Allison Crowe performs Counting Crows songs

Allison Crowe counts Counting Crows among her favourite bands - and credits Adam Duritz and co with inspiring her to become a singer-songwriter.

Some years back, Stephen Thomas, co-founder of the UK"s Folkroom Records, and a longtime blogger, interviewed Allison and asked her to pick six formative albums. Here's what she said about her CC pick:

Counting Crows – August and Everything After

From ‘Round Here’ to ‘A Murder of One’, this album is, without a doubt, my favourite album of all time. A bold statement? Yes. Allow me to explain. When I was roughly 12 years old, my older brother had a lot of CDs that I started to enjoy. I “adopted” a few of them, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and, of course, Counting Crows.

Years went by, and I listened to August and Everything After roughly 1 trillion times. Through it, I experienced grief, joy, pain, healing, growing, and, most of all, music felt deeply from within the gut. I learned to sing from these crazy places through the wails and words of Adam Duritz, and thought that one day I’d be their backup singer. (lol ya I know, dream big!) I always had trouble sleeping and had some pretty crazy times as a youngun, and it was nice to have something to identify with – or at least pretend that I could. (A lot of the time I really think it was just my imagination.)

I learned how to really hone my desperate pining hopeless romantic skills to write words and melodies. I also learned how to play guitar by listening repeatedly to ‘Mr. Jones’ and teaching myself chords that I’d only ever known on piano. I played my first piano/vocal song in front of anybody in the form of ‘Raining in Baltimore’. Along to ‘A Murder of One’, at the top of my lungs, I wailed out my cry for independence in the time of an oppressive relationship, driving and singing in an almost meditative screaming chant “change change change”. And I sang along to ‘Omaha’ and truly believe to this day it is the “heart that matters more”. I sat up late and hopeless and empty thinking about ‘Perfect Blue Buildings’, and I took my way home back to ‘Sullivan Street’. I felt like I must have been tired of SOMETHING ‘Round Here’, and took the cannonball down on the ‘Ghost Train’, and danced around like I thought I must have been the ‘Rain King’. I tried to figure out who was Anna, and kind of wished I was her. (“Kind of” is an understatement – remember… hopeless, pining, romantic and a SUCKER for a well-turned word).

I am still waiting for Counting Crows to return to Canada a touch more often – 2 of the BEST concerts I have ever seen took place before the year 2000. I am one of the girls who wanted the songs of AAEA to be about me, and tried to decipher the lines scribbled on the CD cover.

I do what I do in large part due to this music and the honesty in its words and sounds.

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Raining in Baltimore

The first Crows song Crowe performed on-stage in her teens was Raining in Baltimore. (A popular recording of this song is heard on her "Secrets" album.)

<a href="">Raining in Baltimore by Allison Crowe</a>  

Raining in Baltimore lyrics as performed by Allison Crowe (click here)

download the mp3

A Murder of One

Another live favourite is this song, A Murder of One, from Allison Crowe's "Live at Wood Hall" double-album set.

Of this interpretation, the Salty Salutes blog says:

"Sometimes though, an artist can cover a song and bring a whole new life to it, arguably improving on the original version. Perhaps the best example of that that I have heard in some time is Canadian singer Allison Crowe's slowed down take on the Crows' song 'A Murder of One" with just a piano backing up her powerful, moving vocals.'

<a href="">A Murder of One by Allison Crowe</a>  

A Murder of One lyrics as performed by Allison Crowe (click here)

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