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":

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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