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With the release of Sundown Rising, it’s easy now to look back on how poem-songs Denise La Grassa wrote as a wee child foreshadowed a late-blooming full-time music career. Those songs were just a warm-up for the spunky 5-year-old, who went door-to-door in her suburban Chicago neighborhood offering to sing and sell them to neighbors – right on their doorstep - for 25 cents apiece. Artist? Check. Entrepreneur? Check.

Today, Denise La Grassa is more creative than ever, and just as audacious, showing no sign of slowing down from her 2022 transition to full-time songwriting and performance. That move followed the closing of Lincoln College, the 157-year-old private school where she led and revitalized the music program. It's a pivot she christened her ‘North of 40’ journey. As in, ‘can a woman … say North of 40 … follow her dream of returning to Europe to perform with her new band and new, bluesy sound?’

Denise is working her way toward that goal with the release of the bluesy Sundown Rising, featuring stellar harmonica work from Pierre Lacocque of the legendary Chicago blues ensemble Mississippi Heat and virtuoso violinist Anne Harris. Bassist Steven C. Manns and drummer Mike Gee are back from 2023’s “The Flame” album, as is co-composter/guitarist John Kregor. Newcomer and rising star Stephen Ryan on guitar round out a sound unlike any other in today's roots music universe.