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Unable to play guitar for over two years due to chemo treatments stemming from a long battle with cancer, veteran lower NYC songwriter, George Usher, wrote lyrics from his experience, which, in turn, were set to music by friend, Manhattan mainstay Lisa Burns. The resulting album looks forward to spring from a frigid blanket of snow.
The Last Day of Winter exudes emotion through exquisite songcraft and memorable melodies. Ranging from Kinks-inspired pop to swaggering Stones-y country ballads and further into Rumors-era Fleetwood Mac territory, the twelve Usher/Burns joint compositions rest on a folk foundation of organic musicianship. Burns’ unique voice, a soulful blend of Ronnie Spector and Stevie Nicks, provides a perfect counter to Usher’s soft, smooth vocals. Beneath the surface, however, a bleak darkness hides in the lyrics with tales of alienation, depression and stark reflection, the succinct thoughts of one faced with mortal uncertainty in the wake of chronic pain.
Sometimes, the worst moments of your life can be the most inspirational artistically. With a little help from his friend, Lisa Burns, George Usher transformed a frightening time in his life into a defiant celebration of perseverance. Here’s to the next one, and the one after that…
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