“Newfoundland Vinyl 3  by Allison Crowe brings the beautiful winter breeze early

“Newfoundland Vinyl 3 by Allison Crowe brings the beautiful winter breeze early

Newfoundland Vinyl 3 is a Holiday treat that should not be missed by beautiful music lovers! 

Now that we can move on to Yule, you might want to shop around for a good holiday album. No need to look further. Newfoundland Vinyl 3 by Canadian singer/songwriter Allison Crowe offers a perfect soundtrack for your winter needs. Her singing is strong and with the times. There is an interesting history how this album was conceived(please check the additional info at end of this post).

There are thirteen songs (my lucky number) in the album and they offer unique listening experience as I don’t think I have met a kind of style or recording like her’s.  The styles vary from traditional to modern. The perky Up She Goes is already a favorite. Fiddlers Green, The Irish Rover will appeal to lovers of Irish music. While the rest are infused in folk, pop and blues style. She brings the spirit

Allison Crowe’s arrangements are simple and they exude an intimate air which is rare these days, in a world where music is overblown or over produced. You get the sense of organic simplicity in each track. it’s the feeling of coming home after a long hard day from work.

This recommended especially if you are looking for something that is not too classical, too folky or ethereal. The earthly arrangements and warm performance are gifts from this wonderful album that should last through all seasons.

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More about Newfoundland Vinyl 3:

“Newfoundland Vinyl” is a perennial favourite attraction of the cultural treasure that is the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.

Conceived by Jeff Pitcher, Artistic Director of Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, (TNL – the Atlantic Canadian professional theatre company founded in 1979), the hit stage show’s under the Musical Direction of Allison Crowe who’s been with the production from its launch in 2012.

Each Summer Allison Crowe delights in residing in the beauty of Gros Morne National Park – an UNESCO world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland. In working with her wonderfully-talented cast and crew, Allison records a selection of songs to be included in the show repertoire. Once the play’s run its season, she selects some of her favourite tunes to share from this collection.

TNL describes the latest edition: “Hits of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s by Newfoundland’s biggest recording stars come to life! For your toe-tapping, tear-jerking enjoyment the music and songs of Ryan’s Fancy, Harry Hibbs, Gary O’Driscoll, Dick Nolan, Joan Morrissey, Bob Porter and more…”

“I have had such a wonderful time learning this year’s crop of songs for Newfoundland Vinyl – from waltzes and parlour songs, to torch songs, to songs with the same spirit as 1960s protest anthems and beyond – simply great music from throughout the decades,” notes Allison. “The silly, the sentimental, the sad, and serene all converge in this GMTF show… So, please, enjoy and do sing along!”

credits

released October 20, 2015

Music arranged, performed and recorded by Allison Crowe – Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada.

See individual track listings for songwriting credits.

Album cover photos by Allison Crowe

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Christmas Cheers! We are Warming Up.

Christmas Cheers! We are Warming Up.

So many tunes, to little time. It’s always like that year after year. But I got a few of these goodies from the artists I’ve interacted in the last few weeks so I am bringing you their Christmas musical efforts. They are all great to hear and the tunes will add warmth to this month of reflection and joy.

Listen to this beautiful instrumental track from Dee McIlroy. By the way if you haven’t known yet, he runs a venture called McIlroy Guitars. Beautiful acoustic guitars for musicians of fine taste.

Happy Christmas from McIlroy Guitars with this piece of acoustic guitar music, written by Dee McIlroy.

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Corpus Christi Carol

One of the track I play ever year from my dear friend Paula. She is primarily an electronic singer/composer but once in a while she dabbles with other types of music and is also a huge supporter of Celtic music. She made the Cara Dillon interview possible early this year. You can hear her voice and instruments in this tune called Corpus Christi Carol. She is also a history teacher.

Background(written by Paula):

This is referred to as a carol although it contains no reference to the Nativity….the predominant interpretation of the lyrics (below), which were found in a manuscript c.1504, is that they refer to Arthurian legend / holy grail quest.
The track was recorded with this historical interpretation in mind and the theme is reflected in the slideshow paintings. The melody is a traditional melody,not the Benjamin Britten arrangement.

Please see the link for further info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_C…

Lulley, lully, lulley, lully,
The faucon hath born my mak away.

He bare hym up, he bare hym down,
He bare hym into an orchard brown.

In that orchard ther was an hall,
That was hanged with purpill and pall.

And in that hall ther was a bede,
Hit was hangid with gold so rede.

And yn that bed ther lythe a knyght,
His wowndes bledyng day and nyght.

By that bedes side ther kneleth a may,
And she wepeth both nyght and day.

