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Letter from Senetor Frank Murkowski
Lucy Kaplansky Update 2/00 Lucy Kaplansky Update 03/00 Lucy Kaplansky Update 05/00 Summer Anniversary Edition #7
Hi everyone and happy holidays! I got back from Ireland last week and
I had a blast. Actually, the whole trip was teriffic (England, Scotland,
and then Ireland) and one amazing thing happened. Paul Brady, Irish
singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire from whose album (with
Andy Irvine) I learned "Mary and the Soldier" and who has been something
of an idol of mine, showed up at my gig in Dublin and sang it with me!!
He played my guitar (God, is he a great guitar player) and sang the
melody and I sang the harmony, and I have to say it was one of the high
points of my life! Then we had drinks and he's a totally great guy,
and he's hilarious.
Other highlights were London and Glasgow (which was a sell-out) and Belfast all of which were particularly raucous and fun, and I did a number of nationally broadcast radio interviews. It seemed like I had quite a few new fans over there (apparently I've been getting a lot more radio play since I was over there last). And I had a fair amount of Guinness, I must admit. Then I spent a week on vacation in Dublin and spent Christmas there. What a magical place Dublin is, especially at Christmas.
A couple of other cool things have happened: Cry Cry Cry played in Nashville with Buddy and Julie Miller opening for us and Emmylou Harris came to one of our shows!! I personally thought I would die, but I think I managed not to make an idiot of myself. And the night before, Jimmie Dale Gilmour came and the next day we got to sing on his new album which Buddy Miller is producing, on an absolutely beautiful, classic song he wrote. And he's a sweet, totally down to earth guy.
We just did our final Cry Cry Cry show in Cambridge, MA and it was a perfect send-off. It's such a beautiful hall and we had a bunch of very special guests sitting in, and we threw harmonies on their songs: Catie Curtis, Chris Smither, Cliff Eberhardt, Buddy Miller and Jim Armenti. It was a blast, but kind of sad. I'm sure Dar and Richard and I will be sitting in with each other once in a while at gigs, but it won't be the same.
I was thrilled to find out last week that "Ten Year Night" was voted the 6th best album of 1999 on WFUV in New York, and the 28th best album on WXPN in Philadelphia! It was also in the top ten most played albums of the year on folk radio stations, and the song "Ten Year Night" was the second most played song of the year on folk radio!
In December I had the great honor of singing on John Gorka's new album (don't know the release date yet) which sounds beautiful, and I got to spend a lot of time with his 2 year old son, Joseph, who is probably the most perfect child I've ever met, and who apparently said when I was in the middle of recording that "Lucy is a nice girl".
I just found out that Duke Levine, the incredible guitar player I did some shows with last year (he's plays with Mary Chapin Carpenter), who played some stunning parts on "Ten Year Night," will be playing with me on January 29th in Westport, CT. Dee Carstensen will be opening the show, and hopefully Dee and I will sing some stuff together as well.
Also, I'll be doing some sort of "On a Summer's Night" show on the first night of the Newport Folk Festival with John Gorka, Cheryl Wheeler and Cliff Eberhardt. I'll fill you in if any more of those shows are happening.
Upcoming gigs include a swing through Texas, Southern California, Arizona, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska in April. I'll keep you posted on details.
Anyway, thanks again for all of the wonderful emails you guys have sent me. I just can't respond to them all, but they mean an awful lot to me. Hope you all have a wonderful year!
is now past and most of us probably have discovered that the vast majority
of the products that found their way below the Christmas tree had their
beginnings in communist China ("Holiday Survival Guide", News, Thursday).
While we celebrated the birth of Christ, hundreds of Christian leaders and unknown numbers of believers celebrated Christmas in Chinese prisons for the crime of being believers.
As I write this letter, four leaders of the Falun Gong sect are being sentenced to up to 18 years in prison for their high crimes of performing slow exercises ("Falun Gong Organizers Get Prison Terms Of Up To 18 Years", News, Monday).
When will we as Americans begin to take a stand against this insane regime?
I understand that our businesses need to procure good deals for American consumers, but these items can be obtained in any number of democratic or greatly more liberal nations, such as Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, and even Indonesia.
What happened to Wal-Mart's pledge to buy American? Cannot Kmart have some responsibility?
What kind of nation have we degenerated to when we can bomb small oppressive governments such as that run by the Serbs, yet wildly reward the Chinese with an avalanche of U.S. dollars, as they steal our military secrets, threaten their neighbors and oppress their own people?
(Reprinted from USA TODAY, Letters, Dec. 28, 1999, published by Gannett/Tom Curley).
A LETTER FROM SENATOR FRANK MURKOWSKI
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Lucy Kaplansky Update 2/00
Hi everyone! I've certainly been busy lately, but it's all been very fun.
