She comes from a land of ice and snow. Some years more-so than others. And, like such phenomena, Allison Crowe’s preternatural talent, and her peerless body of music, is marked by a pure, crystalline, uniqueness.
"How can someone so small and young have such a big voice and write such heavy duty songs?,” legendary West-coast Canada musician and publisher Barry Newman found himself wondering upon discovering a teen-aged Crowe on a Vancouver Island stage in the year 2000. For a cover feature in Cosmic Debris
, (the magazine he founded), Newman observed: “The inflections in her piano stylings were so mature too... there was a blues edge in there."
"The first thing you notice about Allison Crowe
is her voice. Rich and dark, it seems to come from a place most singers can only dream of accessing. Then there are the songs. Filled with raw passion and accompanied by eloquent piano playing," notes Clodagh O'Connell, (The Courier
, Rolling Stone
+), in a maiden review of Crowe’s voyage to new lands.
Cultural critic for The Times Colonist
newspaper in Victoria, BC, Adrian Chamberlain, also caught the artist in her early concert rounds: “(Listening to) Crowe is akin to sipping the richest of brandies.” The writer, himself a funk soul musician, explained: “Crowe's singing is tremendously powerful; almost operatic. When she digs into a sustained note, as she so often does, the voice is huge, rounded, with a dark timbre.”
The amazing sound crossed the main. Before long UK music maven Dave Henderson, (MOJO
+), was tipping MOJO
mag’s audience to this siren from o’er the sea: "Once famously described as possessing a style akin to 'Elton John meets Edith Piaf', the Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe is renowned for her ability to blend control and melodrama."
Moving deeper into this century, the musician’s voice is ever more complex – striking on its own and, most frequently, accompanied by 88 hammers of the gods in the hands of a virtuoso. "You really have to see Allison Crowe live. The way she splits those notes, it's like light through a prism - all the colours of a song," says Canadian radio and television veteran Rick Dennis.
Eight years back, Crowe migrated from her island birth-place of Nanaimo, BC, on the Pacific Ocean, to Corner Brook, nestled on another lovely isle, Newfoundland – near the Viking Trail on Atlantic shores. Acoustic guitar, fiddle and tin-whistle now figure alongside voice and piano in her musical palette – creating rock, folk, jazz, roots, country, Celtic and more thrills. Her newest recording, (released globally April 28), is an addictive variant of a centuries-old song of the seacoast, “Tarry Trousers
“Weirdly typical” is how BC dean of Canuck rock writers, Tom Harrison, describes a new album from Allison Crowe – and that legend is key to any map of her course. She presents bi-coastal “Tidings
” concerts each Christmas season in her homeland. These past two years Crowe’s focused on: recording (four acclaimed albums – “Tidings Concert
”, “Newfoundland Vinyl
”, “Heavy Graces
”, and “Songbook
”); dance (performing songs of Leonard Cohen
on-stage with Canada’s brilliant Royal Winnipeg Ballet
); theatre (musically directing Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s rollicking hit show, “Newfoundland Vinyl
”); and film projects - one recording riveting in the trailer for a major indie motion picture (“The Pardon
”), and cameoing, pretty much as herself, in “Man of Steel
”- a #1 box-office Superman movie among the decade’s biggest Hollywood blockbusters.
Steering well clear of the corporate record industry’s shallows, Crowe’s integrity is as steadfast as her sound is remarkable – a double-helix of traits akin to the DNA of previous generations’ mavericks. “I’m a big Johnny Cash
fan. And I’m a big Allison Crowe fan. So the combination to me seemed like an awesome opportunity if we could make it happen,” explains “Man of Steel
” Director Zack Snyder. “Allison and I had talked about trying to get some of her music in one of my movies whenever we could – and I thought, well, if I just put her in the film then there’s no way that it won’t work. So, that’s where you get Allison from.”
Allison Crowe's "Heavy Graces
" Tour reaches Europe this May
For her next act, Allison Crowe returns to the international concert stage this May – with eight concerts upcoming in Europe: Bernau (03.05); Frankfurt (07.05); Freiburg (11.05); Neunkirchen (13.05); Inning (15.05); Florence (17.05); Münster (20.05); and Potsdam (22.05). The opening concert on this “Heavy Graces
” tour quickly sold out – Ausverkaft! Full event calendar @ http://allisoncrowe.com/tour.html
For most of these dates, Crowe’s joined by special guest artist, and super-simpatico tour partner, Billie Woods https://www.facebook.com/billiewoodsmusic
Woods’ distinctive vocal and nylon-string guitar style is rooted in Canada's Pacific Northwest and infused with the warmth and vitality of cultural rhythms of Brazil. From home-base on Salt Spring Island, BC, in “Canada’s banana belt”, she’s blended a life of passions - principally music and photography.
Crowe’s Road/Stage manager, Axel Dollheiser, hails from Bavaria and Salt Spring. popTrip Entertainment
, (currently moving headquarters from Berlin, Germany to Toronto, Canada), is booking agent.
Toronto-based author and visual artist Lorette C. Luzajic concludes: “Not everyone can bring down the divine, not everyone can be vast and mythological or bring the gifts of the gods into a winter’s night. But Allison Crowe channels the spirit each and every time."
Some words about Allison Crowe from around the world @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/pressquotes.html