I remember the very first time that I saw Lucy Kaplansky in concert at the now defunct Westhoughton Folk Club. I had bought one of her albums after hearing a song played on a late night radio show hosted by Bob Harris on Radio 2 and was immediately drwn into her amazingly perosnal lyrics and intelligent choice of covers.
That was around 10 years ago and I have continued to follow her career, buy her albums and go to her live shows since.
Her lyrics speak of loss, family and hope. Her concerts are full of funny anecdotes about her husband, daughter and father. She’s a consummate self-effacing communicator who draws you into her life like an old friend.
Lucy left home as a teenager to sing in New York and make a career in music. After making her first album she quit the music industry and went to college to study psychiatry. She set up her own practice all the while singing backing vocals on other people’s albums such as Nanci Griffiths.
Eventually she returned to the music industry where she has gone from strength to strength on her albums.
An album I would recommend starting off with would be The Red Thread. In my opinion this is probably her most balanced work and is worth the price of the CD for the songs This Is Home and Land of the Living – one of the best songs written about the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on 9-11.
If you are into downloading the following songs to me could be considered a best of and a great introduction to her work over a longer period: This is Home, Land of the Living, Five In the Morning, You Tonight, Over the Hills, Todays the Day, Ten Year Night, Sleeping With The Angel (from her collaborative Cry Cry Cry album), Song for Molly and Written on the Back of His Hand.