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coverpic flag Canada - Full Moon 109 - 08/19/05

Allison Crowe
Live at Wood Hall
self-released

Allison Crowe's debut Secrets was an excellent record and, this double live cd sees the singer alone at the piano. The material is a mix of originals and covers. Opener "This Is" sees her display considerable vocal firepower to a neat backing. Ani DiFranco's "Independence Day" gets a lovely reading. "Sea of a Million Faces" from the debut gets a jaunty musical reading. Crowe's singing of loneliness suits the backing oddly enough.

Two songs by Jerome Kern, "Bill" and "In Love in Vain" get inspired versions before disc 1 is over. What both discs prove is the sheer power of Crowe's singing. She can belt with the best of them, but she also knows when to hold back. Disc 2's version of "Imagine" could easily have been over-sung but she lets the words resonate instead. Her take on Tori Amos' "Playboy Mommy" is another gem. "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables is heart-rending.

This record is as great as live discs can get and I think Crowe would be great to see for real.

Copyright © 2005 Anna Maria Stjärnell e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Allison Crowe articles/reviews: Little Light, Secrets, Spiral, This Little Bird.

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