other Allison Crowe news is found on the artist’s original website @ http://allisoncrowe.com soon to merge with a band site currently @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/wordpress

Allison Crowe's Artist Subscription Launch

Allison Crowe’s artist “subscription” launches!

It’s a new way forward for independent music-makers and music-lovers on Bandcamp – which has hosted Allison’s music for years.

An artist can now share their own creative flow individually and directly (as well as being part of such global music-streaming subscription services as Spotify, Tidal and all).

This subscription, for $40 USD per year, gives you all the new music Allison Crowe creates – delivered instantly to you via the Bandcamp app for iOS and Android. The music is available for continual streaming, and for permanent download (in your choice of digital audio formats).

By subscribing you also receive – as downloads and for streaming – all the music recordings from Rubenesque Records, Allison’s label: “Lisa’s Song + 6 Songs”; “secrets”; “Tidings”; “Live at Wood Hall”; “This Little Bird”; “Little Light”; “Spiral”; “Arthur/Up to the Mountain”; “Tidings Concert”; "Newfoundland Vinyl"; "Heavy Graces"; "Tarry Trousers"; "Souling"; "Newfoundland Vinyl II"; “Crowe: Covers, Live + Rare”; and "Songbook".

The universe as it unfolds also includes access to the Allison Crowe fan community, and a 15% discount on all physical merchandise eg. CDs, LPs (and things Allison’s yet to conceive or create).

The doors of perception are opening wider – Allison and Link, Rubenesque’s top-dog, welcome you @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com/subscribe

"Sylvan Hour" Nears

“Sylvan Hour” arrives this Friday - May 1. Here’s the album’s front cover - and some word on a classic song collection: Discover this music from a remarkable artist at a personal and creative crossroads in her life. “Sylvan Hour” is an album of songs bridging west and east, piano and guitar, then and now… For fans of Allison Crowe at her purest, this is voice, one accompanying instrument – one take. Real-time performances in the sequence they’re played and sung by Allison in a log-home on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada. That afternoon the musician was in the midst of migrating from her birthplace of Nanaimo, BC, on Canada’s Pacific, to a new nest in Corner Brook, NL, on the Atlantic coast. Soon to fly east, Crowe bade farewell to those near and dear on western shores – including compatriot Kayla Schmah on Salt Spring, neighbouring Vancouver Island. Decades earlier Schmah’s parents had made an epic trek to the Pacific Northwest from Central Canada – in a repurposed donut truck. Planting themselves in the Gulf Islands archipelago, they lived at first in a converted parachute in the woods. From the ground up the home-steaders then built a family dwelling out of Douglas Fir – their “sylvan castle”. Allison and Kayla, as musicians had shared stages together from their teens onward (and, years later, becoming a film-scorer in Hollywood, Schmah brilliantly orchestrated and produced Crowe’s album “Spiral”.) Among the friends together on SSI this day was Ryan Adams (who, like Schmah was a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music and was en route to becoming an in-demand tv/film audio engineer in Los Angeles). With mics and a laptop set-up in the living-room, Adams captured this set of the newest songs in Allison’s repertoire – originals including “Skeletons and Spirits”, “Running”, and “Silence” as well as a trio of covers (interpreting songs famously by Joni Mitchell, The Lovin’ Spoonful and Aretha Franklin). Also gorgeous, but differently so, essentially group versions of most of these songs were released near the end of that same year (2006) on Allison Crowe’s album “This Little Bird” (the title track a celebration of her migration). “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” is the sole sylvan session recording released before – it’s presented now within the full hour of music for all time. Enjoy this most natural of talents – in this most natural of settings.