Thursday, December 18, 2014

Once in Royal David's City

The words to "Once in Royal David's City" are written by Dublin, Ireland-born Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander (1818-1895) and first published in her 1848 collection, "Hymns for Little Children". This text by C.F. Alexander, wife of the Bishop of Derry, was later set to music by English composer Henry John Gauntlett (1805-1876).

Allison Crowe now tells the song's story:


http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/souling

Allison Crowe’s gorgeous voice brings tidings of comfort and joy with “Souling” – her 11th full album release.

The artist, one of our greatest living musicians, singer-songwriters and performers, has always created authentic music. With this newest song set her voice is heard wholly a cappella.

The songs themselves have a purity of expression – a 21st century take on music of faith and spirit – sounds and themes aired by carollers and soulers of old.

The genesis of “Souling” is found in the bond Allison Crowe’s formed with the creative family at Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador. Founded in 1979, this professional theatre company presents a dynamic and diverse repertoire of plays and maintains, as well, a strong commitment to youth theatre in the Atlantic Canada community.

For these past three Summers TNL’s engaged Crowe as Musical Director of “Newfoundland Vinyl” - a perennial favourite at the annual Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Following another hit season at GMTF, in late August of this year TNL Artistic Associate SaraH McDonald invited the Corner Brook, NL-based musician to serve the same role with a vibrant production of “A Christmas Carol”.

The Adaptation of this classic Charles Dickens story by playwright Jeff Pitcher, TNL’s Artistic Director, excited Crowe’s musical imagination – as did the desire of McDonald, the play’s Director, to incorporate songs in the style of Victorian Era carollers.

So inspired, Allison Crowe immersed herself in curating the music for the abundantly-talented, multi-aged, choir of singers who performed in “A Christmas Carol” at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre from November 27th – 30th, 2014.

This artistic process of selection and arrangement led to her recording solo versions of those songs that will receive another distinct breath of life from the TNL vocal ensemble.

(In parallel fashion, the first season’s run of “Newfoundland Vinyl” brought forth Allison Crowe’s album of the same name – one of 2013’s top recordings. Culture blog Muruch praised it as a “lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes” possessing “unique charm” and “the timeless beauty of a classic folk album”.)

In 2003, (and expanded in 2004), Allison Crowe released Tidings – an album of singular interpretations - “River” (Joni Mitchell), “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen), “In My Life” (The Beatles) and more from the secular canon – alongside such favourite traditional carols as “Silent Night”, “The First Noel”, and “O Holy Night”. Tidings has proven to be a modern classic – “music for the season and all time”.

This time out, as befits TNL’s telling of “A Christmas Carol”, Allison Crowe gives pure voice to the sacred songbook. “Souling” is:

Soul Cake
I Saw Three Ships
That Night in Bethlehem (Don Oíche úd i mBeithil)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The Wexford Carol
The Holly and the Ivy
In the Bleak Midwinter (Cranham)
Ding Dong Merrily on High
Once in Royal David’s City
Wassail Song

Souling” is available now via Allison Crowe’s own website @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/souling as well as on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/souling/id933188580 plus CD Baby @ http://cdbaby.com/cd/allisoncrowe10 and all major digital music outlets worldwide.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Woman of Labrador

Canadian poet, singer-songwriter, sailor and islander Andy Vine (http://www.andyvine.com) composed this song in the late 1970s. While music-making in St. John’s, Newfoundland he discovered “Woman of Labrador”, the remarkable autobiography of Elizabeth Goudie. Of Inuit, Indian, French and English roots, Goudie (née Blake) was born in 1902 in Mud Lake, Labrador. At 18 she’d wed a trapper, raising their eight+ children in the brush – her memoirs recounting life and travails and dwellings from a trapper’s “tilt”, and log cabins to a Summer lake-shore fishing house and beyond – all that comes with and from such a pioneering existence in territory that encompassed family homes in Mud Lake, North West River and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Inspired by Goudie’s story, Vine distilled things into music – and a song popularized by legendary NL folk-rock group Figgy Duff (Pamela Morgan singing this tune with that band of pioneers in their own field).


The image accompanying the music in this video, of “The Labrador ‘liveyere’ ”, is found in “The Story of Grenfell of the Labrador”, a biography of medical missionary Wilfred T. Grenfell (1865 – 1940) – first published in 1922, and, then, digitally, in 2005 as an ebook by Project Gutenberg’s Jeannie Howse and team.

