Review Allen Shadow
King Kong Serenade
Reprinted from:   Blue City Records
RootsTown Magazine By Paul Jonker

Allen Shadow is Allen Kovler’s artist name. Allen Shadow did more than just sleep on making his first CD; indeed it took him four years. The reason may have been his switch from street poet/song writer to ‘rock poet’. He worked many years as a songwriter for one of the small Nashville ‘factories’, but Trisha Yearwood was not really impressed by his dark lyrics. King Kong Serenade is a fascinating album on New York’s dark side, and was recorded before the fatal day of September 11. Downtown is the album’s rough kick-off depicting 42nd Street’s steamy environment in a striking fashion. Allen Shadow works hard to keep out any false notes, and reminds almost everyone of the early Lou Reed.

Sugar Street is yet another beautiful black song: “In the smoke and fish head morn, the gathering of ghetto boys, whores wail, peddlers call, crime sweats on tenement walls, horses die at their feet, cheap as ants on Sugar Street”. You, Coney Island musically paints the decline of the Coney Island resort. Also the title song is just about perfect with King Kong used as a metaphor for the battling outsider. Allen Shadow’s band includes the highly talented John Jackson (ex Bob Dylan guitarist who recently played a lot for Lucinda Williams), drummer Paul Griffith (John Prine), and Randy Leago (Janis Ian) on the keyboard. Everyone who loves Lou Reed and Nick Cave will definitely appreciate this album.


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