News New York Poet Finds
   His Way Home to Pueblo
Press Release to:
Aug. 18, 2000


Pueblo Chieftain  

New York rock poet and recording artist Allen Shadow performed songs from his forthcoming album, "King Kong Serenade," last night at the Barnes and Noble at the Eagleridge Mall.

Shadow was the featured writer in the Snapdragon Poet’s Society reading series.

His CD offers a gritty portrait of Gotham, from its famed icons to its luckless ghosts. The album is due in 2001 from Blue City Records, which will promote Shadow and his unique work on the Internet.

The album’s songs invoke the spirits past of Times Square, the Beat writers, jazz greats, the Lower East Side, Coney Island, and the Bronx.

"Allen Shadow is gritty and intense," said music critic David Stadalnikas, in a preview of the album, "and ‘King Kong Serenade’ is a wild tour-de-force that pushes the rock envelope and is nothing short of sublime."

"I feel like I spent my whole life working up to this project," Shadow said of his forthcoming release.

Two books of poetry by Shadow — "Harlem River, Baby," and "A Heart in the Anteroom," — were published by Quick Books of Pueblo. During the 1980s, the author gave several readings in Pueblo through the former Pueblo Poetry Project.

As a performance poet, Shadow toured college campuses in the 1980s with a staged version of "Harlem River Baby," which included the doo wop group, the Phantoms. The show played to rave reviews, and Shadow’s writing was singled out by such literary publications as Library Journal, which called his imagery "startling."

His music interests led him to a stint in commercial songwriting. He spent much of the 1990s as a songwriter in Nashville, writing for PolyGram, SONY, and Mel Tillis’ music publishing company.

After working with such artists as Trisha Yearwood, Shadow, like many literary songwriters before him, decided Nashville was too limiting. He returned fully to his poetic voice, marrying it with music as he had always intended.

Ironically, Shadow recorded his offbeat rock album "King Kong Serenade" in Nashville with a cadre of alternative-music veterans he had befriended in Music City. Included are Bob Dylan guitar alumnus John Jackson who is currently touring with Lucinda Williams, John Prine drummer Paul Griffith, and Janis Ian keyboard player Randy Leago.

"It’s funny how things work out," said Shadow. "I’ve come from poetry to commercial songwriting, and now back to poetry. I’ve really come full circle, and this trip back to one of my true poetry homes in Pueblo makes it a perfect one."


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