ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
Denise La Grassa
Brings Her Soulful Blues to
Wicker Park’s Phyllis’ Musical Inn on
Friday, May 27, 8:30 p.m.
Also Chronicling 2022 with “North of 40” Film
Critically acclaimed Chicagoland singer, songwriter and keyboardist Denise La Grassa will perform soulful blues originals and choice covers with bandmates John Kregor (guitar), Steve Manns (bass), and John Sergel (drums).
La Grassa is also documenting her 2022 dream of returning to Europe to perform with her new band and bluesy sound that will culminate with the film “North of 40.”
Videos for La Grassa’s latest songs, including the anthemic, soulful “Wide Eyes Wide High,” and the rocking blues “Amen to Happiness” are available at DeniseLaGrassa.com/epk.
WHEN/ Friday, May 27, 2022, 8:30 p.m.
WHERE/ Phyllis’ Musical Inn, 1800 W. Division, Chicago, IL, 60622
TICKETS: FREE, 773-486-9862
Denise La Grassa’s blend of blues, soul, and R&B and sophisticated yet melodic songwriting has been compared favorably with The Tedeschi-Trucks Band. She cites inspiration from R.L Burnside, Aretha Franklin, The Allman Brothers, Mavis Staples, Otis Redding, and Charlie Parker. La Grassa first played Europe in the 1990s, making stops in Scotland and Germany to support her original one-woman musical “Bite.”
La Grassa released her first live CD Rockin’ in the Castle Theater in September 2019 to join her 2016 bluesy coming out The Blues Ain’t A Color, and the critically acclaimed April Dreams.
Robert Rodi, Newcity, said, “She’s certainly got improvisatory chops; but she’s also sufficiently a woman of her time to pull in influences as diverse as funk and folk. And her compelling contralto owes more to Grace Slick than Sarah Vaughan.”
Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times, said, “An impressive but never showy range, a self-assured conversational delivery that brings to mind a jazzier Aimee Mann.”
Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune, said, “Poet-Preacher-Polemicist … brilliantly unconventional … singular triumph.”
John Ziegler, Duluth News-Tribune, said “A serendipitous pop flavor … sultry voice and pithy compositional abilities.”
John Kregor received a B.A. in composition at the University of Texas, and is a prized member of Chicago's jazz community. He has played in groups led by Jim Gailloreto, Rob Clearfield, Matt Ulery, and currently plays with Patricia Barber every Monday at the Green Mill when Barber is not touring the U.S. and Europe. Kregor also played on Barber’s critically acclaimed 2013 Blue Note Records album Smash.