Artwork and the track listing for “Newfoundland Vinyl”, Allison Crowe’s 11th release on Rubenesque Records Ltd., is ready. The album’s music sets sail worldwide next month.
As Musical Director for Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador’s production of “Newfoundland Vinyl: The Flip Side” at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival, Crowe’s active now curating and arranging songs for this Summer’s cast.
It’s a rich and varied collection harvested from the island region’s popular music and oral traditions – and from which she’s culled a selection for her vinyl LP. The album’s 10 tracks traverse parlour songs to country tunes and folk favourites, songs of land and sea that share the strength and the struggles, the heartbreaks and the humour, of a people.
Recognized as one of the great modern interpreters of song, Allison Crowe’s singular performances deliver familiar and much-loved songs afresh and with renewed joy.
Coming next month, then, is Allison Crowe’s take on these songs that, over 200 years, come from, and out of, newfoundland and labrador – with ageless melodies and meaning:
Black Velvet Band – lively traditional song recorded on both sides of the Atlantic, including a version by the legendary Harry Hibbs
Easy – penned by Terry Skinner and made a classic radio hit by country star Eddie Eastman
Men Who Die for a Living – Gary O’Driscoll, award-winning songwriter and producer from St. Lawrence and the South coast, wrote this potent elegy “for the miners here and gone”
Cliffs of Baccalieu – Jack Withers’ sea-faring song has previously been sailed by such distinct voices as Anita Best and Stan Rogers
Skipper Billy’s Wake – songwriter Ellis Coles’ jaunty mix of moonshine, Screech and more was well popularized by Dick Nolan
Sonny’s Dream – Newfoundland’s “Man of 1000 Songs”, Ron Hynes, created this anthem of the heart and home
Tiny Red Light – a traditional Newfoundland song revitalized in the vinyl era by The Dorymen (popular east-coast combo founded by John Drake and Tom Rose – a pair of lads out of Fortune Bay communities Belleoram and Bay du Nord)
The Mobile Goat Song – composed by St. John’s Tom Cahill, frequent collaborator with “Newfoundland’s First Lady of Song”, Joan Morrissey, who released this fun romp on her 1973 LP “Home Brew”
Seven Old Ladies – a bawdy song which musically plumbs a 1700s nursery rhyme, (“Johnny’s So Long at the Fair“) – and a tune also recorded by the great Joan Morrissey
Sweet Forget Me Not – first published in 1877, this tender tune by Bobby Newcomb was the first single, and a vinyl hit on the mainland as well, for Cape Shore’s Eddie Coffey
Allison Crowe’s “Newfoundland Vinyl” album launches June 25, 2013.
Northern Lights over Gros Morne - photo by Allison Crowe
Allison Crowe has completed recording her newest album - to debut June 25, 2013. This new release, the 11th from Crowe's Rubenesque Records, is the first to be available as a vinyl LP.
Crowe reveals her inspiration - working with Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, which celebrates the 18th Annual Gros Morne Theatre Festival when its season runs this year from May - September.
"I am so grateful to have been asked two years in a row to put together songs and musically direct for a show called 'Newfoundland Vinyl'. I get to work with extremely talented and fun people each Summer in a gorgeous setting - Cow Head, NL," says Allison from her home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. "From the vast and encyclopaedic sea of beautiful music to come from, and out of, Newfoundland and Labrador, here is a collection of some of the songs from this year's show."
Music and comedy come together in this theatre production, written and directed by TNL's Artistic Director Jeff Pitcher. TNL announces: "On the heels of last year's runaway hit we present the all new 'Newfoundland Vinyl - The Flip Side!' ...the cast returns with more hits than a bagful of hammers!"
Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe’s dream-like “Crayon and Ink” is here paired with a visual excerpt from “Destino” – a collaboration launched last century by surrealist Salvador Dali and motion picture and animation pioneer Walt Disney.
In the 1940s Dali was in Hollywood, USA to design a sequence for Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Spellbound” (starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck). There, he met Disney and ideas flowed for a creative production – with storyboarding carried out during 1945/6 by Dali and Disney studio’s John Hench. As things happen, the project was shelved until Walt’s nephew, Roy E. Disney, revived it in 1999 and commissioned Disney’s Paris studio to realize the work under producer Baker Bloodworth and director/animator Dominique Monfréy.
