Reviewers have likened Lisa Derosia and Lush Budgett to everything from "vintage country gems" to "a countrified version of the throwing muses" to "twangy helium rock." Whatever it is, with Lisa Derosia's angelic voice, the band's solid musicianship and an emphasis on writing good songs, Lush Budgett avoids the country sub-genre flavor-of-the-month in favor of a lonesome and steady sound with catchy hooks and sensible lyrics.

Derosia and Greg Schultz formed Lush Budgett while playing in a "90's pop band" so they could pursue more traditional folk and country-inspired songwriting and instrumentation. After several lineup changes, Lush Budgett was solididied with the addition of ace players Mitch Straeffer on bass, Gerald Dowd on drums and multi-instrumentalist Steve Doyle adding subtle flavors on dobro, mandoline, trombone and guitar.

 

Lisa Derosia (vocals, guitar)
Lisa grew up surrounded by music, and always knew she would be a singer. When Michigan City, Indiana had a silent movie housek, the music was provided by the Derosia family. Lisa's grandmother sang and her great aunt accompanied on piano. At home, Lisa's father Ed, a former WWII tank driver, whistled pop tunes from the 30's and 40's day and night. Lisa sang in church every Sunday.

Making her way to Chicago in 1984, Lisa formed the Corn Kings with Michigan City kindergarten pal Mitch Straeffer. The Corn Kings perfected an edgy blend of acoustic folk, country and gospel, and played its way through Texas and California before returning to Chicago.

Derosia worked on her songwriting and found herself gravitating to more traditional country sounds. The Corn Kings Built a loyal following with weekly shows at stalwart Chicago clubs Phyllis' Musical Inn and The Gallery. Local press gushed, often hanging the "next big thing out of the Midwest" albatross on the band.

When the Corn Kings dissolved in 1992, Derosia joined Ruby Blaire, playing a mix of originals and Graham Parsons-type covers. In 1993 Derosia helped from the pop band Eden Deluxe, where she met Greg Schultz. The band won the Midwest Tickmaster Showcase in 1994 and recorded a demo tape produced by Red Red Meat's Brian Deck.

 

 

Greg Schultz (guitar, pedal steel)
Greg pulled his first guitar out of his neighbor's trash at the age of eight and immediately began playing along with his 45's, starting with Jerry Reed's "Amos Moses". In the 80's, Schultz played jazz and R&B-tinged folk music in Lincoln Avenue folk clubs with singer/songwriter Dalia. He also spent a few years playing big band music with one of the top University of Illinois jazz bands. In 1994 he drove to Nashville and came home with a pedal steel. Greg also plays lots of steel with the dangerous band Cheatin' Wives. He played some pedal steel on the Hello Dave album "Wicked Revelry", on the E-Mics new album and others.

 

Steve Doyle (dobro, guitar, trombone, mandolin)
Steve played trombone in grade school. In seventh grade he switched to electric guitar because it was the only instrument louder than a trombone. In addition to Lush Budgett he has played guitar, dobro, mandolin and trombone with Midwest favorites Ulele, Whiskey Hollow and the Fat Guys. Doyle teaches guitar at the Old Town School of Folk Music and has a music degree form Northern Illinois University. He has hitchhiked between Chicago and his sometime home in Colorado dozens of times and has the stories to prove it.

 

Mitch Straeffer (bass)
Mitch has always been drawn to the low notes. His upright and electric bass playing have made him an in-demand session player. He is part of Falstaff, Whiskey Hollow and has played with Ziplock and the Body Bags and Nora O'Conner. Straeffer and Derosia grew up together in Michigan City, Indiana and the rumor is that they had the same babysitter. Straeffer has an advanced music degree and is also a master guitar, piano and accordion. "Feel the Thunder," he says.

 

Gerald Dowd (drums)
Gerald has been fascinated by drums since the age of eight, when he heard his first Poco record. He says the highlight of his muusical career came in the summer of 1988, when he was the house drummer for "Celebrate America", the patriotic musical review staged at the Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. Now he is about the busiest drummer in the Midwest, having played with all of the cool bands including Edith Frost, Chris Mills, Patricia Barber, Robbie Fulks, Pinetop Seven and Exo (formerly Bombpop). Gerald recently relocated to Nasheville, but spends much of his time playing on the road or in Chicago.

 

 

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