When the Maverick Festival Canadian artist preview was published in April, it was admitted that little was known about Dennis Ellsworth. Well this has now been corrected as his new album has hit the UK in advance of his mid-summer visit. DUSK DREAMS is the third solo recording from Dennis who hails from Prince Edward Island on Canada’s Atlantic coast and it is an excellent release that will have no problem finding its niche in the UK country, roots and Americana music market.
With ten tracks carefully put together by acclaimed producer David Barbe in his Athens, Georgia studio, DUSK DREAMS captures the versatility of Dennis’s ability to master a range of sounds. The album eases through a combination of seamless gear changes to take you on an implicit journey of imagery, emotion and soul searching in a style that encompasses a lot of country, a hint of rock and a touch of lounge jazz blues. With the evocative sound of Matt Stoessel’s pedal steel echoing across the bulk of the tracks, the feeling to kick back and chill is prevalent.
With bell weather progression, the album treads tenderly through its opening numbers including the satisfying appetiser ‘Clear of Mind’ and a classic rock/pop feel to the piano driven vibes generated by ‘Electric Stars’. This is unsurprising considering the producer’s link to REM and the natural Athens, Georgia indie sound. Soon the pedal steel kicks in via ‘Perfect Storm’ a metaphorical take on the turbulence of love, and the sentimental harmonies that seep through the tender longing exuded in ‘Apple of My Eye’.
After savouring the relaxing tone emanating from the lounge jazz blues title track ‘Dusk Dreams’ which soothes your senses, the album reaches its peak with a brace of standout songs that succeed in blending the finest country rock with some cracking pop melodies. ‘Park Royal’ is a road song in the true tradition of the genre while ‘I Don’t Want to Worry You’ probably shades it as the high point of the record with its piano stomping beat and killer pedal steel.
The final three tracks bring you down gently with a more mellow sound accompanying the sad departure song ‘Hard to Leave’, the gorgeous ‘Sleepin’ Easy’ and the melancholic ‘Messed Up Kind of Way’. The latter brings the album to a close with the question we all ponder from time to time – ‘Please tell me where I will find the land of sunshine?’ We would like to know the answer to that but in the meantime listening to DUSK DREAMS by Dennis Ellsworth isn’t a bad way to while away the time.