Chris Buskey & the High Lonesome Plains
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Chris Buskey & the High Lonesome Plains


Band Americana Rock


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"Americana UK Review - The River and the Sea"

Competent, engaging guitar pop that's a worthy addition to the genre.

Being compared to Big Star, Neil Young, and The Jayhawks can certainly boost the ego of any musician, or indeed leave one completely crushed with the overbearing weight of expectation. Chris Buskey, a New Haven Connecticut native, seems to be handling such acclaim with ease given the quality of his guitar pop debut album The River And The Sea. There are indeed reference points attributed to all the above – throw in also Jim Bryson - yet their influence only makes up a small part. A nasally voice that deadpans without intentionally doing so takes a little getting used to for sure but that is a small effort given the rewards. Most of the songs here – the trad-folky feel of “Willow Street Green,” the pure paisley pop of “Despise,” or the intriguing acoustic foray of “Amber” – are best judged on their own merit. In the great tradition of US guitar bands Chris Buskey And The Lonesome Plains offer memorable melodies and intoxicating hooks all driven by layer upon layer of harmonic driven guitar pop that is instantly appealing if not exactly refreshingly unique. After the relative success of his debut EP “Songs For Young Lovers,” which sold records even in Australia!, this is a more than competent follow-up and has emerged as an office favourite over last few weeks. Its simplistic approach and instant engaging nature makes “The River And The Sea” well worth tracking down.

Date review added: Friday, October 06, 2006
Reviewer: Del Day
Reviewers Rating:
- Americana UK

"New Haven Advocate Review - The River and The Sea"

Chris Buskey and the High Lonesome Plains
The River and the Sea
(Horizon Music Group,

This set of 12 Americana-drenched pop-rock songs is pretty far from ostentatious: Buskey possesses a reedy Everyman voice, and the instruments all fall in behind it in Everyband fashion, proficient but modest, burning steadily for the ballads and the rockers alike. It's honestly presented, sonically familiar alt-country-leaning stuff. Yet you quickly realize that these are well-crafted songs. Buskey's melodies pour out with folksy ease, his memorable choruses invite singing along, and his lyrics are smart without being show-offy--there's not a bum line on this disc. One shouldn't fault Buskey for sticking to well-trodden ground when he treads it so expertly.
- The New Haven Advocate

"Rootstime Belgium Review - The River and the Sea"

Chris Buskey is a singer-songwriter from New Haven,Connecticut. He also fronts a band called the High Lonesome Plains. Members : John Lindberg (electric guitar/vocals), Johnny Java (drums/percussion), James Velvet (bass/vocals), Ian Alsgaard (piano/keyboard/organ/vocals) .Formed in ; New Haven, CT, 1998 Active in : New York, Boston, Providence, New Haven en in Belgie want wij ontvingen als een van de eersten de langverwachte fullcd van Chris Buskey en compagnie. Eerder verscheen van hem in 2002 het EP 'tje "Songs For young Lovers" en dat kreeg door dat een van de songs (Brass Ring, Nothing Lasts) op een musicsampler van Magnet Magazine terecht kwam, de nodige airplay (meer dan 35000 exemplaren gingen de deur uit). Chris Buskey & the High Lonesome Plains worden in de States vergeleken met grootheden als Wilco, Son Volt, Big Star, Neil Young en Crazy Horse, the Jayhawks, en the Only Ones. Eerlijk gezegd, na het meermaals beluisteren van dit prachtig nieuw schijfje horen zij in dat rijtje thuis. Alt country, Folk, Americana / Roots/ Rock music, dat doet ons hartje altijd feller kloppen. All songs written by Chris Buskey en zoals het betaamt in dit soort van de door ons zooooo gewaardeerde muziek, thema's als love, loss, fear, strength, hope and redemption. De songs "God & Texas", "Brass Ring", "Porchlight" die op dat Ep'tje stonden vinden wij gelukkig ook terug op dit album. Niet dat de andere songs van mindere kwaliteit zijn, integendeel zelfs, Buskey schrijft songs die je onmiddelijk bij de keel, hart en ziel (waar die ook mag zitten) grijpen.There's so much feeling and emotion packed into those songs you can't help but get in touch with your inner crybaby. Prima singer/songwriter en frontman van een band die wel eens kon uitgroeien tot een van de nieuwe revelaties van 2005. "Better than Ryan Adams and almost as good as Alex Chilton." (Frank Critelli). En die man kan het weten want hij was onlangs tesamen met Buskey en Ray Neal "on the road" voor een tiental akoustische optredens. Klasse !!!! **** (SWA) - Rootstime Belgium

" Review - The River and the Sea"

Issue #88 Aug. '06

I have an advantage, or perhaps even a disadvantage – the new CD, the river and the sea, by Chris Buskey and the High Lonesome Plains, contains 12 tracks of pure Alt. Country / Americana rock bliss – Yet 8 of those tracks have been in my collection for quite some time and while this gives me greater insight, it also draws me back to a review I wrote in May of 2002 for the High Lonesome Plains EP, Songs for Young Lovers.

In Issue #37 of the IMC ‘Zine I wrote: “Pain, heartache, sorrow, self-pity, The Lonesome Loser, a wreck of a man whose self confidence has been shattered and scattered by too many lovers who have passed through his life without any hope of return. Sure he’s loved them; he’s loved them with such uncompromising reverence that he cannot see past his own blindness to the issues that play heavy in his heart and mind.”

