Tag Archives: john gorka

LUCY KAPLANSKY played at the RINGWOOD LIBRARY in NJ

Lucy Kaplansky at Ringwood library (pics by Mr. C)
Lucy Kaplansky at Ringwood library (pics by Mr. C)
Lucy Kaplansky’s performance at the Ringwood Library in Ringwood,NJ on football sunday & on the last weekend of indian summer on 9/19/10 was entertaining & spectacular to say the least! First off, the Ringwood Library is encompassed in the Dr. Doolittle surroundings of the forest with happy chipmunks, inquisitive coyotes, & cheery bambi’s lulling around with the Wanaque river not too far away. I wouldn’t be surprised if black bears were lurking around somewhere in the vicinity. The library venue seems to be a perfect playground for music lovers with all its earthy glory & organic appeal! It’s always a pleasure to catch Lucy folk out at one of her live acoustic shows because all of her performances are very intimate & she always gives 100% of emotion when performing. Because of her songs & lyrics, it seems like we, her fans are familiar with her entire family including her mother, father, molly(adopted daughter), & her husband. Her stories of her mathematician father with great piano playing abilities to her talented song writing husband to her nurturing mother to her beautiful daughter, Molly who was adopted from China. All of Lucy’s performances are all so personal & we, as her music fans really appreciate her passion & sincerity! By the way, it was a family affair at the Ringwood Library concert as Lucy’s husband & daughter were on hand to run the merch table! Molly helped with unwrapping her mom’s CD so that she can sign them! Nice assembly line! Molly signed CD’s, as well! It was a gorgeous sunday afternoon of pleasant folk music to my ears before the New York Jets clashed with the New England Patriots at the Meadowlands which the JETS went on to eventually shock them! Lucy’s 19 song set list included a beautiful folk song from Scotland(got to get the name of it)<—-(Edit…Lucy Kaplansky tweeted me back…name of the song is 'Loch Lomond'), Manhattan Moon, Lifethreads, ten year night, Mothers day, Beauty Way(Eliza Gilkyson), Written on the back of his hand, Sanctuary(Eliza Gilkyson), Brooklyn Train(…on piano), Ring of Fire(Johnny Cash), Don’t Mind me, Blue Chalk(John Gorka), Land of the living(dedication to 9-11) on her Red Thread album, Hallelujah(Leonard Cohen), Song about Pi, & This is Home. She also performed John Lennon’s “imagine” by request of the audience. Lucy played Imagine for the very 1st time, & I think she did a pretty darn good job adding her signature folk stamp on it! Someone even googled the lyrics on an iPad so that she can reference it! Bring it, Steve Jobs & the baby boomers! Lucy rocked out with her encore performance of Bruce Springsteen’s, Thunder Road! It was Thunderous, indeed with a folk twist to it! Folks, no pun intended…Go out and purchase Lucy’s new album, a collaboration with John Gorka & Eliza Gilkyson called RED HORSE! It’s a nut buster of a folk cover album with each artist doing 4 tracks including an original song of their own, two original songs from the other 2 artists, & one cover tune that is mutually exclusive from the trio of RED HORSE! For example, Lucy Kaplansky performed 4 songs: The 1st was “Scorpion”, a song of her own, 2nd was “Sanctuary”(Eliza Gilkyson), 3rd- “Blue Chalk”(John Gorka), & the fourth song was “Wayfaring Stranger”, a well know spiritual folk song from unknown origins, maybe from the 1940’s? Get the RED HORSE album y’all & make sure to get Molly’s signature on one of her mom’s album! She’s an aspiring artist! Molly loves the Beatles & thinks that she is RINGO!

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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