Introducing

by Allison Crowe

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    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 Introducing via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Great Island Wonder, Introducing, Muruch.com Presents: Allison Crowe, Heirs+Grievances, Newfoundland Vinyl 3, Sylvan Hour, Newfoundland Vinyl II, Souling (Bonus Tracks Edition), and 15 more. , and , .

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about

UK writer Mike Ferguson, (posting in “Some Diurnal Aural Awe”), anticipates audiences will be “royally entertained” by a show “full of the joy and fun that comes across on this cd's live offering”. "Introducing” is the concert part of the debut album from Allison Crowe and Band which, together with the studio set, (“Heirs+Grievances”), forms the physical CD collection.

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!!

REVIEWS:

"Heirs + Grievances is a gorgeous, full circle showcase of Allison’s growth as a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her extraordinary voice is unrestrained and beautifully accompanied by her bandmates." ~ Muruch

“I don’t believe Crowe ever sings a song without an absolute personal commitment... This is an album that should and could develop a greater audience for Crowe beyond those who already adore her.” ~ Some Diurnal Aural Awe

“In the past, Crowe has devoted herself to trad folk, contemporary rock, Christmas songs and music of Leonard Cohen, all of which have merged into these two discs to create a portrait of an idealist — with the addition of her between-songs talk on the live recording revealing a bubbly personality.” ~ Tom Harrison, The Province

“I have not heard of anyone who sings with the vulnerability or childhood innocence and the piercing intensity of Edith Piaf the way she does, well at least not in this lifetime,” says writer/editor Baxter Labatos, founder of “The Celtic Music Fan”, in a review of Allison Crowe and Band’s debut. “It is quite amazing how she can do so many things with her voice. She’s a woman with a guitar who belts out like Aretha Franklin, a bodhran player with soul in her heart and, yes, a pianist with the grace of a classical performer.”

Of “Introducing / Heirs+Grievances”, the double-disc, the percipient international blogger sums up: “The powerful voice and intrumental prowess will delight fans and new converts of Allison Crowe’s artistic genius.” Enjoy the full review @ celticmusicfan.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/why-music-why-breathing-the-allison-crowe-band-cd

credits

released September 4, 2016

Allison Crowe: Vocals, Piano, Guitar, Fiddle + Bodhran
Billie Woods: Guitar + Vocal Harmonies
Céline Greb: Cello + Vocal Harmonies
Dave Baird: Double Bass + Bass

“Heirs + Grievances”
Engineer/Mixer: Larry Anschell (Turtle Recording Studios)

“Introducing”
Engineer/Mixer: Brad Graham (Turtle)
Concert Tech: Robert Nelson

All songs originally composed by Allison Crowe except:
Chelsea Hotel No.2 – Leonard Cohen, Ron Cornelius (Sony/ATV Songs LLC)
Foggy Shores of Home – Gary O’Driscoll (Chapeau Rouge Music)
Why – Annie Lennox (La Lennoxa Music Co. Ltd.)
Tarry Trousers + Now I’m 64 – Traditional, arranged by Allison Crowe

Fotos: Billie Woods (front), Adrian du Plessis (back) + Allison Crowe (inside)
Art Design & Graphics: Céline Greb

Stage Manager + Multi-instrumentalist: Sarah White
Road Manager + Driver: Axel Dollheiser
Manager: Adrian du Plessis

Rubenesque Records Ltd.

Why music?
Why breathing?

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Allison Crowe Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Track Name: Chelsea Hotel No. 2
Chelsea Hotel No. 2

Words & Music by Leonard Cohen, Ron Cornelius
Performed by Allison Crowe

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were looking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.

Well, those were the reasons, that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh
That was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left

Ah, but you got away, oh, didn't you baby,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don't need you,
I need you, I don't need you
' all of that jiving around.

