Currently residing in Newfoundland, the Nanaimo-born Allison Crowe is making her way back to the west to perform — and this time she’s not alone.
Crowe has performed solo for more than a decade and has made a change and formed a band this past summer.
“We’re just sort of getting going so it should be a lot of fun,” she said.
The band consists of Dave Baird on bass, Billie Woods on guitar and vocals and the newest member, Celine Greb who plays cello and sings.
“It’s a group of people. We all do different things and play different instruments and have different jobs,” Crowe laughed.
In a hybrid of Canadiana, Celtic, jazz, roots, folk, soul and original rock, Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on Oct. 23 will be the first stop on the short tour for Crowe and her band as they will head out to Nanaimo and Vancouver after.
Crowe said she loves the Charlie White Theatre and said it’s a beautiful, intimate place.
Her love of music began when she was around five years old when she began taking piano lessons. From there, her musical interest grew.
When she was out of high school, she began working as a musician right away and never looked back.
The B.C stops will be her and the band’s first full length tour together and they will be making their first recording in White Rock for a new album.
They will be playing music live off the floor and record the same way they would play in a concert.
Crowe said they have a couple days in studio where they will lay down everything they have and go from there.
“We record exactly as we would play live. I like the energy of a live off the floor recording. My favourite thing is live performance,” she said.
Her most recent album is Spiral, released this fall. In writing her music, Crowe said she records a lot of it in her apartment.
She works as a musical director as well, so when she is working on a show, before she goes in, she likes to record the arrangements that she works on just to have as examples. Such work, she said, tends to be released as an album later on.
Life, wherever it is at that time, is what inspires Crowe. She said it has to do with mostly her own life, her reaction to outside events and all the personal stuff.
“Sometimes I’ll write the lyrics and then think of a melody for that after. Sometimes a song or a chord progression comes to me first and I either put words to it or I go back to old poems or something and put that in, too, if it fits the music. It’s kind of all over the place.”
Crowe said being a solo artist for so long has been lonely and working with the band has been much more enjoyable.
“For me it’s fun to play with other musicians and sort of have that energy on stage. And there’s something totally different about solo performing. At the same time I really prefer playing with a band because its so much fun. It’s sort of like a form of communication. You’re working with musicians and you’re sort of speaking to each other through music.”
After her B.C tour and recording session, Crowe will go back to Newfoundland to get ready for a solo Christmas show. She and the band will then take off to Europe in the new year.
For Crowe, music is everything and has been a part of her life for as long as she can imagine.
“It’s just been so much a part of my life I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s a form of communication, it’s a language in and of itself and I don’t really know anyone that doesn’t love music.”