Thursday, November 16, 2017

Allison Crowe and Band find clothier

’twas another favourite band from a northern town that lyricized love – and fun – cannae be bought with money.

Musing on such fab notions, this birthday of Allison Crowe, it must be noted, then, that Allison and bandmates Céline Sawchuk, Sarah White, Dave Baird & Keelan Purchase form a priceless combo.

Witness some of their concerted hijinks – giving rise to the group term known as “a reel of Keelans” (akin to a flock of seagulls, a pod of dolphins etc.) – and contributing to Allison’s recent post-tour declaration:

I'm exhausted - but it's the good kind of exhausted. Not the kind that's like "I'm never doing that again. Ever." , but rather the kind that comes from working like crazy on something you felt you were maybe supposed to do, but was really a giant leap in to a pit of OH DEAR GOD THIS IS CRAZY of sorts, with a group of people that rocked their butts off with enthusiasm and love the whole damn time. Not without fear. The kind of fight or flight that it turns out is exhilarating rather than debilitating. When you get off the ride at the fair and scream "LET'S DO IT AGAIN" until you're hoarse and your body can't take it anymore. So - Celine - thank you for your passion and music and images and designs and being my gym and knitting buddy, Dave - thank you for your precision and timing and hilariousness and birding and commitment - Sarah thank you for your mando and music and level-headedness and perspective with humour, and Keelan - for jumping in this crazy clown car with us and bringing your instruments and jokes and huge dramatic presence and subtlety and also thank you for your clothes. I love you guys. LET'S DO IT AGAIN.


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Verses - Allison Crowe and Band Live!

Celebrating the birthday of Allison Crowe, a great artist of our lifetime, with this newest of recordings –  “Verses”.

Musicians Allison Crowe (vocals, piano, guitar, fiddle, bodhran), Céline Sawchuk (cello, vocals), Sarah White (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Dave Baird (bass, vocals) & Keelan Purchase (accordion, 12-string guitar, bodhran, harmonica, vocals) recently banded together on the lovely isle of Newfoundland for sessions and shows.

For a flock of creators who live, literally, all over the map it’s a rare chance to slow the world a bit. “We had time to experiment, and think more about the larger picture musically,” says bassist & birder Dave. “It’s only the beginning. It’s just the first we’ve had opportunity to work the music out without much time restraint. It was fun, relaxed, and productive.”

Melding into one sound and performance experience the rawest of folk roots and the richest of arena rock –  that barely begins to describe the originality and freshness of the quintet’s music and personality.

Debuting at Corner Brook, NL’s Rotary Arts Centre, RAC Theatre Co-ordinator Brad Randell observes, “The performance was absolutely magical.”

Rolling across the rock to St. John’s and a concert night at LSPU Hall, magic’s afoot once more with Allison Crowe and Band – and, this time, serendipitously, artifacts remain to be shared in addition to golden memories of artists and audience+.

Alick Tsui, the truly remarkable SJ-based photographer, was able to attend Act 1 (the band’s NL concerts formed around one set in which Allison played guitar or fiddle, and, post-intermission, a second set of songs founded on Allison’s piano tunes) – and Alick captured some iconic images of Allison, Céline, Sarah, Dave & Keelan.

Fortune’s present audio-wise, and Allison’s SD (memory) card is filled with tracks to be mined.

First up – this original song tagged with some trad.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Meet Allison Crowe and Band

Musicians Allison Crowe (vocals, piano, guitar, fiddle, bodhran), Céline Sawchuk (cello, vocals), Sarah White (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Dave Baird (bass, vocals) & Keelan Purchase (accordion, 12-string guitar, bodhran, harmonica, vocals) recently banded together on the lovely isle of Newfoundland for sessions and shows.

For a flock of creators who live, literally, all over the map it’s a rare chance to slow the world a bit. “We had time to experiment, and think more about the larger picture musically,” says bassist & birder Dave. “It’s only the beginning. It’s just the first we’ve had opportunity to work the music out without much time restraint. It was fun, relaxed, and productive.”

Melding into one sound and performance experience the rawest of folk roots and the richest of arena rock –  that barely begins to describe the originality and freshness of the quintet’s music and personality.

Debuting at Corner Brook, NL’s Rotary Arts Centre, RAC Theatre Co-ordinator Brad Randell observes, “The performance was absolutely magical.” 

