Allison Louise Crowe (born November 16, 1981) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist from Nanaimo, British Columbia who lives in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, communities spanning the breadth of Canada. Crowe records on her own record label, Rubenesque Records Ltd. (incorporated in 2001) and releases her original music under Creative Commons licensing to enable non-commercial sharing and creative uses of her songs. History edit: Allison Crowe began performing professionally in 1996, at age 15, doing regular sets in the coffee-houses and bars of Vancouver Island. Crowe's recording debut came in 2001, with an EP subsequently reissued (in 2003) as Lisa's Song + 6 Songs. Her first full-length albums, Secrets and Tidings, were released in 2004, when Crowe was 22. (Tidings was originally released in EP form in 2003.) Allison Crowe: Live at Wood Hall, a double concert album, was released in July 2005. A DVD featuring live-in-the-studio performances of Tidings songs was created for her fan club in November 2005. Crowe, of Scottish, Irish, and Manx descent, grew up surrounded by jazz, classical and rock music, and discovered additional influences on her own such as Ani DiFranco, Pearl Jam, Tori Amos and Counting Crows. She plays music of all these genres, making her difficult to categorize: in Amazon.com's downloads, she has simultaneously been in the top three on the Rock Singer-Songwriters, Hymns, Blues, Jazz, Broadway and British & Celtic Folk charts. "Drawing from classical, jazz, pop and gospel sources, the young singer has created singular, inspiring music both in the studio and in the concert hall." (Joseph Blake, Victoria Times Colonist, March 24, 2005). Crowe's most mentioned characteristics are her remarkable live performance ability and her distinctive voice, the natural force of which has been compared to that of Mahalia Jackson. "With the soul of Janis Joplin and the tenderness of fellow Canuck Sarah McLachlan, Crowe rocks with her own unique brand of roots charm." (David McPherson, Exclaim!, October 5, 2004). She accompanies herself on guitar and the piano, on which she has been classically trained. Her physical, percussive, piano style has been likened to that of R&B and rock and roll pioneers such as Fats Domino. She is largely a solo performer, though she has been part of bands as well, notably in a trio format as the Allison Crowe Band (2000 to 2003). Her passionate, visceral style has been referred to as "Elton John meets Édith Piaf" (Clodagh O'Connell, Vancouver Courier, May 23, 2001). Crowe mostly performs her own songs, which she has been quoted as saying vary among rock, jazz and folk, with lyrics and an intensity that has been compared to that of Laura Nyro, Eddie Vedder, Tori Amos and Patti Smith. "Ever wonder what it would have been like to listen to a gifted singer/songwriter from Saskatchewan in a small, intimate hall before she became Joni Mitchell? Don't fret the missed opportunity. There's no need to turn back the clock. Check out Allison Crowe," says Robert Reid in The Record. "Whether I'm Wrong", an original song of social conscience penned in early 2003, has been featured by the UNESCO-endorsed New Songs for Peace initiative. Crowe is also acclaimed for her interpretations of songs by a wide variety of composers, from Jerome Kern to Pearl Jam, including Lennon-McCartney and fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Her cover of Cohen's "Hallelujah" was named Record of the Week by Record of the Day (UK) in August 2004 and again in November 2005. Touring and Recording Activities edit: Allison Crowe has toured across Canada and in the northeastern United States as headliner. Two one-hour television specials have been broadcast across Canada, with her Allison Crowe: Tidings special telecast each December since 2003. In late 2005 she performed for the first time in western Europe, with concerts in Dublin, London, Munich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris. In the Spring of 2006, Allison Crowe toured coast-to-coast in her homeland, covering most of the distance by Via Rail Canada train on the Rock'n'Rail Revue. In October 2006, Allison Crowe released a new album, This Little Bird, which she began recording in February 2006 in her new home of Corner Brook. The album was completed some 6000 kilometres west, on Vancouver Island, and Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Following the release of This Little Bird, Allison Crowe visited England, Ireland, and Scotland on a concert tour. In 2007 Crowe's touring included a series of concerts across North America and a return to Europe where she performed to great acclaim at the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival in Durness, Scotland performing on a bill with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Queen's Master of Music, and Carol Ann Duffy, Britain's Poet Laureate. The event was subsequently crowned the "UK's Best New Festival". Piano, guitar and lead vocal tracks for two albums were recorded by Allison Crowe throughout 2007 and early 2008. One release, with the working title of Aquarius Rising, is anticipated to include expanded instrumentation and orchestration. In May 2008 Crowe released an eclectic, acoustic, song collection called Little Light. In May 2009 she was prevented from performing in Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England after being turned away by UK Border Agency officials at Gatwick Airport for not having a "Certificate of Sponsorship". This requirement of a controversial new "anti-terrorism" and "illegal immigration" policy in the UK is not shared by countries of continental Europe and Crowe's tour with her band resumed days later in Germany. In response to widespread calls for reform, effective April 6, 2012 the UK government implemented a new route, called "Permitted Paid Engagements", which does away with a range of the controversial requirements and fees for artists and academics visiting the UK for under one month. In enacting this new legislation, Immigration Minister Damian Green stated: "We do not want to be discouraging world-class performers from coming to the UK. I am aware that this has been a sore point for some time and we are taking action". Crowe's touring band, her first since 2003, comprises Billie Woods on guitar, Dave Baird on bass, and Laurent Boucher on percussion. This quartet has toured Canada's Pacific and Atlantic coasts, as well as continental Europe. Following a string of successful concert performances in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria, Allison Crowe returned home to Canada and during the Summer of 2009 selected songs for a new album to be titled Spiral. Some of this collection comprises never-heard songs from Aquarius Rising (those for which orchestration was not found in 2007), along with new originals and cover songs. The album Spiral was released March 17, 2010. In July 2011 Allison Crowe released a double-A-side single, featuring two songs: Arthur, a piano original; and Up to the Mountain (MLK Song), a guitar version of the Patty Griffin song. In early 2012, Crowe reported her focus included two projects due for release in 2012/13: a ballet production, and a major motion picture. In May 2012 Allison Crowe performed Hallelujah live on-stage with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) for the World Premiere of "The Doorway - Scenes from Leonard Cohen" - created and choreographed by Jorden Morris with artistic direction from the RWB 's André Lewis. On the RWB 's November 2012 tour of "The Doorway", Crowe again performed on stage with the ballet company for Hallelujah along with Sisters of Mercy and Bird on the Wire. Following a concert tour with dates in Belgium, Germany, and Italy, on November 25, 2012 Allison Crowe released her newest album, Tidings Concert - documenting an entire Tidings show in Vancouver, Canada. Newfoundland Vinyl, a collection of songs from, or made popular in Newfoundland and Labrador, performed, engineered, and produced by Crowe is announced as the next release from Rubenesque Records on June 25, 2013.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license
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