Reviews and Media

Sounds of Chicago
BY MARK GUARINO Daily Herald Music Critic

In the past few months, I've enjoyed listening to some recent releases from Chicago bands. Here's a look at the best.
Lisa Derosia & Lush Budgett, "Yesterday is Gone"

Chicago gets a lot of press for alternative country, but the welcome alternative to that alternative is the purely bittersweet country of Lisa Derosia. Her band Lush Budgett's second album is no winking update of country music traditions. She instead embraces the music's lonesome poetry and warm spirit, matching it with tuneful melodies and tasteful orchestrations.

In what are mostly co-writes with guitarist Greg Schultz, the songs range from swing ("Ballad of Buck and Sheri"), roots pop ("Yesterday is Gone") and luxurious ballads ("Wake Up Baby"). Derosia's high, expressive voice lets in the desolation of her lyrics, some with a taste for the gothic. "The moon reflects with just one purpose/in any city you can spy/in it the faces of countless martyrs/who died so lovers can cry," she sings ("Whispering Wind"). The many players here never fail to paint layers of color so when things cool down, they inevitably turn a corner to pick up steam.



Lush Budgett
Chris Brown

Like the rural scenes depicted on the cover of its self-titled CD, Lush Budgett's music is hushed, rustic and rooted firmly in the Midwest tradition. Not edgy enough to be called insurgent nor commercial enough for mainstream, the disc's country-tinged love songs are fueled by Lisa DeRosia's unique vocals and Greg Schultz's impressive guitar and pedal steel work. Particularly strong cuts include the mournful "Northwest" and the bitter "This Town." Produced by Lou Whitney and Lush Budgett, the sound is appropriately warm and of high quality.

There are many appealing qualities to this disc: solid songwriting, tasteful arrangements, strong musicianship. Whether or not it's enough to raise DeRosia and Schultz above the recent crop of urban twangers remains to be seen, but they're off to a good start.



American Songwriter Magazine

For over 20 years, the American Songwriter Amateur Lyric Contest has helped thousands of songwriters become involved in our community. Established in 1984, America Songwriter magazine sponsors six contests per year that run in conjunction with each issue published. Entrants should send lyric sheet only, no cassettes or musical direction. The winning lyric, along with four runners-up and ten honorable mentions from each contest, will be published in the issue of American Songwriter that follows the deadline of each contest. The writer(s) of the winning lyric for each contest receives a DX1 Martin GuitarTM (valued at $669). One guitar per contest will be awarded. The bi-monthly winner will also receive a package of D'Addario and Planet Wave products, including a year's supply of acoustic guitar strings and accessories. Don't miss the opportunity to see your work in print! The annual winner, chosen from the six contest winners, will receive round trip airfare for two to Nashville on American Airlines and a master production demo from Music City Music Productions, Inc., valued at over $1500.

“Lost Frontier”
Written by Lisa DeRosia
Chicago, Illinois
Honorable Mention

the Lush Budgett MySpace page