I'm very happy to say that a whole bunch of my shows lately have been sellouts which has been pretty thrilling for me. One of them was Westport, CT where the amazing Duke Levine joined me on guitar, and Robin Batteau sang and played violin on "Guinevere" along with Dee Carstensen singing harmony, (and in a completely unplanned move Robin joined me on fiddle on Julie Miller's song "Broken Things" from the back of the room, and I dragged him onstage to finish it!) and it was a wildly fun night. And a couple of other sell-out nights I was joined by the great Jon Herington on guitar, which was a blast, and one of those nights (Mamaroneck, NY) my fellow Cry'er Richard Shindell sat in, and we did a bunch of songs, including some Cry Cry Cry stuff.
I want you to know that there's a new book out by Gwen Macsai called "Lipshtick" which I highly recommend. You've probably heard her as a commentator on NPR. Anway, the book is a hilarious, insightful and very wise look at what it's like to be a woman these days, and there's even a section about me! (Gwen and I grew up together and we were reunited when I was on NPR a few years ago.) But it's not just for women; I personally know two guys who loved it (including my brother).
I'm thrilled to say that Duke Levine will be joining me in Providence, RI on Feb. 26th (see below for details) and again at the Bottom Line in New York City on April 21st with a whole band (that'll be a co-bill with the great Cheryl Wheeler).
Once again, thank you for all the wonderful emails. I can't respond to all of them but I appreciate them so much!
Lucy Kaplansky Update 03/00
Hi everyone! I'm very happy to say that I was just nominated for an AFIM award (American Federation of Independent Music), which is like the Grammys of the independent record label world. Ten Year Night was nominated as best pop album of the year. The awards ceremony is May 6 and believe me I'll let you know if I win.
I've had some very fun gigs lately, and a lot of them have been sellouts, which continues to be a total thrill for me. I did a couple of co-bills with Dee Carstensen and we sang some together. I just love her singing, and she likes to improvise harmonies just like I do, so what happened vocally was totally unplanned and wild and I think pretty beautiful.
Also did a couple of gigs with Duke Levine on guitar and mandolin and had the time of my life. He not only plays incredibly beautifully and soulfully with a wonderful edge, but we also improvise around each other and we never quite know what's gonna happen. He'll be playing with me with a whole band on April 21st at the Bottom Line in New York. That'll be a co-bill with the great Cheryl Wheeler.
I just saw Catie Curtis along with Buddy and Julie Miller on a double bill in New York City and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen (and I got to sing with both of them, I was so honored!!)
Cry Cry Cry sang on Jimmie Dale Gilmore's new album which came out this week. It's awesome. Also, I sang harmonies on Eric Andersen's new album, just came out a couple of weeks ago. It's beautiful, and I love the way Eric and I sound together.
So that's it for now. Take care, you guys, and thanks for all the emails and all your support in general! And come say hi if you make it to a gig.
Lucy Kaplansky Update 5/00Hi guys! I'm writing from my hotel room in Cleveland the morning after the Association for Independent Music awards (the independent record label world version of the Grammys) and I'm thrilled to say that my album "Ten Year Night" WON for Best Pop Album of 1999 (I was up against Vonda Shepard from "Ally McBeal" and Squeeze, among others)!! This is the first award I've ever won for my music.Some other winners were Tom Waits for Best Alternative Rock Album, Kelly Willis for Best Country Album, Tim O'Brien for Best Contemporary Folk Album, John Prine for some category I can't remember, and Cindy Bullens for Best Rock Album.I also performed at the awards with the great Jon Herington on guitar (you may have seen him last week on The Today Show with Steely Dan). Anyway, it was a blast and I'm so happy.I just got back from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and had wonderful gigs in Seattle, Portland, and Anchorage, as well as a little town called Talkeetna near Mt. Ranier, which was exactly like "Northern Exposure", where to my utter amazement a cell phone rang in the middle of the show. Not exactly what I expected in the wilds of Alaska. Also had a gig with Richard Shindell in Peterborough, NH and did a bunch of duets, including some Cry Cry Cry stuff, and it was wonderful to sing with him again.My dad sat in with me on piano in Pasadena, CA on "On an Asteroid With You" and "A Song About Pi" and we reached new levels of vaudeville, and I ended up labeling us "an Oedipal Sonny and Cher", but I'm not sure my dad got the joke because he's never seen or probably even heard of Sonny and Cher.For folks in the U.K., my single "End of the Day" is getting regular national airplay on The BBC Radio 2 (it's been on the playlist now for 6 weeks and it's still going strong). I'm expecting to return to the U.K. and Ireland in December for a tour.For anyone in the Boston area, Duke Levine will be joining me on guitar on May 19th in Watertown, MA (details below). I got to play with Duke with a whole band at the Bottom Line in New York City a couple of weeks ago. Ben Wittman played drums, and Paul Bryan played bass (he was recently on the Academy Awards playing with Aimee Mann, who I think is awesome). Anyway, the band was incredible and I had so much fun I really hated to have to stop playing.That's it for now. Thanks once again for all the emails which I love getting.Enjoy the rest of spring!
