Lee Dewyze

Saturday, October 27, 2012 7:30PM

Lee Dewyze
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With his rough-hewn voice and laid-back Midwestern charm, Lee DeWyze won over millions of viewers as a contestant and eventual winner of the ninth season of American Idol. An accomplished singer, guitarist, and songwriter who had already built a following on the Chicago club scene by the time he auditioned for Idol, DeWyze displays his true nature as an artist on his major-label debut Live It Up. The title track captures the easy-going sprit of the album — a breezy blend of rootsy pop, rock, and folk, anchored by DeWyze’s soulful, husky voice and bright-sounding acoustic guitar.

Working with top-notch collaborators such as Toby Gad (Alicia Keys, Fergie), John Shanks (Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow), David Hodges (Kelly Clarkson, Weezer) and Norwegian production team Espionage (Beyoncé, Train), DeWyze co-wrote nearly every song on Live It Up, which he recorded while on the road over the summer with the “American Idol Live” tour. “To see my name listed in the credits was really important to me because I’m a songwriter,” DeWyze says. “I also loved working with such talented writers. They all brought so much to the table and really helped me flesh out my ideas.”

In August 2010, DeWyze was back at Chicago’s United Center, this time to headline the “American Idol Live” tour — a far cry from that first cattle call audition that sealed his future: putting out Live It Up on 19 Recordings/RCA Records. “Releasing an album on a major label is why I did the show,” DeWyze says. “American Idol didn’t teach me who I was as an artist. I already knew who I was. The hard part was learning how to be on the show, avoiding cameras flying around, and surviving the judging panel. But my attitude was to go out there, sing the songs, have fun, and whatever happens, happens. Every week I was still there, I felt grateful. Even though I hadn’t won, this is what I would be doing. I just want to make music that I love and that other people will love.