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Interview:
Family thoughts inspired latest Lucy Kaplansky album
 

By GARY GRAFF
21st Century Media/Digital First Media, @GraffonMu

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Lucy Kaplansky doesn't disagree that "Reunion," her first new album in five years, has plenty of songs about family and friends. But the singer-songwriter says that wasn't something she planned.

"I never set out on a concept, ever," explains Kaplansky, 53, a Chicago native who has a Ph. D in clinical psychology but turned her attention full-time to music during the early 90s and has released nine albums since 1994. "I jsut set out to try to write some good songs. And since my last album (2007`s 'Over the Hills') my mother became more and more frail and eventually passed away, and my daughter grew and blossomed and so my life as a mother became even more rich and complex.

"That's what I ended up writing about, mostly. The concept just sort of happened. That's the way it always is with me."

"Reunion" also included Kaplansky's covers of songs by the Beatles, Eliza Gilkyson, Amy Correia and Woody Guthrie, while "Mother's Day" -- one of seven songs she wrote with her husband, Richard Litvin -- is an extremely personal rumination about motherhood that she says makes only minimal impact with their nine-year-old daughter, even though it's directly about her.

"First of all, she only wants to hear the rockers," Kaplansky says with a laugh. "If we're listening to my CD in the car, which she really likes to do when we're not listening to the Beatles, when we get to a ballad she'll say, ~'Next!' She doesn't want to hear 'em at all if they're ballads.

"She never told me what she thinks about ('Mother's Day'). I think she's probably a little self-conscious, but also proud that I'm singing about her. I hope so, anyway."

Lucy Kaplansky and Count This Penny perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $17.50. Call 734-761-1452 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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