Sunday, September 9, 2007

I Love Lucy


Last night, I saw Lucy Kaplansky perform at The Towne Crier. It’s a little restaurant, bar and club nestled into the mid-Hudson Valley in New York. You would be hard-pressed to find a more intimate setting and better atmosphere. Picture Lucy, dropping by your over-sized living room, casually singing and discussing her tunes with fifty of her best friends. Endearing. Wonderful. Memorable.


Lucy is a proud mother of a four year old girl named Molly. Her delight in her parenthood was the theme of her set. She glowed telling stories and singing tales of her experiences as a Mom. Lucy also shared her warm memories of her Dad who passed away last year. I did not know very much about her work before this performance. Afterwards, as she greeted the crowd as they left, I felt as I had rediscovered an old friend.


She also has a passion for sorrowful songs of lost or unrequited love. This is the standard ‘good stuff’ songwriters thrive on. Lucy didn’t wallow in remorse. Her lyrics were heartfelt and telling about her personality. Recollect for us about all the things you miss, all the things you crave, all the things you feel. Lucy has a gift for sharing her heart with originality and grace.


Lucy is part of a community of performers that include her friends Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dar Williams, John Gorka and Greg Brown. Superficially, she could be categorized as a folkie singer-songwriter, but a label like this would not do her justice. Her persona is quite genuine and mature. She is not trivial and sing-song simplistic. Her lyrics are thoughtful and succinct. Each song was a tasty gem that had been developed and honed over many performances around the country.


Listening to Lucy inspires you to dust off all the experiences of your life to recall and contrast with her lyrics. She inspires you to search your soul. There is no flash and glitter here. I admired her self-esteem. With Lucy, barriers are lowered and all the nuances of her emotions and experiences are shared willingly. Her frankness was unexpected and almost disarming. See her perform and you’d want to invite her over for coffee the next morning!


Fellow singer-songwriter Patrick Fitzsimmons opened for Lucy. Patrick hails from Vermont and has a casual style singing mostly about happy events in his life. His signature move is his ability to use an acoustic guitar as a percussion instrument. Patrick provided a very pleasant warm-up to a memorable evening.


The Towne Crier is a treasured resource for all who seek fine music. Their food is surprisingly good, too! Check them out at: www.townecrier.com. Lucy can be found at www.lucykaplansky.com. Take a look. You may discover good times and great thoughts.

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