Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Victory for Visiting Artists Campaign!

Great news today!

Heeding a two-year+ campaign for reform by cultural groups and individuals, Theresa May, the UK's Home Secretary, announces changes to immigration policy effective April 6, 2012. This delivers on promises made earlier this month by Immigration Minister Damian Green:“We do not want to be discouraging world-class performers from coming [to the UK]. I am aware that this has been a sore point forsome time and we are taking action".

Starting this Spring, visiting artists can stay in the UK up to one month, under a new route, called "Permitted Paid Engagements". This route does away with a range of onerous and arbitrary fees and regulations in place since November 2008 (red-tape that was supposed to combat terrorism and illegal immigration, and, instead, prevented many legitimate artists and academics from making short term visits to the UK).

Congratulations and thanks to Manick Govinda, Josie Appleton and all their team at the Manifesto Club who led this successful fight, and rallied support, for a greater measure of justice and sanity. Celebrate!! (more details @

Brings to mind what Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tidings concert-and-more documentary coming

With snow falling on both of Canada's coasts, those places Allison Crowe calls home, in drifts word - and a few screen caps - from an upcoming video-documentary on "Tidings". Newfoundland-based film-maker Peter Buckle helms the production which focuses on Allison's melding of the sacred and secular in “songs of the season”. PB Productions' crew filmed Allison in concert at the First United Church in Corner Brook, NL. Graciously supported with a grant from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, this concert-and-more doc promises naturalness and authenticity, hallmarks of the musician at its centre, and a context, both, Canadian and universal.

Here's Corner Brook, Newfoundland, under a dusting of snow *

"Allison Crowe’s resonant, rich, gorgeous voice seems as much a manifestation of Christmas as an instrument for singing holiday songs," notes 1 Heck of a Guy's Allan Showalter in "It’s Beginning To Sound A Lot Like Allison Crowe" @ And, Stephen Smysnuik, writing in Whistler, BC's The Pique, offers an alpine view: "Crowe's voice is as much a manifestation of Christmas spirit today as Bing Crosby's was in 1942. It's as warm as an open fire; as gorgeous as snow-frosted evergreens; as tender as that hug you give your mother on Christmas day."

Allison Crowe delivers music for the season and all-time *

It's months still in the making, but, once unwrapped, the Tidings documentary looks to bring more joy to the world, year-round.

*Screen-caps from upcoming "Tidings" doc - currently being produced by film-maker Peter Buckle.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Arthur: V Day Playlist #7 of 7

Latest in our series, celebrating Valentine's, V, Day, is Allison Crowe's newest release - a song that speaks to love at 18 as well as at 88:

And, here's an instrumental version of "Arthur", too.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You): V Day Playlist #6 of 7

Many of Allison Crowe's releases are akin to modern-day field-recordings - with a naturalness absent from popular music for decades. Here, visiting a friend's log-home on Salt Spring Island, Canada, she takes a seat at the piano and performs, in a single, first, take, a blues song by Ronnie Shannon - that which became a break-through hit for Aretha Franklin in 1967.

LaJay Alexander, friend to the late songwriter, and an artist who recorded "Say So" for Shannon's blues, soul, funk+ label, Black Gold Records, generously posts: "Hello all, the young lady did a jam up job on the song, Ronnie Shannon would have loved it":

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wedding Song: V Day Playlist #5 of 7

Allan Showalter, erudite and entertaining MC at '1 Heck of a Guy', a Leonard Cohen-centric blog of rare scope, in comparing Allison Crowe's cover of "Me and Bobby McGee" with this original, "Wedding Song" -

- says such act "leads to an unavoidable conclusion: Once you’ve heard one Allison Crowe song, You’ve heard one Allison Crowe song." The good doctor adds: "Turns out all the hype about about Allison’s vast tonal, thematic, and emotional range is true."

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

In My Life: V Day Playlist #4 of 7

Here's a tune first delivered to the world by The Beatles and George Martin on the "Rubber Soul" LP. From the timeless songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it's a "John song". Allison Crowe sailed to sea and performed for Lennon family and friends come together with Scottish villagers and music-lovers from all across Europe, in Durness, Scottish Highlands. The Scotsman newspaper calls Allison a "Canadian angel" and her "In My Life" cover "one of the weekend's most magical moments". Here's a video version -

and a different performance from Allison on her "Tidings" album.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

How Long: V Day Playlist #3 of 7

"How Long" is something of a curious member of Allison Crowe's song repertoire. It's overwhelmingly popular with international audiences, and particularly in those countries where English is not a first language. As it's rarely heard in concert, we have no video or still images of Allison performing the song. The pic accompanying the audio in this vid looks down a road to the sea off the coast of the Orkney Islands, Northern Scotland. It's taken by Billie Woods, photographer, musician and friend of Allison, when the pair were graciously invited by composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Queen's Master of Music, and "Max"'s partner Colin Parkinson to visit their Orcadian home:

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Time After Time: V Day Playlist #2 of 7

Allison Crowe's interpretations are much-loved, and this is one of those song favourites. Captured live, by Scott Littlejohn of Nanaimo, BC, Canada, here's Allison's take on the Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman-penned "Time After Time":

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Northern Lights: Valentine's V Day Playlist #1 of 7

Valentine's, V, Day is a week off. Here's the first in a seven-part Allison Crowe playlist - original songs and interpretations to carry us beyond the galaxy of Moon-June-spoon, to land on and explore the real terrain of the heart. Intentionally rustic, Northern Lights reflects the raw beauty of nature.

Allison's music is paired with images of the Aurora Borealis captured by Yukon-based photographer David Cartier, Sr. - who's added lots more pics to his awe-inspiring sets @ Flickr

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