Sir Grenfell’s biographer explains that liveyeres are those hardy souls who permanently reside in the region (as distinct from folks who come for Summer-fishing or other activities, and don’t stay in Wintertime). As well, for his international audience, the author Dillon Wallace notes: “It will be interesting to turn to a map and see for ourselves the country to which Doctor Grenfell was going. We will find Labrador in the northeastern corner of the North American continent, just as Alaska is in the northwestern corner.”

And so lives and events mingle and tales are passed on – through oral and written histories. Through song.

Of musician Allison Crowe, veteran Canadian playwright, and Artistic Director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, Jeff Pitcher (http://www.jeffpitcher.ca), says: "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."

Woman of Labrador” finds home again on “Newfoundland Vinyl II”, Crowe’s just-released album: http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/newfoundland-vinyl-ii

As the album title suggests, it's a song collection inspired by, and arising from, Allison Crowe's involvement with the hit stage show, "Newfoundland Vinyl" - presented at Canada's Gros Morne Theatre Festival, and produced by TNL.

The album celebrates this creative bond between Crowe, an internationally-loved touring and recording artist, and Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, a professional theatre company founded on Newfoundland's west coast in 1979.

For these past three Summers TNL's engaged Crowe as Musical Director of "Newfoundland Vinyl" - a perennial favourite at the annual GMTF.

TNL AD Jeff Pitcher's conception of a revival of vinyl era, and more, songs of Newfoundland and Labrador put wind in the sails of Allison Crowe's curatorial mission.

"It's here!" says pioneering music blog Muruch, "Allison Crowe just released Newfoundland Vinyl II and it's the perfect follow-up to her traditional folk masterpiece, Newfoundland Vinyl".

Of her immersions as Musical Director with TNL, and the melodic bounty that's landed, Allison Crowe notes: "There is so much wonderful music - you could piece together multiple anthologies and still only scratch the surface of such an extensive and rich collection. Each of these songs is its own story, of land and sea, of people, and each story in-and-of-itself could be an entire show. I'm truly grateful that you are here to hear the story these songs have to offer." She gives special thanks to "the incredibly talented and versatile" casts and crews of TNL's productions for their inspiration.

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Celtic Music Fan Twins Musical Joy

The Celtic Music Fan has just published a daily-double – reviewing both of Allison Crowe’s new albums out now.
 
Of her a cappella Christmas collection, TCMF’s Baxter Labatos writes: “Souling is an album that redefines the usual traditional holiday tunes and also about how they are being rendered.”
 
And, of “Newfoundland Vinyl II”, the culture blogger says: “It is about singing from the heart. It is about singing the songs of people that have been passed from every generation.”
 
Enjoy the sounds of each new recording and Celtic Music Fan blog’s perceptions in full stereo @ http://celticmusicfan.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/two-new-albums-by-allison-crowe 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

This traditional Christmas carol dates originally to 18th century England - and makes an appearance in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" almost 100 years later. In this new millenium, Allison Crowe delivers the song a cappella - on her album "Souling".

The music's visual accompaniment is an excerpt from "Peace on Earth", a 1939 Academy Award-nominated cartoon directed by Hugh Harman.


http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/souling

Allison Crowe’s gorgeous voice brings tidings of comfort and joy with “Souling” – her 11th full album release.

The artist, one of our greatest living musicians, singer-songwriters and performers, has always created authentic music. With this newest song set her voice is heard wholly a cappella.

The songs themselves have a purity of expression – a 21st century take on music of faith and spirit – sounds and themes aired by carollers and soulers of old.

The genesis of “Souling” is found in the bond Allison Crowe’s formed with the creative family at Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador. Founded in 1979, this professional theatre company presents a dynamic and diverse repertoire of plays and maintains, as well, a strong commitment to youth theatre in the Atlantic Canada community.

For these past three Summers TNL’s engaged Crowe as Musical Director of “Newfoundland Vinyl” - a perennial favourite at the annual Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Following another hit season at GMTF, in late August of this year TNL Artistic Associate SaraH McDonald invited the Corner Brook, NL-based musician to serve the same role with a vibrant production of “A Christmas Carol”.

