Get this crazy baby off my head!


Lucy Kaplansky

Lucy Kaplansky - The Red Thread - 2004 - Red House Records

From folk singer to clinical psychologist and back to folksinger, Kaplansky has experienced life, and proves you can have it all. One of the themes of this disc is the Chinese child she and her husband have adopted, and the way being a parent will change her and her relationships, explored lovingly on "I Had Something" and the title track. But she's also looking outside herself, concerned with the world, and out of that comes one of the most insightful post- 9/11 songs, "Land of the Living," which focuses on humans, not theories and abstractions. "Line in the Sand," about Iraq, doesn't work as well, however, and "Brooklyn Train" ends up being reminiscent of For the Roses-era Joni Mitchell. Kaplansky has always offered a wide range of covers on her albums, and this follows the pattern, from the heartbreaking "Cowboy Singer" by the late Dave Carter to a rocked-up "Off and Running" from the pen of James McMurtry. As usual, she's supported by her longtime bandmates, who often supply glistening arrangements to frame her supple voice (although drums and bass add absolutely nothing to "Cowboy Singer" -- in fact, they detract from it). That she's a talent is beyond question, and with "Land of the Living," she's surpassed herself as a writer. © Chris Nickson © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-red-thread-r677300/review

It shouldn't be surprising that Lucy Kaplansky's music is infused with complex emotional detail when you consider that she worked as a clinical psychologist before deciding to pursue music full time. On the six songs she and Richard Litvin, her co-writer and husband, composed for The Red Thread, she never shies away from the conflicting feelings that accompany the profound moments in life. On the title track, for example, she sings movingly about the joy, wariness, and worry she felt when she and Litvin adopted a daughter from China. On "Land of the Living," which was inspired by the tragedy of 9/11, Kaplansky's sharp eye for detail creates a harrowing, but ultimately hopeful vision of that horrible day. Like many good songwriters, Kaplansky has an excellent ear for the right song to cover, and here she has chosen fine ones from Buddy Miller, Bill Morrissey, James McMurtry, and Dave Carter. The sonic territory on The Red Thread is subtle and subdued, with spare, mostly acoustic arrangements that perfectly frame the powerful emotions contained in Kaplansky's songs. © Michael John Simmons © 1996-2011, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

A powerful new CD constructed around the theme of an ancient Chinese legend that invisible red threads connect us to all of the important people in our lives. "The Red Thread" represents a turning point for this remarkable urban singer and songwriter in its depth and range of material. "The Red Thread" contains some of the most beautiful and powerful tracks this remarkable artist has ever released. From the rootsy simplicity/minimalism of "Cowboy Singer" and :Brooklyn Train," to the sonic complexity of pop-rockers "Love Song New York" and "Line in the Sand," critics agree that "The Red Thread"is her most compelling and appealing album to date. Produced by BEN WITTMAN (Laurie Anderson, The Story, Don Byron, Rosanne Cash), who also served as drummer, the world class musicians include singers JOHN GORKA, JONATHA BROOKE, RICHARD SHINDELL and ELIZA GILKYSON, guitarists DUKE LEVINE (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Peter Wolf) and JON HERINGTON (Steely Dan, Bette Midler), bass player ZEV KATZ (Roxy Music, Rosanne Cash, Bette Midler) and others. The result is a riveting blend of rock, folk, country and pop that perfectly compliments Kaplansky’s gorgeous, evocative vocals. Talent and hard work continue to pay off for Lucy - "The Red Thread"is a stunning achievement! - [from Product Description © 1996-2011, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates]

"The Red Thread" is the fifth solo album by the New York singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky. It's a beautifully produced album which fuses rock, folk, country and pop. Lucy is backed by artists including Ben Wittman (The Story), guitarists Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpenter) and Jon Herington (Steely Dan), and bass player Zev Katz (Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Rosanne Cash). The harmony vocals by Jonatha Brooke, Richard Shindell, Eliza Gilkyson and John Gorka are also wonderful. This is a great album full of evocative melodies and imagery. Lucy's style is similar in style to the great and vastly underrated James McMurtry. She covers James' great "Off And Running"song on the album. Listen to the original on James' "Where'd You Hide the Body" album. Buy Lucy's "Over the Hills" album and promote real music


1 I Had Something - Lucy Kaplansky / Richard Litvin
2 Line In The Sand - Lucy Kaplansky / Richard Litvin
3 Love Song/New York - Bill Morrissey
4 This Is Home - Lucy Kaplansky / Richard Litvin
5 Off And Running - James McMurtry
6 Land Of The Living - Lucy Kaplansky / Richard Litvin
7 Cowboy Singer - Dave Carter
8 Hole In My Head - Jim Lauderdale / Buddy Miller
9 The Red Thread - Lucy Kaplansky / Richard Litvin
10 Brooklyn Train - Lucy Kaplansky / Richard Litvin / Ben Wittman


Lucy Kaplansky (acoustic guitar, vocals, background vocals)
Jon Herington (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, harmonium)
Duke Levine (electric guitar, electric 12-string guitar, slide guitar, National guitar, mandola, mandolin, guitorgan)
Zev Katz (bass, baritone guitar)
Ben Wittman (piano, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards, drums, drum set, percussion)
Andy Ezrin (piano)
Brian Mitchell (organ)
Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka, Jonatha Brooke, Richard Shindell (background vocals)


When Lucy Kaplansky was 18 years old, she shocked her neighbors in the Hyde Park area near the University of Chicago when, instead of going to college, she went to New York City with her boyfriend to become a folksinger. Fifteen years later, having become a clinical psychologist as well as a sought-after duet and harmony singer, she made another surprising decision: she gave up her private practice and her position at a New York hospital to pursue a full-time singing career. Drawn to Greenwich Village in the late '70s by the resurgence of the folk scene, she became a regular at Gerde's Folk City. By 1982, she was a member of the CooP (later Fast Folk) and was featured on nine of the group's "musical magazines," along with Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, John Gorka, Richard Shindell, and others. By 1983, however, Kaplansky had enrolled in New York University with the aim of becoming a psychologist. Well known on the folk scene for her crystalline harmonies, Kaplansky sang harmony vocals on Nanci Griffith's Lone Star State of Mind and Little Love Affairs albums and performed in New York clubs as a duo with Colvin while earning her Ph.D. from Yeshiva University. But when she and Colvin attracted attention from record companies, Kaplansky declined, becoming a staff psychologist at a New York hospital and establishing a private practice while Colvin recorded her first three albums for Columbia Records. As a record of what Lucy had accomplished on the folk scene, and to give Colvin a chance to try her hand at production, the two collaborated on Kaplansky's first album, The Tide, comprising three of Kaplansky's own compositions and a collection of well-worn covers, including songs by Richard Thompson, Sting, and Robin Batteau. By 1994, when The Tide was released by Red House Records, Kaplansky decided to shift gears again and become a full-time touring folksinger. She spent much of the next few years playing the folk circuit of coffeehouses, church halls, and festivals, accompanying herself on guitar and performing in concert with Shindell and Gorka. In 1996, Red House Records released her second album, Flesh and Bone, produced by Anton Sanko (Vega's Solitude Standing and Days of Open Hand). It includes eight original songs (co-written with Kaplansky's husband, filmmaker Richard Litvin), as well as duets with Shindell and Gorka. Ten Year Night followed in 1999. Every Single Day appeared in 2001 on Red House Records, with Red Thread in 2004 and Over the Hills in 2007, both also on Red House. © Claire Keaveney © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lucy-kaplansky-p44854/biography