’twas another favourite band from a northern town that lyricized love – and fun – cannae be bought with money.
Musing on such fab notions, this birthday of Allison Crowe, it must be noted, then, that Allison and bandmates Céline Sawchuk, Sarah White, Dave Baird & Keelan Purchase form a priceless combo.
Witness some of their concerted hijinks – giving rise to the group term known as “a reel of Keelans” (akin to a flock of seagulls, a pod of dolphins etc.) – and contributing to Allison’s recent post-tour declaration:
I'm exhausted - but it's the good kind of exhausted. Not the kind that's like "I'm never doing that again. Ever." , but rather the kind that comes from working like crazy on something you felt you were maybe supposed to do, but was really a giant leap in to a pit of OH DEAR GOD THIS IS CRAZY of sorts, with a group of people that rocked their butts off with enthusiasm and love the whole damn time. Not without fear. The kind of fight or flight that it turns out is exhilarating rather than debilitating. When you get off the ride at the fair and scream "LET'S DO IT AGAIN" until you're hoarse and your body can't take it anymore. So - Celine - thank you for your passion and music and images and designs and being my gym and knitting buddy, Dave - thank you for your precision and timing and hilariousness and birding and commitment - Sarah thank you for your mando and music and level-headedness and perspective with humour, and Keelan - for jumping in this crazy clown car with us and bringing your instruments and jokes and huge dramatic presence and subtlety and also thank you for your clothes. I love you guys. LET'S DO IT AGAIN.
Musicians Allison Crowe (vocals, piano, guitar, fiddle, bodhran), Céline Sawchuk (cello, vocals), Sarah White (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Dave Baird (bass, vocals) & Keelan Purchase (accordion, 12-string guitar, bodhran, harmonica, vocals) banded together on the lovely isle of Newfoundland for sessions and shows.
For a flock of creators who live, literally, all over the map it’s a rare chance to slow the world a bit. “We had time to experiment, and think more about the larger picture musically,” says bassist & birder Dave. “It’s only the beginning. It’s just the first we’ve had opportunity to work the music out without much time restraint. It was fun, relaxed, and productive.”
Melding into one sound and performance experience the rawest of folk roots and the richest of arena rock – that barely begins to describe the originality and freshness of the quintet’s music and personality.
Debuting at Corner Brook, NL’s Rotary Arts Centre, RAC Theatre Co-ordinator Brad Randell observes, “The performance was absolutely magical.”
Rolling across the rock, captured fresh at the LSPU (Longshoremen's Protective Union) Hall in St. John's, NL, Canada – it’s music that’s food for the soul and fun for all.
Fortune’s present audio-wise, and Allison’s SD (memory) card is filled with tracks to be mined and enjoyed. Sláinte!
"Welcome to Us 2", the concert’s second act, presents the brilliant bi-coastal band's more piano-centric tunes – and encore – live: music.allisoncrowe.com/album/welcome-to-us-2
For our video wrapper here – hearty thanks to Alick Tsui Photography and Mind Palace Design.