The Adaptation of this classic Charles Dickens story by playwright Jeff Pitcher, TNL’s Artistic Director, excited Crowe’s musical imagination – as did the desire of McDonald, the play’s Director, to incorporate songs in the style of Victorian Era carollers.

So inspired, Allison Crowe immersed herself in curating the music for the abundantly-talented, multi-aged, choir of singers who performed in “A Christmas Carol” at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre from November 27th – 30th, 2014.

This artistic process of selection and arrangement led to her recording solo versions of those songs that will receive another distinct breath of life from the TNL vocal ensemble.

(In parallel fashion, the first season’s run of “Newfoundland Vinyl” brought forth Allison Crowe’s album of the same name – one of 2013’s top recordings. Culture blog Muruch praised it as a “lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes” possessing “unique charm” and “the timeless beauty of a classic folk album”.)

In 2003, (and expanded in 2004), Allison Crowe released Tidings – an album of singular interpretations - “River” (Joni Mitchell), “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen), “In My Life” (The Beatles) and more from the secular canon – alongside such favourite traditional carols as “Silent Night”, “The First Noel”, and “O Holy Night”. Tidings has proven to be a modern classic – “music for the season and all time”.

This time out, as befits TNL’s telling of “A Christmas Carol”, Allison Crowe gives pure voice to the sacred songbook. “Souling” is:

Soul Cake
I Saw Three Ships
That Night in Bethlehem (Don Oíche úd i mBeithil)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The Wexford Carol
The Holly and the Ivy
In the Bleak Midwinter (Cranham)
Ding Dong Merrily on High
Once in Royal David’s City
Wassail Song

Souling” is available now via Allison Crowe’s own website @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/souling as well as on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/souling/id933188580 plus CD Baby @ http://cdbaby.com/cd/allisoncrowe10 and all major digital music outlets worldwide.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Northern Lights of Labrador

NL’s Don Fulford wrote “Northern Lights of Labrador” for his sister, Trina – of the renowned duo Corey & Trina (Crewe) and they had a tremendous hit with this song - naturally popular across Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada's Atlantic coast.


Love for beauty and home shines through Allison Crowe and her newest album of music, "Newfoundland Vinyl II": http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/newfoundland-vinyl-ii

As the album title suggests, it's a song collection inspired by, and arising from, Crowe's involvement with the hit stage show, "Newfoundland Vinyl" - presented at Canada's Gros Morne Theatre Festival, and produced by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador.

The album celebrates this creative bond between Crowe, an internationally-loved touring and recording artist, and Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, a professional theatre company founded on Newfoundland's west coast in 1979.

For these past three Summers TNL's engaged Crowe as Musical Director of "Newfoundland Vinyl" - a perennial favourite at the annual Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

TNL Artistic Director Jeff Pitcher's conception of a revival of vinyl era, and more, songs of Newfoundland and Labrador put wind in the sails of Allison Crowe's curatorial mission.

"It's here!" says pioneering music blog Muruch, "Allison Crowe just released Newfoundland Vinyl II and it's the perfect follow-up to her traditional folk masterpiece, Newfoundland Vinyl".

Of her immersions as Musical Director with TNL, and the melodic bounty that's landed, Allison Crowe notes: "There is so much wonderful music - you could piece together multiple anthologies and still only scratch the surface of such an extensive and rich collection. Each of these songs is its own story, of land and sea, of people, and each story in-and-of-itself could be an entire show. I'm truly grateful that you are here to hear the story these songs have to offer." She gives special thanks to "the incredibly talented and versatile" casts and crews of TNL's productions for their inspiration.

Northern Lights photo - by Allison Crowe + thanks to Johnny Cann

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The Holly and the Ivy

The Holly and the Ivy”, this distinctive, ancient, British carol is heard on Allison Crowe’s new Christmas collection, “Souling”.



Allison Crowe’s gorgeous voice brings tidings of comfort and joy with “Souling” – her 11th full album release.

The artist, one of our greatest living musicians, singer-songwriters and performers, has always created authentic music.

With this newest song set her voice is heard wholly a cappella.

The songs themselves have a purity of expression – a 21st century take on music of faith and spirit – sounds and themes aired by carollers and soulers of old.

The genesis of “Souling” is found in the bond Allison Crowe’s formed with the creative family at Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador. Founded in 1979, this professional theatre company presents a dynamic and diverse repertoire of plays and maintains, as well, a strong commitment to youth theatre in the Atlantic Canada community.

