North Coast Voice Review  Of  Denny Carleton CD Shadowlands 

                               The Late Cat Lilly Dec 2019

All songs on the CD are originals all but three written by Carleton alone, And the other is co written with  Alan. Globekar.This is excellent and intricate song writing with plenty of nuance and thoughtful lyrics. Song is a well constructed and spotlessly recorded in fact the whole package is beautifully produced from the cover art to the sound quality. 

1.Shadowlands is a Warren Zevon-esque opener that set the tone and puts the concept in place they don’t listen but they have  ears  that’s how it goes in this valley of tears 

2.Welcome to my world opens with an intro played on a child’s toy xylophone and  a short history lesson good inspirational pop 

3.Here comes the rain country influence with the tip of the hat to the music of the Beatles great guitar pickin  and some tasty fiddlin )Tom Brehm ) add a Cajun flavor .Nice use of accordion (John Hlavka

4.I can see a rainbow a beautiful ballad an ode to the earth and all that is good on it. A gorgeous guitar solo 

5.Twilight zone a stand out tribute to 60s TV Patsy Cline Lawrence Welk’s bubble machine Fred And Ethel Lucy and Desi, Dobie Gillis and Maynard G Krebs are all mention in this, comical little ditty about pop-culture .Saxophone  work for the late Norman Tischler is worth the price of admission all by itself! 

6 This is forever another step in the journey presumably the last one destiination in lifes  universe a plan augmented by harmonious violin Carol Linsenmeier 

7.Remember me clever little homage to the Beatles Johnny Cash Bob Marley and other great influences great guitar work on the song love the Beatles lick and the solo remember me when you right you’re songs remember me when the  day is long 

8.Swords into plowshares message of peace and brotherhood referencing Isaiah 2-4 famous Verse  about a concept in  which weapons of war are converted to be used for peace background vocals by a chorus of angels 

9. Beautiful spring  A really remarkable track out of the ordinary and reminiscent of the talking Blues style of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott highlights an ugly bit of Ohio’s history he retelling the story of Colonel David Williamson who led the expedition that murdered 100 innocent Delaware Indians In the town  of Gnadenhutten Ohio the betrayal became known as the Gnadenhutten massacre . Excellent arrangement enhanced by roto toms  and maracas ( Dave Alexy) Beautiful flute work by Diane Leonardi my personal favorite track on the CD 

10.Big wheel the wheel of fortune with its pitfalls and triumphs lessons learned and love ones lost the cycle of life round and round like a wheel 

11.Get back to the garden Neil Young style grunge  with a message about mother earth and getting back to basics Koehler Hammond B3 à la Mr. Moss Stanley 

12.Light at the end of the tunnel although Al Globekar is all over the CD with his guitars acoustic and electric lap steel baritone Nashville tuned  bass and joins in on background vocals we only hear his lead vocal on the first verse of the closing track an interesting touch journey concludes with Hope for finding spirituality at the end of the tunnel 

Denny Carleton is a survivor of some of the most important cultural episodes of our life times and has come out of it with a unique understanding of the past and a vision for the future Shadowlands is a commentary for our time a musical story of one pilgrims journey in a conflicted world Shadowlands is a concept album while shedding  light on life’s harsh realities and disappointments the pretty pop harmonies is uplifting melodies and inspirational lyrics manage to leave us with a sense of optimism and lightheartedness