Rolling across the rock to St. John’s and a concert night at LSPU Hall, magic’s afoot once more with Allison Crowe and Band – and, this time, serendipitously, artifacts remain to be shared in addition to golden memories of artists and audience+.

Alick Tsui, the truly remarkable SJ-based photographer, was able to attend Act 1 (the band’s NL concerts formed around one set in which Allison played guitar or fiddle, and, post-intermission, a second set of songs founded on Allison’s piano tunes) – and Alick captured some iconic images of Allison, Céline, Sarah, Dave & Keelan.

Fortune’s present audio-wise, and Allison’s SD (memory) card is filled with tracks to be mined. First, let’s meet the band on-stage :)


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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Happy Birthday, dear Joni!

Happy Birthday to a child who’s moved 74 times ’round the seasons, skated o’er plenty clear frozen streams – and, as she’s circled, given us music of profound truth and beauty. Joni Mitchell, the great artist born on this date in Fort Macleod, Alberta – salut!

From Joni’s “Blue” album – in tribute, compatriot Allison Crowe with “River”:


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Sunday, October 29, 2017

"A Brush of Hope" Auction

A Brush of Hope” auction is live – for the next ten days, from now ‘til midnight EST on November 8: http://bit.ly/croweboh2017

The Foundation illuminates this “Opportunity to own an ORIGINAL, one of a kind piece of art by Allison Crowe. All proceeds will go to support the valuable work of The Kidney Foundation of Canada by allowing us to continue our patient services programs, education and awareness initiatives and life saving research. These programs and services enable us to improve the lives of the 1 in 10 Canadians who are living with or affected by kidney disease.”

Allison’s contribution – on 8 x 10” canvas board, signed – is a painting of an American Avocet – a bird that Winters on the coast.
Hang out in “A Brush of Hope” gallery – https://www.ebay.ca/usr/kidneyfoundationofcanada - enjoy, and bid on, paintings by Allison, Bif Naked, Tim Fox, Bret Hart, Elizabeth May and more Canucks in support of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Atlantic Branch.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

(What's so Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

“This song puts into words a lot of the things I'm feeling in a way that I have a hard time verbalizing clearly. It's been covered a lot. There's the Elvis Costello version which to me has a defiant protest like quality to it (as well as a kind of unique coolness that only Elvis can do in his own way) and the original which is deeply felt and how Nick Lowe sings it today is almost pleading. It really says so much. I hope to fall somewhere in the middle.”

 
Recorded by Allison Crowe for "Cover Me" blog's 10th Anniversary! Celebrate @ http://www.covermesongs.com/2017/10/cover-me-turns-ten.html  Mixed by Larry "Turtle" Anschell.

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"Cover Me" Turns 10: Allison Crowe Brings Peace Note to Celebratory Album

“Ray Padgett founded the blog Cover Me in 2007 and has run it ever since, growing it into the largest blog devoted to cover songs on the web, with 80,000 individual readers a month. His music writing has appeared in SPIN, MTV, Vice, Consequence of Sound, and more, and he’s been interviewed as an expert on cover songs by the Wall Street Journal and the BBC. He lives in New York City and also works as a senior music publicist for Shore Fire Media, where his clients have included Ben Harper, Lana Del Rey, and Maxwell.” Today, Cover Me’s 10th birthday, Ray releases a present to music-lovers that’s been six-months-in-the-making:

“We wanted to do something special to celebrate our tenth birthday. And we wanted to celebrate not just ourselves, but celebrate the cover song itself. So we put together this little album Cover Me Turns 10: A Covers Tribute to Covers as a gift to our readers. We contacted several dozen of our musician friends and asked them to cover a cover. That is, to honor the many great songs we might not even know without an iconic cover – Aretha Franklin reinventing Otis Redding’s ‘Respect,’ Quiet Riot amplifying Slade’s call to feel the noize, Prince learning that nothing compares 2 Sinéad O’Connor.

We’re honored that so many of our favorite musicians contributed, and frankly speechless at how great a job they did. So speechless, in fact, that we asked them all to introduce their own work with a few sentences...” Celebrate @ http://www.covermesongs.com/2017/10/cover-me-turns-ten.html

Allison Crowe’s cover of “(What’s so Funny ‘bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”, closes this special tribute album.

Album cover art design by Sean Balkwill

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