For these past three Summers TNL’s engaged Crowe as Musical Director of “Newfoundland Vinyl” - a perennial favourite at the annual Gros Morne Theatre Festival. Following another hit season at GMTF, in late August of this year TNL Artistic Associate SaraH McDonald invited the Corner Brook, NL-based musician to serve the same role with a vibrant production of “A Christmas Carol”.

The Adaptation of this classic Charles Dickens story by playwright Jeff Pitcher, TNL’s Artistic Director, excited Crowe’s musical imagination – as did the desire of McDonald, the play’s Director, to incorporate songs in the style of Victorian Era carollers.

So inspired, Allison Crowe immersed herself in curating the music for the abundantly-talented, multi-aged, choir of singers who performed in “A Christmas Carol” at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre from November 27th – 30th, 2014.

This artistic process of selection and arrangement led to her recording solo versions of those songs that will receive another distinct breath of life from the TNL vocal ensemble.

(In parallel fashion, the first season’s run of “Newfoundland Vinyl” brought forth Allison Crowe’s album of the same name – one of 2013’s top recordings. Culture blog Muruch praised it as a “lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes” possessing “unique charm” and “the timeless beauty of a classic folk album”.)

In 2003, (and expanded in 2004), Allison Crowe released Tidings – an album of singular interpretations - “River” (Joni Mitchell), “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen), “In My Life” (The Beatles) and more from the secular canon – alongside such favourite traditional carols as “Silent Night”, “The First Noel”, and “O Holy Night”. Tidings has proven to be a modern classic – “music for the season and all time”.

This time out, as befits TNL’s telling of “A Christmas Carol”, Allison Crowe gives pure voice to the sacred songbook. “Souling” is:

Soul Cake
I Saw Three Ships
That Night in Bethlehem (Don Oíche úd i mBeithil)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The Wexford Carol
The Holly and the Ivy
In the Bleak Midwinter (Cranham)
Ding Dong Merrily on High
Once in Royal David’s City
Wassail Song

Souling” is available now via Allison Crowe’s own website @ http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/souling as well as on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/souling/id933188580 plus CD Baby @ http://cdbaby.com/cd/allisoncrowe10 and all major digital music outlets worldwide.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

(Area Code) 709

The directory of phone songs lists some great tunes - among them: Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" and Shel Silverstein's "Sylvia's Mother" (a memorable hit for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show).

In Canada, Eddie Coffey and Dennis Adamson dialed up the fun with their ode to "709" - the area code assigned to Newfoundland and Labrador since 1962.

Ringing in a new version is Allison Crowe on her latest album, "Newfoundland Vinyl II": 
http://music.allisoncrowe.com/album/newfoundland-vinyl-ii


As the album title suggests, it's a song collection inspired by, and arising from, Crowe's involvement with the hit stage show, "Newfoundland Vinyl" - presented at Canada's Gros Morne Theatre Festival, and produced by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador.

TNL's Artistic Director Jeff Pitcher conceived the musical production and Allison Crowe has served as the show's Musical Director for three Summers now at GMTF.

The album celebrates this creative bond between Crowe, an internationally-loved touring and recording artist, and Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, a professional theatre company founded on Newfoundland's west coast in 1979.

For these past three Summers TNL's engaged Crowe as Musical Director of "Newfoundland Vinyl" - a perennial favourite at the annual Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

TNL Artistic Director Jeff Pitcher's conception of a revival of vinyl era, and more, songs of Newfoundland and Labrador put wind in the sails of Allison Crowe's curatorial mission.

"It's here!" says pioneering music blog Muruch, "Allison Crowe just released Newfoundland Vinyl II and it's the perfect follow-up to her traditional folk masterpiece, Newfoundland Vinyl".

Of her immersions as Musical Director with TNL, and the melodic bounty that's landed, Allison Crowe notes: "There is so much wonderful music - you could piece together multiple anthologies and still only scratch the surface of such an extensive and rich collection. Each of these songs is its own story, of land and sea, of people, and each story in-and-of-itself could be an entire show. I'm truly grateful that you are here to hear the story these songs have to offer." She gives special thanks to "the incredibly talented and versatile" casts and crews of TNL's productions for their inspiration.

Photograph by Billie Woods

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