Allison Crowe and Band will perform Oct. 29 at the Mary Winspear Centre.

Allison Crowe obsessed with learning new musical instruments

Multi-faceted performer and her band return to perform from Heirs and Grievances at the Mary Winspear Centre next week

As far back as she can remember, the multi-faceted Allison Crowe recalls playing piano.

Crowe remembers singing in kindergarten and later taking classical for a long time, taking classical piano until she was about 14.

She played a bit of jazz piano shortly after that, as she said it helped her learn how to improvise, and she quietly taught herself classical afterwords.

“There was a time in high school where I was playing guitar and bass and flute and a little bit of trumpet…” she said.

And Crowe isn’t stopping there.

“Now I’m obsessed with learning fiddle and bodhran (Irish frame drum), and I’d love to build and learn how to play harp, so I’m kind of obsessed,” she said with a laugh.

Crowe leads the group Allison Crowe and Band, which have been playing together for about a year. The group just went on tour in May, which Crowe said was a lot of fun.

The group consists of Sarah White, LIN and Dave Baird who will be coming to the Mary Winspear Centre on Oct. 29.

Throughout the summer, they worked at the same theatre festival and got to try some different things.

“So we’re adding in a little bit of more traditional Irish and a bit of Newfoundland music in as well, along with all the originals,” said Crowe.

The group’s most recent album, Heirs and Grievances was recorded last Fall, and one side of the album is of a live concert they did in Vancouver, and the other is a live off the floor recording they did in studio in Surrey.

Crowe said the album consists of a bunch of original songs with a few covers mixed in as well.

“A lot of them are songs from a long time ago. Some of them are newer, but they’re all new to us as a band, so it’s all different takes on stuff, some of which I’ve been playing for years, and some of which I just kind of started, so it was really fun,” said Crowe.

She said when it comes to finding inspiration, a lot of times she’s writing about what’s going on in her life.

“The songs are almost like little tiny snippets, like little snapshots of whatever’s going on at that moment, which is really interesting because a lot of them are a lot older, so it’s stuff I’ve already gathered,” she said, adding that it’s interesting to revisit  them as it takes on new meaning.

Having experience with many instruments, Crowe has also been playing a lot more fiddle compared to when she was last in Sidney this time last year, and has been playing it all summer, picking up more entirely fiddle songs.

She was in Newfoundland Vinyl, a Theatre Newfoundland Labrador production and played a fiddle song in there, and then ended up in another show where she played fiddle on 12 songs.

“Because of that I actually got a lot of practice, so for this next tour I’ll be playing a lot more fiddle.”

 

After Crowe’s B.C tour, she’ll be busy working on some musical directing for a Theatre Newfoundland Christmas show, and will be doing another Christmas show in her hometown of Cornerbrook following that.