Their team of about two dozen animators brought to life the drawings, sketches and paintings made decades earlier – matching them to the music of Mexican songwriter Armando Dominguez and recording and movie star Dora Luz. “Destino” premiered in France on June 2, 2003 and you’ll find the complete animated short film in several locations on YouTube.
This version of “Crayon and Ink” features Allison Crowe’s voice and piano, with Dave Baird on bass, and Kevin Clevette, percussion.
Allison Crowe's touring year – including concerts in Europe and Canada, as well as ballet, and theatre productions – is wrapped up at home and focus turns to film projects involving the internationally acclaimed musician.
The World Film Premiere of the Peter Buckle-directed "A Corner Brook Tidings" charmed this past month, and Rogers Television brought the joy of this PB Productions documentary "featuring Allison Crowe and you" home for the holidays, broadcasting the one-hour special (on Rogers Cable 9) from December 17 through 23, 2012. (Created with assistance from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, more info is @ http://www.allisoncrowe.com/ACornerBrookTidingsTelevisionSpecial.html )
Don Bradshaw of NTV, Canada's Superstation, caught up with the Crowe as she enjoyed a little piano-time outside Santa's workshop, in the North Pole (aka the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre) where the pair discussed an upcoming movie venture - http://ntv.ca/corner-brook-artist-sings-for-hollywood
Allison Crowe's "Tidings" recording of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is soundtrack to a movie trailer – just released for "The Pardon", a dramatic motion picture to be released in 2013:
"The Pardon" is directed by Tom Anton, produced by Tom Anton, Sandi Russell, Jacqueline George and Blair Daily. The film stars Jaime King ("Sin City", "Hart of Dixie"), Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee John Hawkes ("Winter's Bone", "Lincoln", "The Sessions"), Jason Lewis, M.C. Gainey, T.J. Thyne, Tim Guinee, Leigh Whannell and John Valdetero. A powerful story of love and despair, hope and redemption, "The Pardon" is based on an actual murder case tried in the State of Louisiana in the 1940s.
Along with release of the trailer, the movie's official website is online @ http://www.thepardonmovie.com It contains: images from the film's narrative, as well as historical clippings; a blog; news items; - and music is coming. There's word on the talented cast and crew - including the husband-and-wife director-writer team, Tom Anton and Sandi Russell (who previously paired up to create 2005's "At Last" - a romance set in pre-Katrina Louisiana).
Alternating currents of the flesh and the spirit witnessed in the trailer are channeled by Hollywood veteran Blair Daily – whose editing and post-production supervision credits include work on several Barry Levinson films eg. "Good Morning Vietnam", "Rain Man", "Bugsy", "Avalon", "Wag the Dog" and "Man of the Year". Daily also worked on "Quiz Show" with Robert Redford and "Adventures in Baby Sitting" with Chris Columbus.
Musician Allison Crowe is thrilled to perform with Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet for the World Premiere of "The Doorway" - a contemporary ballet from choreographer Jorden Morris opening the words and music of legendary poet, singer-songwriter, and survivor Leonard Cohen.
"Graceful, moving, achingly honest, the series of dance vignettes are set to Cohen's songs and poems, exploring the emotional journey across the threshold to love and longing," says the RWB of this new piece from Morris, creator of the tremendously successful and celebrated "Peter Pan" (2006 premiere) and "Moulin Rouge - The Ballet" (2009 premiere) for the company. For the live national broadcast of the 2011 Genie Awards, Morris created a sensuous pas de deux - embracing Cohen's song "Dance Me to the End of Love" - performed by Corps de Ballet member Sophia Lee and former RWB Principal Dancer, and current Ballet Master, Jaime Vargas with music from Montréal rock band Karkwa.
"Working with the RWB is going to be such an awesome experience - even to just watch these amazing people dance is gift enough," Allison Crowe says. "I am humbled to be able to be a part of such a beautiful project, in tribute to such a wonderfully talented and brilliant man, Leonard Cohen."
