Allison Crowe / Blog

"Hold Back" + "Effortless" Ciné

“Cinema changed him and he changed cinema,” Agnès Varda, the great Ixelles (Brussels)-born French photographer and film director, says of cultural confrère, French-Swiss director/screenwriter/critic, Jean-Luc Godard.

JLG’s short “Une femme coquette” is filmed in Geneva with credits to Hans Lucas (a nom de guerre the ground-breaking iconoclast used also for writings in ‘Cahier du Cinéma’). It’s rarely exhibited and seen until its recent sharing online with the world by Australian cinéaste and critic Dave Hesler. (Gracias, Nina, for flagging the original now available in full via YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzpFi0uBmzs and elsewhere.)

This early (1955) creation of Godard, as excerpted here, finds its images meeting new sound – from Canadian musician Allison Crowe. “Hold Back” is recorded by Crowe herself at home in Corner Brook, NL. The ciné song’s lyricism reveals “an heart of mystery and some fears faced”.


“Effortless” is recorded by Ryan Adams in a log-home of Crowe’s friends on Salt Spring Island, BC. “Trying not to try so hard” is the puzzle.


"Secrets" of Mona Lisa

“There is hope,” writes musician Allison Crowe. “That word keeps coming up. It makes me think that maybe it’s real. It is resilient. You can try to leave it out but it keeps putting itself back in place. You can try to deny it but it won’t stay buried.”

Crowe’s writing her first book, “Fluttering” about which she says: “There's a few paragraphs that are just sort of thinking out loud but, for the most part, there's either poems, prose, thought pieces, or stream of consciousness.”

She’s composing, as well, for her next album – the artist’s 22nd on Rubenesque Records’ label. “Rare Birds” brings together again her brilliant bi-coastal band for concerts and recordings.

Right now, here’s one of music’s great voices and one of rock’s great songs – “Secrets (That Aren’t My Own)” – a previously-unreleased version from Allison Crowe and Band’s “Heirs+Grievances” sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsnxX21C9Ko

"Great Island Wonder"

For the love of music, for the love of all life, this February 14, whether you celebrate Valentine’s or V-Day, or however, simply, you mark another day of existence – there’ll be a special soundtrack coming from Allison Crowe.

A rare batch of “Great Island Wonder”, (named, also, for the love of bootlegs), is 18 song performances straight from the heart – and banter galore – captured by audio archivist John MacMillan in concert on Canada’s Denman Island a dozen years ago. This show, hosted by Denman’s Mélanie Bilodeau, offers a repast – an edible, audible, document of the artist’s solo repertoire at one delectable moment in time.

Album art was originally anticipated to be wholly cartographic in nature – however, with such an Hipgnotic foto now facing us, the song+ info will be mapped out solely on GIW’s back cover to be released with the music on 14.02.2017.

Album cover foto: Allison Crowe @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/GreatIslandWonderalbumcovertan.jpg

"I remember you well..."

This weekend Allison Crowe joins the Bay of Islands Sunday Session (Ivan Emke et al), Nick Hamlyn, Ruth Lawrence, Daniel Payne, Dahlia & Bridget, Helen Fox Reid, Emma Peckford, Tara Manuel with Michael Rigler, Louise Gauthier w. Tom Brennan and Cindy Kawaja, Gary & Whit on-stage in “ No Way to Say Goodbye…” – a loving tribute to the buckskin boy who’s uplifted our world through words and music, the bard Leonard Cohen.

As the artists soon take the Rotary Arts Centre stage, in Corner Brook, Newfoundland we all share in the salute. Here’s a live-in-the-studio, (previously unreleased), track from Allison Crowe and Band’s “Introducing / Heirs+Grievances” debut. Allison (vocals, piano) and LIN (cello) check-in with “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” – “I remember you well…” http://music.allisoncrowe.com/track/chelsea-hotel-no-2-h-g

"No Way to Say Goodbye, a tribute to Leonard Cohen"

When maestro Leonard Cohen passed away this Winter Allison Crowe and Band were in the midst of a concert tour. Immediate on-stage and audience outpourings of emotion and acknowledgement of the great loss of the man and artist flowed then.

Now, event organizers in Allison’s snowy home of Corner Brook, Newfoundland are planning a celebration of Leonard Cohen, his poetry, music and life – to happen next Saturday, January 14 at 8pm in the city’s Rotary Arts Centre: https://www.facebook.com/events/1345683302119641

“No Way To Say Goodbye, a tribute to Leonard Cohen” – to benefit the Artist Emergency Fund for Newfoundland and Labrador, CAPE (Cultural Artists Plan for Emergencies) – brings together Allison Crowe, Louise Gauthier, Tara Manuel, Dahlia & Bridget, Ruth Lawrence, Daniel Payne, Gary & Whit, Emma Peckford, Helen Fox Reid and more Cohen comrades and partisans.

Earlier, at 4pm, January 14, also at the RAC, will be a screening of “Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. Leonard Cohen” – the National Film Board’s 1965 documentary portrait directed by Donald Brittain & Don Owen: https://www.facebook.com/event/1191539880927868

Clodagh Mara O'Connell Joins Allison Crowe & Co. for New Adventures

The music of Allison Crowe has travelled greatly this century. Now, with bandmates, LIN, Sarah White & Dave Baird, there’s more adventure ahead.