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend
And you told me again - you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception
And then clenching your fists for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, "Well, never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music"

Ah, but you got away, oh, didn't you baby
You just turned your back on the crowd
You got away, I never once heard you say
I need you, I don’t need you
I need you, I don’t need you
And all of that jivin’ around

I don't mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can't keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that's all, I don't think of you that often
Track Name: There Is
There Is

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

Open up your door
I know we've both been here before
But there's a shadow fading here
A revolution on its way

Open up your mind
I know I've drowned in there before
But my wings are drying off
And I am ready to dive in
I am coming back again
To you

A way
There is a way
Out of this
There is

Give me a minute
I'll try to explain myself to you
I am the girl who is always with you
The one who's always watching

Give me a break I thought that you
understood this already
And I'm not trying to deceive you
I don't have that much time on my hands
And I am not going to leave you alone

A way
There is a way
Out of this
There is

I see you in the rain
and you are more beautiful
than I have ever seen

And when I walk I want you with me
And I see your smile above me
and I know, I know there is

A way
there is a way
out of this
there is
Track Name: Arthur
Arthur

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

And the weight of this war
We are fighting
Is a door that is opening
And sighing

You say come back inside
It is warm here
You have seen it out there
And you ran
away

If you lift without strength
Can you move it
Or the sword in this stone
Would you lose it

Are you Arthur
Or only pretending
And this hope you have burned
Are you sending
away

Away, away…

Would you hold me
If I disappeared now
And if I didn’t know
Who I was

Would you stay with me
While I was losing
Or lay down your sword
And run
away

Would you still love me
If I forgot you
If my heart held to
Only a thread

In the flicker of eyes
I would see you
Would you carry me back
from my dread
away

Away, 'way, away

away, away
Track Name: No Matter the Battle
No Matter the Battle

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

I still hold secrets
I thought that was over
They’re still with me
Yeah, they’re still there

And I’ve walked backwards
And fallen down so many times
It seems like the truth
Is fatally attracted to me

But I can’t see
And I can’t feel
But I still don’t know why

And I believe now that you are with me
And I have heard you say
That you will love me anyway
No matter the battle

And I’ve exploded
Into pieces and shattered
These frames and phrases
As tears burst through

And I’ve tried to hold them
to me so tightly
I felt I couldn’t breathe
more times than you could believe

And I can’t see
And I can’t feel
But I still don’t know why

And I believe now that you are with me
And I have heard you say
that you will love me anyway
No matter the battle

So here you stand now
You’re still beside me
And I still hold you
And will, ’til I can’t see

‘cause if you’ll hold the light
I’ll wade through the depths
and breathe for you
if you will fly for me

But I can’t see
and I can’t feel
but I still don’t know why

and I believe now
that you are with me

and I have heard you say
that you will love me anyway
no matter the battle

And I still hold secrets
I thought that was over

And you’re still with me
Yeah, you’re still there
Track Name: Tarry Trousers
Tarry Trousers

Traditional
Performed by Allison Crowe

As I roved out one fine Summer's ev'ning
to view those flow'rs and to take the air
't'was there I spied a tender mother
talking to her daughter dear

Singing, "Daughter, o daughter, I'll have you to marry"
"No longer to live a sweet single, life"
"O mother, o mother, I 'd rather to tarry"
"To be some brave young sailor's wife"

"A sailor shy sits all for to wander"
"To some foreign count'r'y he'd go"
"They will cause you to sigh and to murmur"
"They will prove your overthrow"

"Or, if you could get me to wed with a farmer"
"To be your joy and heart's delight"
"But give me the boy with the tarry, tarry trousers"
"To shine in my eyes like a diamond bright"

She hung her head on the top of her shoulders
Tears from her eyes like a fountain flowed
"I'll stay at home and be true-hearted"
"whilst my love to the sea doth go"

"Hark, o hark, how the great guns are rattling"
"Big and small, they all make noise"
"My true love's in the field of battle"
"Now fight on, my gallant boy"
Track Name: You All Haunt Me
You All Haunt Me

Composed by Allison Crowe

I would take it back
if it was even real
I would tell you how
exactly how I feel
And it would be ugly
and you would be scared

Can’t you see my face?
Oh can you hear my voice?
Now, how can you tell me
that this is a choice,
that I asked for this?
Now, why would I do that?

