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Fearless female

Nanaimo singer/songwriter Allison Crowe comfortable at the keyboard



Who: Allison Crowe

What: First Night

Where: Whistler Village Square

When: Friday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m.

A young singer/songwriter with a piano and a strong voice is bound to draw comparisons with such artists as Tori Amos and Fiona Apple.

Nanaimo-based Allison Crowe has the keyboard skills and the commanding vox needed to gain access to this exclusive club. However, the hard part in following in the footsteps of such piano-playing artists as Amos and Apple and other comparable instrumentalists such as Ani DiFranco lies in the courage to express the depths of emotions in songwriting.

"That used to be really scary, but I’m getting more comfortable with that," says Crowe.

The 23-year old Island girl has already more than proved she’s no pop tart. Her independent label Rubenesque Records (a reference to the celebration of the fearless, unconventional females, she confirms) is home to her two full-length independent releases: Secrets and Tidings. The latter is a November 2004-released Christmas album that goes from O Holy Night to Leonard Cohen, to Joni Mitchell to John Lennon across a spectrum of styles that includes Celtic, folk, roots, rock jazz and blues.

Crowe also showed she has the guts to take on the heart-wrenching in Lisa’s Song, a track composed and recorded for missing person Lisa Marie Young, a high-school friend of the artist who went missing on June 30, 2002.

Upcoming tours include Canada and the U.S. in the spring and Europe in the fall. Clearly rooted deep in Island life, Crowe confirms that as of right now she is not looking to relocate somewhere closer to the action.

"The thing is, you can always travel," says Crowe. "And it’s nice to have the Island to come home to."

Allison Crowe has performed several times in Whistler including during last April’s World Ski and Snowboard Festival. She will take the stage in Village Square at 9 p.m. for the New Year’s Eve First Night celebrations.