Dear Freedom Writer:
Well, I was helping campaigning for Theresa Obermeyer (For Anchorage Mayor) on the streets, holding up a sign for her. I was kinda surprised on the streets the enthusiasm for her was. A lot of people were waving for her a lot. A lot of different people. Business people to everyday people, people who drive semi-trucks etc. But as soon the vote turnout came on the news papers, the turn was like 900. It couldn't have happened that way. More then 900 people had to vote for Theresa Obermeyer. A lot of people were [criticizing] her for her approach but in private, to me, her personality was warm and kind. A gentle personality about her. This had to have been a vote of some kind where the mass media, and the corrupt politicians had [their] hands in the barrel.
May 10, 2000
Dear Freedom Writer:
ONE ANON TO ANOTHER"
Re: THE PRICE OF BEING A DEMOCRAT IN 2000
By Anonymous (Issue #6)
Aside from the obviousness that this article was written by a right-winged conspirator, I have a deep felt need to respond not only as a liberal, but also as a young person stuck in the middle of opposing sides. It is also obvious to me that there is ignorance lurking in the balance here and I would like to respond to some of the things that our anon has mentioned in his/her article.
"You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of funding." Like you, we don't HAVE to believe anything we choose not to believe in. This is the wonderful thing about living in a democratic society. What I believe is that the AIDS virus is spread by lack of education, lack of funding for that education, hypocritical views on condoms and the lack of condom vending machines in public places, i.e., schools (High Schools & Universities above all), drinking establishments, and anywhere else where there may be a consortium of sexual behavior.
"You have to believe that the same public school idiot who can't teach 4th graders how to read is qualified to teach those same kids about sex." Again, this HAVE TO BELIEVE thing has to go, refer to the above statement. Personally, I think that it's okay to teach the BASICS of Human Sexuality in school, around the 6th grade level. However, sex is more than in and out, it's a very emotional experience for both male and females (especially at the time they feel they are ready to have it the first time) that if any "sex" is going to be taught, it should be taught by the parents of the child. I am glad that I was taught Human Sexuality in school, because I sure didn't get taught at home and I'm quite sure that there are millions of other people out there that can confess to the same thing. Also, who are giving the "idiots" a teaching diploma in the first place? Get out there and see if you can do a better job! (At this point, I doubt it.)
"You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear weapons in the hands of the Red Chinese." Guns in the hands of LAW ABIDING Americans is not the problem, the problem lies with guns in the hands criminals, children, people who don't need a gun in the first place. Why do people need guns?! Hunting is fine, I grew up in a hunting community - I have never touched a gun in my life. I am a female, and have never thought to buy a gun for protection (a self defense course and some pepper spray works just fine, also being sensible helps.) What does America's need for guns have to do with the Red Chinese? Perhaps the problem is that instead of looking within your own states, communities, homes, and schools for a solution to this recent widespread arsenal condition and rectifying the current state of affairs, you are competently more concerned and paranoid about the Red Chinese blowing a hole in your backyard. Excuse me? It's time to wake up, no matter which political establishment you stand beside and face the fact that yes, people with guns kill other people (i.e., much easier to do than with a knife or hand).
"You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being gay is natural." If this makes ANY sense at all, I have one comment. Give it up!
"You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity." As a small business owner, I believe this statement is false. If anything Governments restrict or at least try to constrain the powers of it's electors. This is not a good thing, but where would we be without some sort of hierarchy? We are anarchists at heart, animals by nature.
"You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but pasty, loony activists who've never been outside Seattle do." I don't where you get your information other than the 10 o'clock news, but I feel that you should get out a little more often.
"You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it." Because self-esteem is an exceedingly favorable impression of oneself, then it isn't necessary that one goes out to earn it, because it's a personal triumph with one's self. It is important that ALL people have a good sense of self-esteem so that they may function in our society in healthy way. It is also necessary to have a good sense of self-esteem when dealing with the badly informed.
"You have to believe the military, not politicians, start wars." Says who? Militia and Politicians have gone hand in hand in this country for decades.
"You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high." These are two separate issues at hand entirely and why can't anyone believe that? It's true that ATM fees are too high!! Taxes are too high, as well!!
"You have to believe that Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison." I feel that it is a personal choice of who believes whom to be more important to them in American History. I feel that all the people who came and built this country are important to it's history from the little people to all people, it's just that some are more popular than others.