And by that bedes side ther stondith a ston,
“Corpus Christi” wretyn theron.

Glossary:
faucon: falcon
mak: mate, love
bare: bore, carried
purpill: purple (the royal color)
pall: a funeral pall, a cloth spread over a coffin
bede: bed
rede: red
lythe: lieth, lies
wowndes: wounds
bledyng: bleeding
kneleth: kneeleth, kneels
may: maid, maiden
wepeth: weepeth, weeps
stondith: standeth, stands
ston: stone
Corpus Christi: body of Christ (Latin)
wretyn: written

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In the trail of her shows all over the United States, it is always important to remember that Moya Brennan will always be the first lady of Celtic music. 

I will be bringing you more tunes in days to come.

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Upcoming: 2 albums from Allison Crowe!

I will be reviewing her two albums. I enjoyed her Newfoundland Vinyl(vol.1) and now she has released two goodies. Watch out for these peeps.

Newfoundland Vinyl by Allison Crowe

Newfoundland Vinyl by Allison Crowe

Young singer/songwriter Allison Crowe  puts tradition in motion with Newfoundland Vinyl.

How do you get to know the kind of people who inhabit a place? The answers can be complex but I do know that the kind of lives they led are reflected in their songs. The kind of music we listen to might not really say everything but it says something about who we are and the kind of values we have  As the background notes in the CD say: “…The album’s 10 tracks traverse parlour songs to country tunes and folk favorites, songs of land and sea that share the strength and the struggles, the heart-breaks and the humour of people.”

There are albums that focus more on the personal struggles of the singer/songwriter. But there are those that explore the encyclopedic aspect of songwriting and bringing the song history to the fore. This is where the work of Allison Crowe  proves its importance to contemporary music. She has mapped the culture of Newfoundland and gave each song an up to date delivery that transcends time.

The style of Newfoundland Vinyl echoes the sound of old vinyl records. This can be heard in the opening track Black Velvet Band where her voice takes the nostalgia of  parlour songs during the early part of the 20th century. Her strong voice and upfront delivery shine in Easy. The backing vocals owes much to the African-American gospel choir.  The project was the result of  her involvement with the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. She is now curating and arranging songs for the Summer fest.  She expressed her happiness in this project saying “I get to work with extremely talented and fun people each Summer in a gorgeous setting.”

There are dark humorous  moments in this album like Seven Old Ladies.

” And it’s-Oh dear, what can the matter be?

Seven old ladies locked in the lavat’ry

They were there from Saturday to Sunday

and nobody knew they were there.”

The variety of rhythms expressed in this album make Newfoundland Vinyl an exciting album to listen to. I found myself wrapping a blanket up, sipping tea while watching the rain outside. There is something about this album that makes the songs become the soundtrack of your life. The grace and subtlety in the instrumental and vocal arrangements make this a one of a kind must have album for 2013. There is that stripped down atmosphere in every track like it’s an unplugged concert. I am sure that you might have heard some of the songs and sometimes you wonder about their origins. Now you know.

Did you know?

In the movie “Man of Steel”, the Zack Snyder-directed Superman epic, she has a cameo – as a musician performing “Ring of Fire”, a song made famous by Johnny Cash.

Allison Crowe

Ardyth & Jennifer : Magical Harps and Voices from Nova Scotia

Plus: Clydagh Valley by Gearoid O Duinnin, River Underground, Sean Nos Dancers and Genius Loci Cornwall

Yes! Our new edition is out and yours truly is bringing you nothing but the best in Celtic music. All the fresh tunes you want to hear, all the cool bands and music news you want to know-they are in this site!

Everywhere I look there are Celtic inspired companies cropping up. There are young bands and also veterans who continue to create awesome music. A few days ago my muse was inspired by the beautiful Celtic artifacts found in Moravia, the Czech Republic. This goes to show that the Celts were all over Europe during the ancient times and the spirit lives on through us! We are family. Let us continue keeping the flame alive. Slainte!

My friend the legendary and awesome Layne Greene has mixed their harp tunes for the live performance as part of his summer job. That’s how he was able to share these artists. I love the harp and the vocals. Listening to them is a mesmerizing and magical experience.Their track Just Summer speaks of endless possibilities. Sometimes jazzy as in the case of Still Waters, one can feel the spiritual rush of The Angel Gabriel; a tune taken from the Basques. The duo continues to evade being pigeonholed yet are confident in their unique sound that no band sounds like them.

About them:

Ardyth & Jennifer have been performing and giving workshops for many years with their unique mix of harp and original songs. For a list of our favourite links, click here.
Ardyth Robinson

Ardyth Robinson is currently living in the valley with her two girls, Nadia and Claire.

