Lucy Kaplansky at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair-NJ

Lucy Kaplansky at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, pic by Mr. C
Lucy Kaplansky in Montclair. Pic by Mr C
Lucy Kaplansky performed at the ‘Outpost in the Burbs’ in Montclair, NJ on January 8th, 2010. She folked out to her 17 song set much to the audience’s delight! Lucy never plays with a pre-determined set in mind. Instead, she chooses her songs based on spontaneity, & with a little power of suggestion from her fans by request. Her performance was truly an angelic experience with the venue being housed at the holiest of holiest of places, the Church, how fitting! Lucy began her sermon with a cover from John Gorka,”Blue Chalk” & ended the night with a song by Bruce Springsteen, “Thunder Road”. The songs sandwiched in between where like fruits freshly picked from the vine, glistening from the morning dew, & hand fed to us! Lucy’s style is fundamentally american folk with a slight shade of country at times. Her voice is very clear, precise, and very soothing. However, she struggled with hitting the high notes at times. Although, the last 2 times I’ve seen her she seemed to be sick from a cold. Lucy is a great performer & storyteller to boot. She plays the acoustic guitar with much rhythm, grace, & continuity. Lucy plays the piano with much eloquence as well, witnessed by her great rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, the Beatles ‘Let it be’, & her own song “Brooklyn Train” that night. Her lyrics often tell the tale of her childhood days all the way up to her adulthood years with her 2 loving parents in mind. Another tremendous inspirational piece to Lucy’s songwriting seems to be New York City. She often describes ‘the village’, Macdougal street, Bleeker street bars, the subways, life in the city, & the New York folk scene in the most descriptive of ways that truly tranforms into real life when you hear the lyrics. The most recent albums “Ten Year Night”, “Red Thread”, & the latest “Over the Hills” contains the 2 most treasured of her inspirations to date, her husband of 25 years & Molly, her adopted child from China. You hear less of rodeos, cowboys, lost loves, bleeker street bars, & macdougal-west 3rd street enclaves and more about her loving family in her lyrics of late. Some songs she played that night include Scorpion from ‘Flesh and Bone’, Manhattan Moon, Ten year night, Ring of Fire(Johnny Cash), This is Home, By way of sorrow from ‘CRY CRY CRY’, Guinevere from her 1st album “The Tide”(one of my faves), & Someday soon (another fave) which was ironically sung by request from a young girl about 7 years old sitting right next to me, known to her as the song about the rodeo. Great request & great ears, young lady! Kaplansky also sang some new songs including ‘Mothers day’, ‘when you love someone’, & ‘Life Threads’ which was inspired & requested by the beauty care company, La Prairie who hired Lucy to write a song about their new upscale & seductive fragrance line called Life Threads. By request from a fan in the audience, Lucy played the most requested song at her shows to her surprise, a tune written by her father about the mathematical number “Pi”. “Pi” was inspired by her mathematical genious father, Irving Kaplansky who also was a very good piano player & composer who liked to write songs to the tune and scale of mathematical influences. Lucy sang ‘Pi’ in acapella in loving memory of her father with the scale and notes of the mathematical number of 3.1415926535897 in mind!
Lucy Kaplansky is one of my favorite musicians to listen to when I want to pick myself up when I’m down, or when I just want to mellow out. For me, Lucy Kaplansky is quintessential New York City and totally synonymous to what we Planet Chocko inhabitants call the ‘Motherland’. The motherland was a half mile radius with the center being 4th & Broadway where we rooted ourselves in for our days exploration of the City. This area included Tower Records, Tower Clearance, Tower Books, Kim’s Underground, Other Music, Dojo, Washington Square Park, the great Bottom Line venue, Time Cafe, Alt Dot Cafe, The Continental, Coney Island High, CBGB’s, ABC No Rio, Brownies, The Collective, & the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. My greatest memories of the motherland to date include watching Richie Havens & Lucy Kaplansky perform at the Bottom Line & Time-FEZ Cafe among the Ramones & other favorite shows at The Continental & Coney Island High. Check out Lucy Kaplansky live when you get a chance if you like folk music & if you love NYC. Lucy encompasses those two attributes pretty darn well! Who knows, you might run into her in the “Motherland”! She’s definitely in the ‘hood! Oh!, almost forgot, Lucy mentions that she is working on a future project that is similiar to “Cry Cry Cry” , but with different artists! She couldn’t mention who because it’s top secret for now, but lookout for the lowdown soon! Lucy is also hoping for a new solo album out this Fall! Go Go NYC & thank you Lucy!
–MR. C

For a throwback moment:

The Bottom Line
15 W 4th Street
New York, NY 10012

Time Cafe(FEZ)
380 Lafayette Street @ Great Jones
New York, NY 10003

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