When this is all I have
and this is all I am
You haunt me, you all haunt me

Now, if you think that I forgot
if you think that I moved on
I ask you - have you even met me?
what planet are you on?
I don't forget anything
even though I try

Maybe too intense
maybe too revealed
maybe madness baby
but you’re so, so concealed
I never saw a thing

This is all I have
and this is all I am
You haunt me, you all haunt me

Why did I do this?
Why did I say that?
and why did you pretend to care
when I know that you were watching me cry
yeah, you watched me die

When light circled my eyes
and my heart tried to leave me
My words were all gone wild
not even I could believe me
any more
you have to know that I tried

And this is all I have
This is all I am
You haunt me, yeah, you haunt me

You haunt me

Yeah, you all haunt me
Track Name: Now I'm 64
Now I'm 64

Traditional
As performed by Allison Crowe

I pondered on those days gone by as I sat beside the mill
and gazed upon the setting Sun as it sank beneath the hill
I gazed on it once more, me boys, ’t’was the very Sun I've seen
Well, it's just the same now as it was when we were sweet 16

Oh, how I long for those bright days to come again once more
But come again they never will for now I'm 64

The little fish swim in the brook and wander down below
They swim until, and ever will, as they did long ago
The little meadow by the brook is just as fresh and green
It’s just the same now as it was when we were sweet 16

Oh, how I long for those bright days to come again once more
But come again they never will for now I'm 64

Oh, the past is past and she is gone, on Earth we'll meet no more
But we will meet in Heaven above on that eternal shore
And when we meet we'll part no more, we both will reign supreme
No more to sing of days gone by when we were sweet 16

Oh, how I long for those bright days to come again once more
But come again they never will for now I'm 64

Oh, how I long for those bright days to come again once more
But come again they never will for now I'm 64
Track Name: Heavy Graces
Through These Heavy Graces

Composed by Allison Crowe

I’m not better than anyone
and you’re no better than me
So here we stand at the artifice
face-to-face in symmetry

I laugh when I’m afraid
and I cry when taken by peace
I shake through new beginnings
and I scream when I release

I want to breathe
but I can’t catch breath
I want to live
but I can’t shake death

And bathe in light
in the darkest of places
Tread lightly
through these heavy graces

Guilt crawls through my skin
and exits every pore
I exist a floating creature
of heart and bones, so sore

But you stand firm in faith
for your emptiness of soul
And I’m left here with the shaking
when laughter takes its toll

I want to breathe
But I can’t catch breath
I want to live
but I can’t shake death

Bathe in light
in the darkest of places
Tread lightly
through these heavy graces

And shadow takes his cover
It’s piercing with his eyes
No moral lesson learned here
No clever compromise

Just feign of retribution
and tears swallowed ill at ease
To wash the scars from inside
this doubt will not appease

I want to breathe
but I can’t catch breath
I want to live
but I can’t shake death

And bathe in light
in the darkest of places
Tread lightly
through these heavy graces

I want to breathe
but I can’t catch breath
I want to live
but I can’t shake death

And bathe in light
in the darkest of places
Tread lightly
through these heavy graces

Tread lightly
through these heavy graces

Tread lightly
through these, these heavy graces
Track Name: Double-Edged Swords
Double-Edged Swords

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

Going backwards on the train to France
As Germany flies by
I find myself distracted and
Wondering where and what and why

I’m running away, running faster still
Slamming into a wall
The trips that I take myself on
Always lead to a fall

So don’t hurt me, then maybe do
Maybe just let me be
I don’t want to believe in anything
And I am not sure that I am free

If anything, don’t lie to me
Just to play at words
Either run, walk, or attack me
You and your double-edged swords

I don’t know why I get so close
So enraged, so serious
I don’t know why my lucidities
Always lead to delirious…

But, they do, oh my they do
And I delight in the blood
Far beneath these wings, I think,
is something less than good

So, don’t hurt me, but, then, maybe do
Maybe just let me be
I don’t want to believe in anything
And I am not sure that I am free

If anything don’t lie to me
just to play at words
Either run, walk, or attack me
You and your double-edged swords

Now, maybe this is just my imagination
If so ignore this proclamation
Hell, now I’m filled with indignation
So please accept my resignation

I’m unpredictable, unwise at times
Dangerous in changing light
Too deep, too dark to see through
Or clear, calm and bright

So, if you think you’re trouble
What does that make me
If you think you’re the forest, baby
That makes me the sea

So don’t hurt me, well, then, maybe do
Maybe just let me be
I don’t want to believe in anything
And I am not sure that I am free

If anything, don’t lie to me
just to play at words
Either run, walk or attack me
You and your double-edged swords

Don’t hurt me
Maybe just a little
Maybe just let me be
I don’t want to believe in anything
and, then again, I kinda do