That statement holds forth for the river and the sea, but gone is the blindness – by surrounding 3 of the 4 songs found on the 2002 EP (Brass Ring (Nothing Lasts), God and Texas, Porch Light) with 9 more tales of heartache and heartbreak, we hear and experience a growth, an acceptance, a maturity if you will, of both the heart and mind of our protagonist. Even as we feel his pain and despair of lost/unrequited/longed for love(s), we realize our lonesome loser is going to be fine – “First the river / then the sea.”

Shortly after the release of the 2002 EP, an Australian Record company with great interest (and international distribution) contacted Chris Buskey about releasing a full-length CD. Plans were made, the CD was recorded, and the Australian Record Co. went silent in regards to the High Lonesome Plains – while they obviously continued with business as usual, no correspondence was returned, ever. Meanwhile, Chris circulated a 2 song single (40 Acres, Amber), and a 4 song EP (containing the single 40 Acres, along with Despise, Down To Nothing, and Take Your Time) while biding his time. Finally, after a year plus of waiting, and with the help of Vic Steffens (who’s production caps this CD perfectly) and his Horizon Music Group, the river and the sea CD has been released.

My knowing 8 of the 12 tracks could’ve reduced this release to another 4 song EP in a series of EPs for me, but it didn’t. The river and the sea comes at this reviewer as a full-length CD of a magnitude that just astounds. 3 items jump out here: Buskey’s prose, Buskey’s vocals, and the playing of the High Lonesome Plains.

All 12 tracks are vignettes of complex affairs of the heart. Buskey’s gift of prose and his poetic allegories and alliterations that reach deep into the heart and burst forth under metaphors and symbolism steeped heavily with equal parts optimism, cynicism, hope, wonder, despair and love, make it hard not to be sucked into each individual tale as if it is your own. Using verbal imagery to define faith and belief in love, along with all that is good and evil about it, Buskey delivers sermons without preaching. He extols virtues of biblical proportions with the sincerity of someone who has traveled the green, green rocky road of the heart and has not only cast his eyes skyward in prayer and his thoughts soul-searchingly inward, but has also offered himself up in a sincere sacrifice of the heart for the person(s) of his love and affection.

Couple that with a distinct and unique, nasally twang of a voice, and Chris Buskey is staking out a claim to a lyrically significant, vocal delivery territory much like that of such identifiable singers as Johnny Cash and James Taylor.

Along with Chris Buskey (vocals, acoustic guitar, Nashville guitar), add the High Lonesome Plains, Ian Alsgaard (piano, organ, keyboards, vocals), John Lindberg (electric guitars, vocals), James Velvet (bass, vocals, percussion) and Johnny Java (drums, percussion), and you have a tight, terse Rock-n-Roll Americana Alt. Country Band. At times piano driven with solid sharp drums and bass rhythms punching dirty, distorted, fuzz tone guitar leads with bold, grand, open acoustic chords wrapping around intense, personal, stumbling/struggling vocals in a full assault, this band knows every nook and cranny of each other and fills them precisely where and when needed. The HiLo’s can also be a modern day hook-filled massive ensemble not unlike The Band in their heyday. Whether it be a waltz style death march, a gritty garage pop, a southern strumming gospel, or an electric rocker with all the guts of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the High Lonesome Plains deliver a sound that captures the landscape and atmosphere of the lyrical prose so perfectly, so intently, so all-encompassing, that there is nary a misplaced note to draw your attention away from the tale(s) unfolding upon your ears and within your heart.

“Words come true / and in to view /
Now your heart / it’s black and blue /
What will come / and what will be /
first the river / then the sea.”


2002 - Songs For Young Lovers (Horizon Music Group)
2002 - Magnet Magazine CD Sampler - "Brass Ring (Nothing Lasts)"
2003 - The Box, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - "Brass Ring (Nothing Lasts)"
2003 - Let's Get Furious - A Tribute to the Furors - "Low in Your Mind" (Thin Man Music)
2004 - I Wanna Be Bohemian - Compilation - "Amber (Four Track Version)"
2004 - 40 Acres b/w Amber
2006 - 300 Mondays (Documentary) - "Lotus Flower and the Moment of Truth (Live)"
2006 - The River and the Sea (Horizon Music Group)



In an age of focus group driven corporate rock super conglomerates, and one-dimensional American Idols, the High Lonesome Plains' 2002 EP Songs for Young Lovers was a proverbial "little train that could." Released on the upstart independent HMG record label, with an initial printing of fewer than 1000 copies, Songs for Young Lovers managed to breach the airwaves and reap critical praise on four continents. Renowned Australian music journalist and Laughing Outlaw record label founder Stuart Coupe proclaimed it "the best thang [he'd] heard in ages," while Americana-UK called it nothing less than "one of the best EPs of the year." The EP's lead track "Brass Ring (Nothing Lasts)" appeared on Magnet Magazine's New Music Sampler (35,000 copies) which garnered the band even more airplay across the US and abroad, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Brazil - not bad for a four song EP recorded mostly live, on a shoestring budget.

The River and the Sea is the long-awaited full-length album from a band that's been compared to such giants as Big Star, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the Jayhawks, and the Only Ones. The album comprises eleven new songs about love, loss, fear, strength, hope and redemption, penned by singer/songwriter Chris Buskey and arranged by the group. Picking up where "Songs . . " left off, it represents a significant step forward for the group. And while the music business isn't any tamer than it was a few years ago, the High Lonesome Plains remain undaunted, and unvanquished. Like a train that keeps on rolling "