When critics liken you to Edith Piaf, Elton John, Aretha Franklin and Modest Mussorgsky, it’s a good sign you’re truly one-of-a-kind. So it is with musical explorer Allison Crowe who, since creating her own record label in 2001, uniquely inhabits the world of song – continually adding breadth and depth to a richly expressive repertoire for piano, vocals, guitar and bodhran.
Crowe’s “supernaturally agile and exquisite voice” is complemented ideally by her international touring band: Céline Greb (cello, vocal harmonies); Sarah White (mandolin, vocal harmonies); and Dave Baird (bass). Longtime friend, musician and photographer Billie Woods contributes guitar and vocal harmonies to the band’s recordings. The combo’s gorgeously thrilling hybrid of Canadiana, Celtic, jazz, roots, folk, soul and original rock bridges vital originals with fresh interpretations of classics by Annie Lennox and Gary O'Driscoll.
Alongside multi-genre concert and recording projects over this past year the Nanaimo-born, Newfoundland-based artist’s active as music curator and arranger for acclaimed stage productions of: Atlantic Canada’s folk and popular song; the collaborative works of Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill; and choral renderings of traditional Christmas carols.
A singular artistry and virtuosity make Allison Crowe performances legendary - and fun. In the Scottish Highlands she brought down the house on a bill with Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s Poet Laureate, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Master of the Queen's Music. In Hollywood Superman movie director Zack Snyder is outspoken in his respect and admiration. Touring with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet audiences responded with spontaneous standing ovations.
"The most honest, heartfelt, and directly intimate concert in my entire life,” says longtime American public broadcaster Ross Hocker. “Allison has a special gift that is so very rare in musicians today. She is true to her mind, heart and spirit. She also has a most wonderful humor which envelops her audience."
"Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," sums up Allison Crowe.
"Heirs + Grievances is the debut studio album of Allison Crowe and Band (and the 20th release on Crowe's label, Rubenesque Records Ltd.) The digital album contains 13 exciting tunes and honestly potent performances. It’s a magnificent set of songs from Allison Crowe and her extraordinary band of musicians.
The physical CD is a double-album - pairing this studio set with a live concert set from Allison and Band – “Introducing”. Enjoy!!
Includes unlimited streaming of Heirs+Grievances
via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
Ani DiFranco, “the little folksinger that could”, an inspiring model for Allison Crowe and her team, says she understands why so few musicians actually follow her DIY route – it’s hard work going against the current!
Still, there can be perks for a traveling troubadour. Behold the PanAm ‘Jet Clipper’, one of such aircraft checking in for decades at Gander International, Newfoundland’s hangars for refuelling on trans-Atlantic flights. It spirits passengers and crew in style.
Allison Crowe and Band’s just-wrapped concert trip to Europe touched souls in Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Belgium and England. “On the Air”, written when Crowe was a teenager, still packs great emotional weight – and soars now without some personal baggage of early flights.
On board for this musical journey, Allison Crowe (vocals, piano), Céline Greb aka Lin Lin (cello, vox), Billie Woods (guitar, vox), Dave Baird (bass) – and, in the wings, Sarah White (mandolin, vox). It’s on the manifest for for the band’s debut release “Heirs + Grievances”.
On the Air
Composed by Allison Crowe
I can feel it coming and when it has passed
there will be no trace of me
other than faded words that have already been spoken
and promises that I will keep until
not even memory exists in my name
I will never desert you
and my spirit will never leave you
even though my spirit is about to leave myself
I’ve placed more faith in you
than I have in anything
And I will run when I can't breathe
I will give what is left of my bones
and I will wait for you on the air.
I have given you my soul and I only ask
that you could treat it better than I have
and if I could ask one more little thing of you
…to give me peace in a time
where I’m fighting a battle I can only lose
burning rain can't tear this away
and my eyes run into my soul at its purest form
I am sinking further in to my mind
as the truth runs down my face to die
And I will run
when I can't breathe I will give
what is left of my bones
and I will wait for you on the air...