Growing up in Westmount, on the Island of Montreal, Cohen entered the fringes of a life in music as a Buckskin Boy. Though "born with the gift of a golden voice", and building a sterling reputation as a writer - author, poet and songsmith - in the '60s , '70s and on, he's endured stranger times to test his mettle. This century has witnessed a renaissance in appreciation of his work and Leonard Cohen reach his most cherished state as an artist. Emblematic of this status, in May 2012, as the RWB presents this new creation based on his art, Leonard Cohen will be feted for a lifetime of achievement in music and poetry - receiving the Glenn Gould Prize at Toronto's Massey Hall. One of the world's top concert draws, Cohen's newest album, "Old Ideas", charted #1 in countries 'round the globe.
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, based in the culturally-vibrant city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is Canada's oldest, and North America's longest continually operating, ballet company. Founded in 1939, it's the first ballet company in the world to be granted the Royal title - bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. And, it's the first organization anywhere to present a theatrical or dance production of Leonard Cohen's work. During the RWB tenure of Artistic Director Arnold Spohr (1958 - 1988), in Summer 1970, Brian Macdonald choreographed "The Shining People of Leonard Cohen" which debuted in Paris. Later, that July, it's staged at Canada's National Arts Centre in Ottawa - with eclectic band Lighthouse, and a pair of bats from the belfry, opening the show.
Today, André Lewis, named RWB Artistic Director in 1996, (he began his association as a dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in 1975), oversees the launch of this newest creation, "The Doorway - Scenes from Leonard Cohen". Jeff Herd, native Winnipegger, after a decade as company manager for Cirque du Soleil's "O" at the Bellagio, in Las Vegas, and some years overseas, is back home helping further the RWB's legacy in motion as Executive Director. Bob Stewart serves as Production Director. Tad Biernacki, is RWB Music Director and Conductor and, in this circumstance, kindly, match-maker. With costume design by Anne Armit and lighting design from Hugh Conacher, Jorden Morris' piece is partnered with RWB alumnus Peter Quanz's "Luminous", and audience favourite Mauricio Wainrot's "Carmina Burana" for an evening, (and one Sunday matinee), of classical and contemporary ballet that runs May 9 - 13, 2012 at Winnipeg's Centennial Concert Hall. It's a mixed program united as "Pure Ballet".
A pure talent and communicator in song, Allison Crowe, is invited to perform her piano and vocal version of "Hallelujah", a modern classic. First recorded by Crowe in 2003 for her CD "Tidings", this Leonard Cohen song has been covered more than 200 times - in a wide range of styles. Iconoclastically, free of mainstream ties and marketing, Crowe's version has steadily emerged among the most-enjoyed worldwide. A YouTube video of Allison Crowe performing "Hallelujah" live-in-the-studio has an audience of more than eight million people - Acclaimed Hollywood director Zack Snyder tags it "beautiful", "sexy" and "romantic". The bi-coastal singer-songwriter, born in Nanaimo, BC, and now home in Corner Brook, NL, is honoured to deliver her passion for the song live to the RWB's lovers of "visible music".
Crowe enters fine musical company with those whose performances will also illuminate "The Doorway". Whether criss-crossing the country to visit hundreds of schools and inspire children, or expressing their humanitarian nature performing in Kenya and Dubai, dynamic Winnipeg duo "Keith and Reneé" (http://www.keithandrenee.com) shine. The veteran pair make music of many genres, folk and country among them, that reach people via radio, tv, film and commercials. They penned "Good Year", theme of Manitoba's Homecoming 2010 and, fresh off a dream tour with entertainer Jann Arden, "KnR" bring to the Centennial's live stage their heartland take on "Bird on a Wire".
Alongside these performers, and recorded words and music of Leonard Cohen, the program includes an incandescent "Sisters of Mercy" as captured live on "Circle of Friends", a 1991 album by South Dakota-born, US prairie-raised musician, activist and pioneer Cris Williamson (http://criswilliamson.com). This was the 15th anniversary concert recording of Willamson's "The Changer and the Changed", an epochal album which went gold, (sales over 500,000), and is to indie and women's music what Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was to general pop in its day.
Allison Crowe follows up this exciting RWB engagement with a rare off-stage role - serving as Music Director for "Newfoundland Vinyl" - a rollicking spin through popular music's coming of age on "the rock" - presented in this Summer's Gros Morne Theatre Festival by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador. A "Tidings Live" album and video documentary is in the works with film-maker Peter Buckle. These North American activities precede Allison Crowe's next European tour - featuring a concert return to Germany, Italy, England, Scotland+