And, it’s with immense delight and gratitude we welcome aboard Clodagh Mara O’Connell – newly appointed Road & Merch Manager for the group.

Clodagh is a lawyer and former music journalist and screenwriter. Her deep love of music and the arts has been the constant in her life and work. Clodagh’s passions and talents flow together with Allison + band in, both, admin and hands-on areas.

Art and all at Rubenesque Records Ltd. has never shone brighter as we enter this New Year. A new web home is being built @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/wordpress - and the ol’ faithful site remains @ http://allisoncrowe.com – enjoy all the music @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com

Musical Advent Calendar

Each day through Christmas another Allison Crowe music link will open - click on each image to enjoy the music there revealed and shared @ http://allisoncrowe.com/MusicalAdventCalendar2016.html

"Best of this season and of all the seasons to everyone near and far... may the New Year and those years to come bring you joy, contentment, the best of what you want, and the clarity of who you are..." ~ Allison

~ Peace on earth, goodwill toward all ~

Super, soft, stylish band t-shirts

The loveliest t-shirts imaginable are now hung by the chimney with care - online. Allison Crowe and Band + Rubenesque Records logo fashion tees are available in Allison’s Bandcamp shop (https://allisoncrowe.bandcamp.com/merch/allison-crowe-and-band-rubenesque-records-logo-t-shirts) and on Allison’s homesite @ http://allisoncrowe.com/shoppaypal.html

Comfortable, soft, heather grey, unisex tees in two beautiful designs – in S, M, L, XL, and 2XL sizes. Fuller info on each site (NB Bandcamp shopping is US currency, Allison’s homesite is CDN currency.)

Allison Crowe t-shirts are now available - in beautiful designs created by Allison and cellist LIN.

Songs of Life and Death

With, both, “Cover Me” and “Coverville”, a pair of the world’s premiere homes for lovers of cover songs, sending birthday wishes to Allison Crowe, it’s an invitation to explore the artist’s body of interpretive work. All music can be found linked via the “ABC List” @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/ABC.html

A supreme interpreter and arranger of songs - traditional, Celtic, jazz, Broadway, hymns, carols and aires – Crowe’s famed for her renewal of popular songs – including those first penned by Canadian icons Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, and Atlantic coast treasures Gary O’Driscoll, Al Pittman / Ron Hynes, Wince Coles, Harry Hibbs+, alongside tunes from The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco,Counting Crows, Lovin’ Spoonful, Phil Ochs, Annie Lennox, Radiohead, Ronnie Shannon, Patty Griffin, Kris Kristofferson, the Rolling Stones and more.

In this rich and varied repertoire, each of Crowe’s singular performances is a favourite.

Having just come off the road with Allison Crowe and Band – during our travels we learned of Leonard Cohen’s passing. Tonight, his manager released these details:

“Leonard Cohen died during his sleep following a fall in the middle of the night on November 7th. The death was sudden, unexpected, and peaceful. He is survived by his children Adam and Lorca, and his three grandchildren Cassius (Adam’s son), and Viva and Lyon (Lorca’s daughter and son).” http://cohencentric.com/2016/11/16/statement-details-leonard-cohens-death-robert-kory-president-rk-management-manager-leonard-cohen

Allison Crowe, together with countless people all over our world, shares a special bond with the bard “born with the gift of a golden voice”. This relationship intertwines with the DNA of Leonard Cohen songs – among those in her repertoire is his universal “Hallelujah”. Of this, “Cover Me” founder and editor Ray Padgett opines:

“Born in British Columbia, Crowe has amassed a loyal following in Canada and Europe. The songwriter’s songwriter pure tones sound like a bell, no show-off acrobatics necessary. The amazing thing isn’t just that she performs the best version of Leonard Cohen‘s oft-covered ‘Hallelujah’ (sorry Jeff); the amazing thing is that she does so using the same solo piano style that everyone else does. There’s nothing particularly creative about it; her voice is just that good! So throw all those other ‘sensitive’ covers. This one’s the keeper.”

The blog 'anacronyms' says:“Crowe's version is a living thing, a meditation and a celebration and a benediction."


Spotlight on... November 16

November 16 marks the birthday of the great musical artist, Allison Crowe. Celebrated as an original songwriter and performer in popular music genres, Allison's song interpretations are also globally loved. "Cover Me" tweets in appreciation, reprising this Spotlight from the blog’s founding editor, Ray Padgett @ http://www.covermesongs.com/2010/07/in-the-spotlight-allison-crowe.html

"Happy birthday to Canadian singer-songwriter @Allison_Crowe. Hear her covers of Stones, Pearl Jam, Cyndi Lauper +more" https://twitter.com/covermesongs/status/798977733803921408

“There are some voices that speak (or sing) for themselves. You know the ones. Voices where it doesn’t matter what they sing. Voices where it doesn’t really matter what instruments support them. Solomon Burke has such a voice. Jeff Buckley had it. Allison Crowe has it too...”