Allison Crowe: Five Classic Mp3s!

As a thank you of sorts for my rave review of her new album, NewFoundland Vinyl (both here at Muruch and on No Depression), Allison Crowe’s management has kindly allowed me to offer five of my favorite songs from her Live at Wood Hall album as free, legal mp3s. “By Your Side,” “Crayon & Ink,” “Immersed” and “Whether I’m Wrong” are all original songs written by Allison Crowe, while “Believe Me If All” is a traditional song rearranged by Allison. You can download those classic original songs below and you can still nab four brand new cover mp3s in the Newfoundland Vinyl review.

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Allison Crowe: Newfoundland Vinyl

Muruch‘s long-time musical mascot Allison Crowe just released her new album, Newfoundland Vinyl. The album was originally created during a theatrical production for which Allison was the Musical Director and intended to represent 200 years of music popular in Newfoundland, yet its true scope is so much broader. It plays like a lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes with surprising retro, girl-pop harmonies woven throughout. The album is full of dazzling melody and such a unique charm. And Allison’s voice is so strong and spectacular, I’m afraid Foxygen has fierce competition here for my favorite album of the year.

It’s appropriate that Newfoundland Vinyl is Allison’s first vinyl LP, as a more classic album has rarely been recorded. The limited edition, 180-gram vinyl LP is currently only being stocked at select locations in Canada, but is available worldwide in digital format through all the usual online outlets. That is how I’m listening for this review, as I just couldn’t wait for the vinyl to arrive. What an exquisite, unusual collection. What a voice, what a voice, what a voice!

Allison released Newfoundland Vinyl on her own independent label, Rubenesque Records. I’m starting to think Allison Crowe’s DIY folk style is Canada’s answer to Ani Difranco, or perhaps more accurately Ana├»s Mitchell since the theater-to-album story of Newfoundland Vinyl is very similar to that of Hadestown. But I digress.

Allison also arranged, produced, engineered and performed the entire album herself — including all of the intricately layered harmonies in which her singular, extraordinary voice mimics a backing choir of singers. I was truly shocked to learn that bit of information, as it sounds as if she has several different singers accompanying her.

The opener “Black Velvet Band” and “The Men Who Die For a Living” are among my favorite tracks.

“The Black Velvet Band” is a traditional Irish ballad about a man’s chance encounter with a girl, which leads to his arrest and transport as a prisoner to Australia. The Dubliners may have recorded one of the more famous renditions of the song, but Allison’s is the most stunning version I’ve heard and just may become the definitive version (as her cover of “Hallelujah” has) over time.

“The Men Who Die For a Living” is a haunting ode to miners and their families that is universally powerful — whether you live in the mining territories of Newfoundland, Appalachia or elsewhere.

“Easy,” which plumbs the depths of Allison’s voice, has a more mellow, classic pop-folk sound and was a 1979 country hit for Canadian singer Eddie Eastman, so it’s a perfect fit for the album’s vinyl theme.

Also of note is the fun, funny, rollicking drinking song “Skipper Billy’s Wake.” It’s one of the more uptempo and humorous songs on the album.

The lilting finale “Sweet Forget Me Not” is another splendid showcase of the album’s pretty, multi-layered harmonies.

This is one of those gorgeous albums that you love more with every single listen and I never thought Allison could make an album that I would love more than 2007’s Live at Wood Hall, but indeed she has.

Newfoundland Vinyl is my new favorite Allison Crowe album, possibly my favorite album of the year and just may be on its way to becoming one of my favorite albums of all time. It has the timeless beauty of a classic folk album.

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Allison Crowe Official Site

Muruch’s Allison Crowe Posts

Don’t forget to enter our Allison Crowe giveaway! You could win a copy of her new album, Newfoundland Vinyl, on vinyl LP and mp3.

Allison Crowe: New Album Announcement!

Muruch’s musical mascot Allison Crowe will release a new album on June 25th! Inspired by her work on the play Newfoundland Vinyl, the album will be Allison’s first available as a vinyl LP. More details on the album will be made known in May.

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Allison Crowe Official Site

Muruch’s Allison Crowe Reviews

Dala: Best Day

Canadian duo Dala recently released their third studio album, Best Day. Dala’s penchant for peppy country-pop harmonies and melodic folk-pop melodies fall somewhere between Lady Antebellum and Sylvie Lewis.

The album begins with mandolin-accented country-pop ballad “Life on Earth,” which shows off the girls’ pretty, soprano-alto harmonies.

The title track dances and sways on sweet vocals, tinkling piano and buoyant strings. It sounds like the theme to a French romantic comedy.

The stunner “Lennon & McCartney” lives up to its title with an impressive and catchy piano melody. The lyrics are a pop culture cornucopia with references to everything from Shakespeare to Annie Hall. You can watch the video below.

Whispery vocals and sparse piano give “Father” a haunting intimacy.

And despite the overly precious blooper reel attached to it, I just couldn’t resist the perky and all too brief acapella finale “Too Many Kittens.”

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Dala Official Site

You can download a free, legal mp3 of the unreleased song “Red is the Rose” by entering your email address into the widget below…

Allison Crowe: New Live Tidings Album & Exclusive Mp3!

Allison Crowe will release all-new live video and audio recordings of her annual Tidings concerts later this year, and she is allowing us to premiere a free, legal mp3 from the upcoming live Tidings album. Allison’s haunting piano instrumental of “Carol of the Bells” serves as the introduction to this gorgeous, epic, extended, live Tidings version of “Disease” (originally featured on Live at Wood Hall and Little Light). You can stream or download the song via the SoundCloud widget below…

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Allison Crowe Official Site

Muruch’s Allison Crowe Reviews