Cale Crowe performs onstage at Victoria Hall

Meet the Musicians—Cale Crowe

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A mark of professionalism in music is control over dynamics—the understanding of how to move between quiet and loud for maximum impact. Watching Cale Crowe perform, one thing that stands out is his ability to glide smoothly from a whisper to a roar. The singer-songwriter looks relaxed and comfortable onstage at Cobourg’s Victoria Hall, even as he plays stripped-down acoustic versions of his songs without the loop pedals he usually employs to build more complex arrangements. When he steps off stage, he gives credit to the venue for being especially conducive to live music.

“There’s a lot of good memories for me in this space—I’m just happy to be back in the room, honestly, after everything we’ve been through,” Crowe says. He recalls playing a benefit concert at Victoria Hall early in his career and feeling both nervous and exhilarated. It ended up being one of his favourite performances, and he would later return to the same stage to open for legendary Canadian songwriter Ron Sexsmith. “It’s one of my favourite rooms, purely, if nothing else, for the sake of the acoustics in here. Not too echoey but just enough that you feel the grandeur of it.”

Crowe grew up in nearby Roseneath and gravitated to Cobourg’s music scene. There he encountered a small but lively punk and metal culture, which helped season his musical taste further. “My general influences come from being in the back of a Ford Bronco as a toddler,” he says, “flying down backroads listening to cassette tapes of Aerosmith and Rolling Stones and Mötley Crüe, all of which are my dad’s favourite bands. I was raised on probably more country than I care to admit!” Next he added liberal helpings of pop and hip hop to his palette, eventually arriving at his own sound.

“I’ve run the gamut in terms of taste, but in terms of actual influence I’d say my influences include City & Colour, Ed Sheeran, Dermott Kennedy,” he adds, when asked to describe his current style. His interest in loop pedals and electronic beats originated with the accidental discovery of Norwegian artist Bernhoft, when a college instructor put on a YouTube video that made extensive use of live multitracking. “As someone who spent a lot of his time trying to make a band work in high school, I saw that and immediately all of my problems kind of melted in that regard!” he quips. “Below my waist, my feet are sort of playing live producer and making sure certain parts come in at certain times.”

For his Meet the Musicians performance, Crowe chose his song “A Distance.” “I remember when I sat down to write the songs for the upcoming record, I basically looked at the songs that I had and kind of asked myself, where do I go from here? How do I evolve from this without losing too much of the past?” he says. “A Distance” came as a reaction to a 2015 recording of his titled “All Along.” Both songs are about unrequited love, but if the latter still held out hope for connection, the new track is about letting go when a love interest choses someone else. “It’s like saying, I know in my heart that I can love this person the way that they deserve to be treated. But if it can’t be me, then that person better do it right.”

You can hear that complicated emotion coming through in Crowe’s voice, backed by his fluid guitar playing. More studio tracks are available from his website,, with a new EP set for release later this year. Rather than wait for the album release, though, check his Shows page for upcoming performances. Crowe’s excitement to return to the stage is palpable. “For me what makes a local scene great is the community of it,” he explains. “In my experience it’s always been a celebration and a reunion of people.”

Hear more from Cale Crowe by visiting his website

Discover more local musicians through the Meet the Musicians series, released regularly through Spring 2022

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