Music » Livewire

Lucy Kaplansky

Thursday, January 16, at the Beachland Ballroom.

by

comment
Lucy Kaplansky
  • Lucy Kaplansky
To begin with a small caveat: The next time any contemporary folkie writes a song about how you fell asleep in the passenger seat on our all-night drive across the desert and I looked at you in the dashboard light and felt us growing further apart, I swear to God violence will follow. Swift, terrible violence. Ditto for songs about Jesus and Elvis, in any supposedly ironical combination.

Sorry. It's just that Lucy Kaplansky can, and often does, do better when she steers clear of the melodrama and stock situations. Scan the titles of some of the cuts in her back catalog, and you know you're in for some rough times: "End of the Day," "One Good Reason," "Five in the Morning," "For Once in Your Life," etc. These are songs sung by people clutching at the far end of the rope, and Kaplansky runs the gamut here: lost and found lovers, dying parents, hospitals, the hands of little children, failed folksingers, insomniac bouts of self-image crises . . . You get the feeling that no one ever just hangs around the house on a lazy Saturday afternoon. In Kaplansky's neighborhood, everything's a big damn deal.

Kaplansky aspires to be a full-on singer-songwriter, more in the vein of Nanci Griffith (with whose voice Kaplansky's shares several positive qualities) than Ani DiFranco. There's nothing terribly esoteric about any of her cuts -- which isn't a complaint; her vocal-and-guitar performances are standout and solid. If you're looking for a familiar folkie sound and can't get enough of songs about how people can't communicate, you won't be disappointed.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.