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Though each has made plenty of records under their own power, New York’s George Usher and Lisa Burns are best known for background gigs, Usher as a multi-instrumentalist sideperson and Burns as a songwriter. Last Day grew out of Burns’ response to Usher’s recent illness, as she set related Usher lyrics to music. Aided by New York luminaries Sal Maida (Sparks, Roxy Music), Dave Schramm (The Schramms, Yo La Tengo), and Mark Sidgwick (Eastern Bloc, Holly & The Italians), among others, Usher and Burns issue a series of countryish pop/folk tunes brimming with philosophical musings and emotional ambience. It’s like Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris interpreting Elliot Murphy, as the pair’s close harmonies and highly crafted writing set the foundation for a work of gentle resonance and surpassing beauty.
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