Ardyth Robinson and Jennifer Wyatt met more than a decade ago at a traditional Nova Scotia kitchen party and have been performing together ever since. Bringing their eclectic mix of harps, vocals, bass, percussion, whistles and original songs to audiences throughout the Maritime Provinces and into the New England States they have developed a unique style that combines elements of traditional music with the influence of jazz and contemporary songwriting. They have played at many premier folk festivals and concert venues, showcased in the Roots Room and songwriter’s events at the East Coast Music Awards and at the Juno Fest in Halifax and they have been featured on many local radio and television programs. As they have travelled, their unique style has earned them critical acclaim within the music community and an ever-growing fan base in the Maritimes.

http://www.ardythandjennifer.com/

http://www.myspace.com/149124303

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River Underground Surfacing.

It is great when bands or their friends come forward to promote their music. I know that there hidden gems out there waiting for the light of the day to catch up. How would we know if they keep silent right? I have been fortunate to receive a message from Nick Rossiter about the band River Underground. This is what he wrote.

I am from St. John’s N.L. I love the pubs of George Street, and all around the downtown area!! It is part of a long heritage of Downtown, St.John’s, N.L.
I’m just writing to ask if you could post on your wall, a Celtic band called ” Skraeling”, otherwise know as “River Underground”!!
They are based out of Toronto, Ontario, and quite frequently, Vancouver, B.C. And they do extensive traveling to all places, everywhere!!
They have released 3 C.D.s so far.
They are, quite possibly, Newfoundland’s “Best Kept Secret”!!!
They played Erin’s Pub last week for 3 nights, to a crowd that absolutely Loved them!!
The band members are, Jamie Snider(of the Wonderful Grand Band), Mike Rossiter, and a nice young man on drums, who calls himself “Animal” Pearson!!
They are in Newfoundland till mid August, and then they head back to the mainland after that!!
Also, they are looking for more bookings in any of your local pubs or bars, so if you could repost these links on your wall, it would be greatly appreciated!!
A good contact # is 1 416 873 7886.
Thank-you for sharing this and listening!!
Cheers!!

P.S. This is three of their links to get an idea what their sound is like!!
http://riverunderground.com/ https://www.facebook.com/riverunderground https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skraeling/71575184364

I listened to the music samples and I automatically like their music. It glides in smoothly and everyone in the band plays with such beautiful gusto it makes you want to get up and dance to the jigs.
Sound Samples here: http://riverunderground.com/
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Our pic of the day: Clydagh Valley by Gearoid O Duinnin

Since the day Clydagh Valley came out, it has been shared so many times. This image is by painter Gearoid O Duinnin who is based in County Cork, Ireland. The wild splashes of deep colors hold the imagination. The artwork speaks in volumes.  I can stare at it again and again and imagine I actually live there. I got in touch with him and conducted this little interview.

How long did you work on this painting?

I will always work on a painting for about two months, Layering and layering it with a plain colour. Then I attack the canvas with all the paint. Maybe 5-6 hours for the final bit.

What is your inspiration in creating this painting?

I actually live there. The funny thing is that when I painted it, I had just moved there and a friend pointed out to me afterwards that I had painted the Valley. I wasn’t intentional. I don’t paint from photos etc.

Can you give me the artists who influenced you in terms of your style?

I do like Jackson Pollock and Francis Bacon a lot but mainly for what they had to say about the subconscious as regards to painting. The pictorial result is different but the experience is the same feeling.

You are also a musician on the side. Any plans of pursuing this career or is this just for fun?

I’ve never had any aspirations as a musician. It’s something I do and other musicians ask me to play with them. I’m an accompanist and a fan of the music I suppose. I’m very lucky because I get a front seat in hearing some of the best musicians we have.

What can we expect from you this year in terms of artistic works?

Well…. I’m busy painting at the moment and I hope to have an exhibition that I can take on tour next year. I’ve had some help this year from Udaras na Gaeltachta & the arts council that enabled me to buy badly needed art supplies. Now that the house is full of canvas and paint, I feel confident.

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Video of the day: Sean nós dancers

There is an old form of Irish Dancing called Sean nos which like the style of singing means: Old Style. It is simple, fluid and improvisational. Through the years Irish dancing have grown and developed into other forms but it is great to look back sometimes and realize that everything has origins. My special thanks to Karen Victoria Smith for introducing this form of dancing in her vampire novel Dark Dealings. Here;s her blog to get more info about the book.

http://kvictoriasmith.blogspot.com/

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