2013-09-12 16:08:07 - Movie, stage show, and vinyl LP find Canadian musician flying high in unique style
“Weirdly typical” is how the dean of Canadian rock music critics, Tom Harrison, describes the newest album from Allison Crowe. That fun billing aptly suits the approach Crowe’s taken to establishing herself as one of the great voices in popular music – as singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, live performer and more.
The 31-year-old bi-coastal Canuck celebrated in New York City earlier this Summer at the red carpet premiere of “Man of Steel” - the epic new Superman movie directed by Zack Snyder in which Crowe cameos as “Singer in Cassidy’s” – the bar where Clark Kent busses. MoS tops Yahoo’s “Ultimate Summer Movie Poll”, (in this, Hollywood’s highest-grossing Summer ever), via its fresh science fiction vision crafted by a stellar cast and
crew. The Warner Bros. mega-production has now grossed over $650 million at the global box office.
Allison Crowe flew directly from festivities in NYC to rural Newfoundland for the release of her newest album – a collection of traditional tunes and vinyl-era songs of the region on which she provides all voices, instrumentation and production. “Newfoundland Vinyl” finds its name and inspiration in TNL’s hit musical show that’s delighted audiences these past two Summers at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.
And the recording’s struck a chord ’round the planet. Muruch, on its own site and the No Depression blog, was first to rave: “It has the timeless beauty of a classic folk album." The Celtic Music Fan blog, calling it an “one-of-a-kind must-have album”, says “There is something about this album that makes the songs become the soundtrack of your life.” The Province newspaper’s Tom Harrison off the top underscores the quirky nature of things – selecting the album “CD of the Week” and noting it’s not a CD: “Crowe’s ninth record is weirdly typical of her in that it defies convention, stick-handles around the pop idiom, shows imagination and daring, and opts for vinyl.” East Coast Kitchen Party, an hub for Atlantic Canada’s arts, entertainment and lifestyle news, points to the distinctive kitchen party-type approach to creation: “It seems simple, but it really is a classic treatment of the classic songs that are performed by Crowe. She has renewed with stylish vigor traditional songs that deserve new life and interpretations.” ECKP offers: “This record was made for sitting back in the big chair while relishing a favourite drink. Maybe Screech. It will probably bring a tear to the eye of a few. It’s that good.”
(Screech, a potent mainstay of Newfoundland life and lore, is an island tradition since the days when salt fish was shipped to the West Indies in exchange for Jamaican rum.)
“Newfoundland Vinyl”, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s GMTF stage production, has just wrapped its two-month run. Allison Crowe, the show’s song curator and musical director, is home in Corner Brook, NL readying a panel presentation for the geek and nerd-fest that is Atlanti-Con 2. Atlantic Canada’s colourful convention celebrating sci-fi, fantasy, comics, gaming, anime+ happens September 28 and 29, 2013 at the city’s Sir Wilfred Grenfell Campus, MUN.
This time last year Crowe was preparing to rejoin Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet for a second engagement performing songs of Leonard Cohen on-stage with the company’s amazing dancers. The RWB, inspiring and vital as ever, will mark its 75th anniversary in 2014. Right now, a very different sort of institution, also high-flying and one with which Allison Crowe’s honoured and delighted to meet and experience in collaboration, turns 75. To salute Superman reaching the milestone, Canada Post and the Winnipeg-based Royal Canadian Mint this week issued philatelic and numismatic tributes. The Man of Steel leaped onto the world stage in Action Comics #1 – a joint creation of great friends, Toronto, Canada-born illustrator Joe Shuster and American writer Jerry Siegel (born in Cleveland, Ohio).
In a recent feature, “Canadian Music Rocks the Global Stage”, Epoch Times’ nation reporter Justina Reichel tells readers: “Singer-songwriter Allison Crowe is well aware of what it takes for a Canuck to achieve commercial success internationally.” The uber-independent musician’s choices on “the long road to success” are, indeed, weirdly typical – and, for her, an artist of supreme talent and integrity, the only way to fly.