"I love singing for people," says Allison Crowe. "It's a way to connect and share with others. Communication is crucial. Just being able to do what I do, to write and sing and perform, makes me feel not only alive, but incredibly lucky. Knowing at any moment everything could change, I don't take one second for granted."
"Allison sings with such an intensity of emotion, it's easy to see why she's often quoted as saying 'Why music? Why breathing?'," notes pioneering music blog Muruch. "That kind of artistic passion seems extremely rare these days."
Born November 16, 1981 in the harbour city of Nanaimo, BC, Crowe's home since 2005 is Corner Brook, NL. From the lovely isle of Newfoundland her reach is global. Millions of people enjoy her vocal, piano, guitar+ songs and music videos - on land, sea, and in the air - everywhere from an home-computer in the Gulf to a state ceremony in Tasmania.
"Allison Crowe has a voice to fall in love with," says UK music industry journal Record of the Day. "She is from Vancouver Island in Canada, descended from Scottish, Irish and Manx stock. She's exactly the sort of artist who can make serious headway on her own label and that's just what she's doing." Across the sea, Ray Padgett (Cover Me, SPIN, Mashable) observes: "There are some voices that speak (or sing) for themselves. You know the ones. Voices where it doesn’t matter what they sing. Voices where it doesn’t really matter what instruments support them. Solomon Burke has such a voice. Jeff Buckley had it. Allison Crowe has it too."
Once this phenomenon 'from the islands' reached the mainland she's steered well clear of those manufacturing the record industry "style inventions" (as Joni Mitchell tags them). Courted by the establishment, Crowe, taking a cue from Ani DiFranco and Loreena McKennitt, chose instead to form her own label.
Since 2001, Rubenesque Records Ltd. has released a series of critically and commercially successful recordings of Canadiana, Celtic, jazz, roots, folk, soul and original rock: Lisa's Song+ 6 Songs (2001-3); Tidings (2003/4); Secrets (2004); Live at Wood Hall (2005); This Little Bird (2006); Little Light (2008); Spiral (2010); Arthur / Up to the Mountain (2011); Tidings Concert (2012); Newfoundland Vinyl (2013); Heavy Graces (2013); Songbook (2013/14); Souling (2014); Newfoundland Vinyl II (2014); Sylvan Hour (2015); Newfoundland Vinyl 3 (2015); Souling (Bonus Tracks Edition) (2015); and Introducing / Heirs + Grievances (2016).
Broadcast highlights include a pair of one-hour television specials: “Allison Crowe: Inside Pandora’s Box” and “Tidings” (airing, for years, nationally across Canada).
Headlining concerts, on hundreds of occasions, over a dozen countries – Allison Crowe surprises and delights audiences solo and leading a band - in jazz caverns and grand churches to festival stage honours before Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s Poet Laureate, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Master of the Queen's Music. A sensation at the UK's John Lennon Northern Lights Festival, "Canadian angel Allison Crowe gave one of the weekend's most magical moments," says The Scotsman. Festival Director Mike Merritt describes Crowe as "awesome" and "spine-tingling" - adding her performance "put hairs on the back of your neck! She brought the house down."
In 2012, Allison Crowe thrilled with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet singing and playing live on-stage with dancers for the World Premiere run, and a subsequent tour, of "The Doorway – Scenes from Leonard Cohen" - created and choreographed by Jorden Morris with artistic direction from the RWB's André Lewis.
A musical force more powerful than a locomotive, in 2013 Allison Crowe made tracks for "Man of Steel" - an epic science fiction movie adventure featuring Superman. Crowe cameos in the Hollywood blockbuster as 'Singer in Cassidy's'. In a great north woods road-house, where Clark Kent is working for a spell, she performs "Ring of Fire", a song penned by June Carter and Merle Kilgore and made iconic by 'The Man in Black'. “I’m a big Johnny Cash fan. And I’m a big Allison Crowe fan," reveals “Man of Steel” Director Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch). "So the combination to me seemed like an awesome opportunity if we could make it happen.”
Each Summer from 2012 through 2016 Allison Crowe's served as Musical Director of "Newfoundland Vinyl" - a perennial favourite at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador's Artistic Director Jeff Pitcher, who conceived the hit stage show, remarks: "No matter where she is in this world, that voice, that conviction, it crosses all borders. She's one of those rare artists that fits into any culture, any community because she is who she is - an incredible talent."
"Soulful. Alive. Joyous. Grievous. Real, true, music is what I want to make," says Allison Crowe.