She started out singing in Chicago bars. Then, barely out of high school, Lucy Kaplansky took off for New York City. There she found a fer- tile community of songwriters and performersSuzanne Vega, John Gorka, Bill Morrissey, Cliff Eberhardt, and otherswhere she fit right in. With a beautiful flair for harmony, Lucy was everyone's favorite singing partner, but most often she found herself singing as a duo with Shawn Colvin. People envisioned big things for them; in fact, The New York Times said it was "easy to predict stardom for her." Lucy tempo- rarily left the musical fast track to pursue a doctorate in Psychology and open her own private practice, although she continued to sing. Lucy was often pulled back into the studio by her friends (who now had contracts with record labels), wanting her to sing on their albums.
Now, after returning to recording and performing full-time, Kaplansky's voice continues to remain in high demand by her peers. She harmo- nized on Colvin's Grammy-winning Steady On, on Nanci Griffith's Lone Star State of Mind and Little Love Affairs, and on four of John Gorka's albums. She also landed soundtrack credits, singing with Suzanne Vega on Pretty in Pink and with Griffith on The Firm, and several commercial credits as wellincluding "The Heartbeat of America" for Chevrolet. She can also be heard on the Greg Brown tribute album Going Driftless (also featuring: Ani DiFranco, Iris Dement, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Gillian Welch, Eliza Gilkyson, and others). She teamed with Dar Williams and Richard Shindell to form the supergroup Cry Cry Cry, the three choosing to celebrate the amazing revitaliza- tion in contemporary songwriting. The resulting album, Cry Cry Cry (which The New Yorker dubbed "a collection of lovely harmonizing and pure emotion," and to which Entertainment Weekly gave an "A" rating), has been an astonishing success in stores and on radio. A national tour of sold-out concerts by the trio served to introduce Lucy's luminous voice to a new expanse of eager listeners.
Lucy's The Red Thread followed the commercial and critical hit "Every Single Day" (released on 9/11/2001) and marked Lucy's tenth year (and fifth album) on Red House Records. The Red Thread's beautiful production was made evident with harmony vocals by Jonatha Brooke, Richard Shindell, Eliza Gilkyson and John Gorka, production and drums by Ben Wittman (The Story), guitarists Duke Levine (Mary Cha- pin Carpenter) and Jon Herington (Steely Dan), bass player Zev Katz (Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Rosanne Cash), and others. In 2005, Red House re-released her debut album The Tide, re-mastered and with two previously unreleased tracksJesse Winchester's "Everybody Knows But Me" and The Beatles' "I've Just Seen a Face."
Lucy's rising popularity has led to appearances on the CBS Morning Show, NPR's Weekend and Morning Editions, Mountain Stage, West Coast Live, Acoustic Cafe, and Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight. Lucy also contributed her story to a unique new book, SOLO: Women Singer- Songwriters in Their Own Words, which includes some of the best known women on the music scene today including Ani DiFranco, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and Sarah McLachlan. She was also featured in Lipshtick, a collection of essays by NPR commentator Gwen Macsai.
Released in 2007, Lucy's album Over the Hills is a collection of songs that explore love and the dark, winding road that leads us there. Her new life as a mother has not hindered her musical life but has enhanced it, deepening the emotional depth of her songwriting. Lucy continues to tour extensively across North America, reminding audiences why she has been hailed as "a truly gifted performer...full of enchanting songs" (The New Yorker).
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