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Lucy Kaplansky - Over the Hills

Over The Hills

Lucy Kaplansky

Red House Records RHR CD 200

Available from Red House Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mike Jurkovic
(rnrcurmudgeon@yahoo.com)

There's a calming, serene acceptance of the natural order of things in all of Kaplansky's songs. But nowhere in her six CD canon has she summed it up more eloquently or more melodically than on the opening, mandolin wind of Manhattan Moon, Today's The Day and the title song, with the chorus 'There will always be / This one true thing / I'll be with you / When you remember me".

Still, there's a nagging sense that this disc could have been so much stronger with more of her own expressive work and less covers, or at least more Lucy-infused ones anyway. Though I fully understand its thematic inclusion, she brings little else but Larry Campbell's pedal steel to Bryan Ferry's lushly anthemic More Than This. Her unassuming take on Ian Tyson's Someday Soon will hardly have you forgetting Judy Collins' indelible version from her 60's work. And why, oh why Ring of Fire?

Almost miraculously, when you consider she got her start in Chicago and has made Manhattan her home for over twenty years, the country tinge of her work intuitively envelopes her warm, welcome home vocals and is more real than ninety-five percent of what's out there claiming to be country. Even if I still hold that 2004's The Red Thread is her watermark, when you take the latter mentioned three songs, add the crystalline Amelia and the rhythmic blues duet with Buddy Miller on wife Julie's Somewhere Trouble Don't Go, and you're in for some very fine and rewarding listening. A quality we return to Kaplansky's music for again and again.

Track List:

  • Manhattan Moon
  • Amelia
  • More Than This
  • Ring of Fire
  • Swimming Song
  • Today's The Day
  • Over The Hills
  • Somewhere Trouble Don't Go
  • Someday Soon
  • The Gift
Produced by Ben Wittman.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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