Carlton Saunders grew up in Bethesda MD, just outside Washington DC. He started taking piano lessons at the age of five. When he was 16 he and his brother formed a neighborhood garage band “Rockawalkin‘ “. Years later Carlton moved to Austin TX to play keyboards in the house band at a huge Theme Park. The band backed up all the national performers that took the stage.
It was in Austin that he met Keith “Ke-ke” McCullough, which lead to an enduring friendship and many great writing collaborations. They worked with legendary producer Bob Johnston and renowned keyboardist Robbie Buchanan at The Record Plant in LA resulting in life-changing studio sessions for both of them.
The track “Leviathan” was almost never recorded. They had worked late into the morning hours and were wrapping up when the Bob Johnston burst in and said “Get back in the studio and cut that Leviathan song!” They recorded the 12-minute track in just one take! For the new release, producer David Simmons separated the instrumental part from the original piece to create the title track “LEVIATHAN” and wove the remaining pieces together to produce the distinctly different song “Leviathan Lament”.
Carlton also played with an innovative band called “Strutt” which made a splash with their powerful originals. When Carlton tired of the band scene he became a piano soloist working in restaurants and nightclubs including the bars of the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain. Since so many of Carlton’s audience identify him as a piano player, 5 of his favorite cover songs are performed as piano solos and included exclusively on his souvenir CD.