So, if anything don’t lie to me
just to play at words
Either run, walk or attack me
You and your double-edged swords

Either run, walk or attack me
You and your double-edged swords
Track Name: On the Air
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...
Track Name: Skeletons and Spirits
Skeletons and Spirits

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

Take your sympathy and shove it
as for the pain,
well, I love it
I'll eat your words
I'll devour your soul
I will laugh like a lemur
as you crawl back into your hole

I won't deny you,
but I'll pay you no heed
And, if you keep stabbing me,
I will probably bleed
But, I'll pretend I'm a cloud
and my rain will surround you
And if you keep hurting me
I'll eventually drown you

And, yes I know
I'm a little bit off

But, you, you can't leave, you can't open the door
you think you're unique but I've seen you before
so run, run away from the fires that burn
you will do this again and again
but you will never learn

So keep looking down
as you crush me keep smiling
'cause I will get up
and there's no denying
that I am one of your punching clowns
you can keep on striking
but you can't keep me down

You always think that you
are fearless and right
but I think that you
are afraid in the night
of the ghosts, of the spirits
that crawl into your head
of the skeletons that'll haunt you
until you're dead

but, now, you can't leave, you can't open the door
you think you're unique but I've seen you before
so run, run away from the fires that burn
you will do this again and again and again and again

but, now, you can't leave, you can't open the door
you think you're unique but I've seen it all before
so run, run away from the fires that burn
but you will never learn
you will never learn
you will never learn
Track Name: Secrets (That Aren't My Own)
Secrets

Words & Music by Allison Crowe

verse 1
you know I hold these in
and I take them for myself
I'm covered in guilt
but it's not my own

there isn't any reason
for me to feel like I'm dying
I'm done with being afraid
I'm done with lying

chorus:
and I am not an angel
I'm more like Mona Lisa
there's something hiding in me
there's always something behind my smile

and I know that I'm not perfect
and maybe I am the court jester
I'm the life of the party
and I know too much about the court...

I have these secrets that aren't my own

verse 2
so take this how you want to
I'm not here to judge you
I just want to be in love with you
I just want to forget myself

i want to just be ignorant
please take this pain away from me
down to the river and out to the sea
down to the river and out to the sea

chorus:
and I am not an angel
I'm more like Mona Lisa
there's something hiding in me
there's always something behind my smile

and I know that I'm not perfect
yeah, I am the court jester
I'm the life of the party
and I know too much about the court...

I have these secrets that aren't my own

verse 3
it's too far to reach.
but I'm too scared to let go.
it's too close to ignore
but I feel so far away now

I'm crawling in the ceiling
I'm scratching through the walls
I'm trying to scream
but my own hand is on my throat

chorus:
And I am not an angel
I'm more like Mona Lisa
there's something hiding in me
there's always something behind my smile

and I want to be like Venus
to just bare it all and face the world
but I'm tangled in these blankets
I'm caught in between the lines

I have these secrets that aren't my own
Track Name: Foggy Shores of Home
The Foggy Shores of Home

Composed by Gary O'Driscoll
As performed by Allison Crowe

I've sailed upon the ocean wide,
I've sailed the world around;
I've sailed on barques and brigantines,
From Lisbon to St John's.
I've sailed where the ocean tossed and rolled,
I've sailed where the ocean foams;
I've sailed where the ice floes thunder and roll,
To bring the white coats home.

Wherever you may ramble,
Wherever you may roam,
Wherever you may be,
You'll be happy to see,
The foggy shores of home.

I've sailed down to the South Sea Isles,
I've sailed where the trade winds come;
I've sailed on schooners listing low,
To bring home 'backey and rum.
I've sailed to the city of New York,
To labour in the sky;
High above the streets below,
To home my heart would fly.

Wherever you may ramble,
Wherever you may roam,
Wherever you may be,
You'll be happy to see,
The foggy shores of home.

One day I will sail back home,
To my dear foggy shore;
I'll plough the ground of my hometown,
And go to sea no more.

Wherever you may ramble,
Wherever you may roam,
Wherever you may be,
You'll be happy to see,
The foggy shores of home.

Wherever you may ramble,
Wherever you may roam,
Wherever you may be,
You'll be happy to see,
The foggy shores of home.