Lucy Kaplansky was barely out of high school when she started singing in Chicago bars. She soon took off for New York, where she became part of a burgeoning singer-songwriter scene, notably in a duo with Shawn Colvin. Then she switched gears, earning a doctorate in psychology and opening a private practice to work with chronically mentally ill adults.
Eventually, her friends, as Al Pacino says, “pulled her back in” to the music business. Shawn Colvin produced Lucy’s 1994 debut album, “The Tide.” She went on to win best pop album from the Association For Independent Music for the third and fourth releases. Today, Lucy continues to record solo albums, backup other artists and sing as a member of the cover trio Cry Cry Cry with Dar Williams and Richard Shindell.
So whether you like folk music, enjoy delis or like political reads, Lucy Kaplansky is a Jew You Should Know!
1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I pretty much always wanted to be a singer.
2. What do you love about what you do today?
I love connecting with audiences, when it works it's really, really fun. I love when people come up to me after shows and tell me they were moved by this or that song. And I love to sing, it just makes me feel very alive. It's a great job.
3. What are you reading?
Imperial Life in the Emerald City , all about our absolutely disastrous, incompetent occupation of Iraq.
4. What's your favorite place to eat in Chicago?
5. If money and logistical reality played no part, what would you invent?
A recording studio that was so tiny it could fit in my bedroom without taking up any space.
6. Would you rather have the ability to fly or the ability to be invisible?
I'd love to be able to fly, especially after a show far away from home, if I could fly home that would be great.
7. If I scrolled through your iPod, what guilty pleasure song would I find?
Faith Hill's "Cry." I love the writing of that song.
8. What's your favorite Jewish thing to do in Chicago-in other words, how do you Jew?
I like to drive by my old synagogue in Hyde Park. I've got a lot of memories there, including learning a lot about music from the young woman who used to play guitar and sing to us. I thought she was really cool--she was a bit of a hippie.