Often described as a “writer’s writer”, Susan Crowe is one of Canada’s most respected singer songwriters in the folk genre, a label that barely scratches the surface of her compelling and polished approach to music. At once complex, challenging and accessible, Susan’s intelligent and moving songs have captivated audiences and reviewers from coast to coast, continent to continent. She possesses, in the words of Britain’s Folk Roots magazine, “that rare ability of crafting a lyric that bears scrutiny on its own terms.” That rare ability has earned her two Juno nominations, and nominations from both the West Coast and East Coast Music Awards.
In 1994, after being away from music for more than a decade, Susan returned to writing. That led to her first album, This Far From Home, which was chosen by Vancouver’s Georgia Straight as one of the top albums of the year. It was subsequently nominated for a Juno award in the Roots/ Traditional category. Now established as a recording artist of note, Susan returned to the festival circuit and recorded a second album in 1996, The Door to the River, receiving more high praise from critics. Dirty Linen magazine described the two albums as “lyrically sparse but telling, conveying a deep sense of emotion, very subtly but very powerfully…both are rewarding works, both strangely compelling in ways that will move you.”
Susan’s growing reputation as a recording and performing artist was further solidified in 1999 with the release of her third album, .A Pilgrim’s Mirror, which received more plaudits from the critics and a West Coast Music Award nomination.
In October 2003, Susan released her fourth CD titled Book of Days (Corvus/Festival). Produced by Danny Greenspoon at Toronto’s Canterbury Sound studios, Book of Days met with rave reviews across Canada and garnered her nominations from the East Coast Music Awards and the 2004 Juno Awards, for Best Roots/Traditional Solo Recording. It also won her Music Nova Scotia’s award for Best Female Artist.
Her recent CD Greytown (Corvus 2009), also produced by Danny Greenspoon, features 10 original songs, all crafted with the elegance and substance that has become the hallmark of Susan’s work. Greytown earned her the English Songwriter of the Year award at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards ceremony.
The Georgia Straight described Susan’s work as offering “a sense that the singer has tapped into the collective unconscious in a way that what she is singing about is not only true for her but true for all of us.”
Adds the Vancouver Sun: “With one of the most distinctive voices in Canada today, she is destined to become one of our lasting folk heroines.”
Susan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, lived for many years in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, and again lives in Halifax.
Susan Crowe - lyrics and guitar
This Far From Home
Door to the River
A Pilgrim's Mirror
Book of Days
Where the Redwood Grows
If you were to leave
Boy on a Bicycle
The Human Heart
Made of Gold
Stain Upon Her Wing
Love's Pure Gold
Fell Back Up
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Susan Crowe “Crowe’s hushed and throaty voice will wash over you, until one day you realize her ...Susan Crowe
“Crowe’s hushed and throaty voice will
wash over you, until one day you realize her
songs have seeped under your skin. It’ll
happen as easy as breathing.”
“Her voice is almost a whisper at times, her
lyrics sparse but telling, conveying a deep
sense of emotion, very subtly but very
powerfully...strangely compelling in ways
that will touch you”
“…she possesses that rare ability of crafting
a lyric that bears scrutiny on its own terms.”
Crowe has firmly established herself as one of the leading mature voices in the Canadian folk landscape.
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Sandy MacDonald, Halifax Daily Sandy MacDonald, Halifax Daily News, 2004 Mention a Halifax–born s...Sandy MacDonald, Halifax Daily
Sandy MacDonald, Halifax
Daily News, 2004
Mention a Halifax–born singer who
departed in frustration to establish a
critically acclaimed music career in
Vancouver, and most would naturally think
of Sarah McLachlan.
Think again; think Susan Crowe, a
Juno-nominated singer songwriter who
recently released her fourth album Book Of
Days. The elegant acoustic album showcases
Crowe’s insightful writing, beautiful singing
and impeccable production.
Like many of her songs, Crowe’s own story
is one of early promise, frustration, parting
and finally reconciliation. Crowe was raised
in rural Cow Bay, laying along the eastern
headlands of the entrance to Halifax
Harbour. Growing up in a musical family,
Crowe took early to playing guitar and
writing songs. Through the late 70s she was
a regular in the coffee houses and folk clubs
But by 1980, frustrated with the stagnant
music scene here, Crowe uprooted and
moved to Toronto for eight years, then
moved further west to Vancouver. She
abandoned her music career, working
instead as a waitress, art gallery assistant,
mail carrier and even a beekeeper.
Then in 1994, Crowe was encouraged by a
visiting friend to revisit her music, and she
found the spark that had long been missing.
She re-embraced her music, and went into a
studio in Vancouver to record This Far from
Home, which garnered a Juno nomination as
Best Roots/ Traditional Album of the year.
Crowe released two more critically
acclaimed discs in the 90s – The Door To The
River and A Pilgrim’s Mirror – both on her
own Corvus imprint. Two years ago, Crowe
returned to Nova Scotia, established a home
in Halifax and has played a handful of
shows in metro.
With the release of this substantial new disc,
Crowe has firmly established herself as one
of the leading mature voices in the Canadian
folk landscape. Pegging her music to a
narrow definition, though, does it a
disservice. Crowe breathes in light jazz,
contemporary folk, show tunes, acoustic
pop and trad country, then breathes out her
own richly distilled sound.
Her voice has a lush worldly authority that
convincingly delivers her carefully crafted
lyrics. Crowe brought aboard producer
Danny Greenspoon (Great Big Sea,
Quartette, Jane Bunnett) to pilot the album,
and his understated production lets Crowe’s
songs blossom on the vine.
Crowe opens the disc with the haunting
‘Dreamless’, a stark tale of loneliness set in a
frozen landscape, where “the north wind
replies to each breath that I take.” Pushed along
by John Reischman’s mandolin, the
understated guitar of Kevin Breit and the
locked in rhythm section of bassist George
Koller and drummer Mark Mariash, the
tune is hypnotic in its urgency.
Crowe can also deliver the pretty folk
melody (‘Fell Back Up’), the Appalachian
influenced ‘Whippoorwill’, and the delicate
piano /vocal gem, ‘Do You Think On Me Still
Kindly’, with the McGarrigle sisters-inspired
harmonies. (Crowe enlisted Gwen Swick,
Cindy Church and Liz Soderberg to sing
This is subtle intelligent music that draws in
the listener with its alluring complexity and
keeps you listening for its rainy-afternoon
There are no upcoming dates at this time.