"You have to believe conservatives are racists, but that black people couldn't make it without your help." Conservatives are racists?!!? Are you speaking of ALL conservatives or just the significant few in the South. You are a walking contradiction; in fact, it hardly makes sense at all. Please revise.
"You have to believe conservatives telling the truth should be jailed but a liar and rapist belongs in the White House." Again, where are you getting your information from!?!? Who in the Whitehouse is a rapist?!? This little piece of news just slipped by me! So the President LIED, big deal, almost all of the Presidents in the Whitehouse have lied at one time or another and/or have had affairs. No human being is perfect, especially not under the watchful eye of a vindictive media and foaming-at-the-mouth persecutors, such as yourself, of the "I'd be perfect if I was President, I'd save the world!" club. It's harder to run a country than you may tend to believe, and if you feel that you can do a better job - get out there and do it!
May 13, 2000
Although I don't understand this stuff, someone had registered that web address without my knowledge, and Bill, who takes care of this stuff for me, finally got it back!
There's a video documentary about me called "The Artist's Profile" which features live performance footage, (including me and my dad performing together!), as well as a pretty extensive interview, and old photos. The show was played on some PBS stations a couple of months ago, and now the guy who produced it has made it available to buy on his website, which is www.theartistsprofile.com
There's also other artists to choose from, including John Gorka and David Wilcox.
I did a few gigs with my buddy Richard Shindell which were a total blast. I really miss singing with him and it was such a pleasure, especially doing some Cry Cry Cry stuff together. He even did an absolutely killer harmony on "Ten Year Night" that has made it awfully hard for me to sing the song by myself ever since. So I'm thrilled to say that he's going to sit in with me in New York City on Wednesday July 19 at Makor (details below). And they've added a second show that night because the first show is full.
I had a great time at the Appel Farm Festival in New Jersey where, among other cool things, Jonatha Brooke and I improvised some three part harmonies with our pal John Gorka. I'm such a big fan of hers, and that was the first time I'd ever sung with her. I also did a show with Mr. Gorka in Connecticut and we did a whole lot of singing together, which was such a treat for me.
That's it for now. Thanks again for all the emails.
LUCY KAPLANSKY UPDATE FOR SEPTEMBER 2000
Hi guys, and welcome to all the new folks on this list! Hope you had a great summer. Some highlights of my summer: The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Colorado, where I got to bring my band (Duke Levine, Ben Wittman and Zev Katz) and I probably had about the best time I've ever had on stage. Buddy Miller, who was there to play with Emmylou Harris (who was incredible, by the way) sat in on guitar and harmony on "By Way of Sorrow" (I figured he'd know the words since his wife Julie wrote it), and he was awesome. It was definitely one of those great moments in my life. And the incredible Cheryl Wheeler sang harmony on "Scorpion" and she sounded just beautiful. I also got to sing in Catie Curtis' set, and the Nields, and with Cheryl (very hard keeping a straight face on stage with her, I'll tell you), and also with Nanci Griffith.
I sang with a bunch of my pals at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (Richard Shindell, Cliff Eberhardt, John Gorka, the Nields), and Richard and John sang with me, and we had a brief Cry Cry Cry reunion during one workshop where Dar and Richard and I got to sing a couple of songs together, which was great.
And I had a blast at the Ottowa Folk Festival, where the highlight for me was sitting around the last night with Lynn Miles and Karen Savoca who are two truly great singers, and Pete Heitzman on guitar and various others and singing every song we loved for many hours, including every Gram Parsons song ever written (I had to tear myself away at 4:30 a.m. to catch a plane).
I did a couple of shows with Cheryl Wheeler, John Gorka, and Cliff Eberhardt ("On a Summer's Night") and I don't think I've heard so many gross anatomical jokes maybe ever, particularly on stage, and it was incredibly fun. Part of why it was so much fun: lots and lots of harmony singing.
I was booked to play at a cool festival in Park City, Utah and my flight to get there that morning was cancelled at the last minute, so I barely managed to get booked on the next flight which was going to get in just in time for me to make it for my set. But I had no way of getting in touch with the folks at the festival to let them know when I'd be coming in (they were going to pick me up at the airport) and I was panicking, and then I had a brainstorm and called the Park City police department and those nice policeman actually drove all the way up to the festival to tell the festival directors that I was going to be coming in late! Do you believe that? I don't think that would happen in my neighborhood in New York. The upshot was that I made it there 10 minutes before my set, and I thanked the police department profusely from the stage.
And then there was "The Early Show" with Bryant Gumbel talking about "Survivor". I must say, that was one of the scariest things I ever did, live tv in front of 3 million people, but it actually turned out to be fun, partly because I was on there with Michael Feldman (of NPR's "What Do You Know?") and we hung out for a while before we were on, and he's so hilarious he had me laughing when I otherwise would have been losing my mind with anxiety. I did manage to get one pretty good one-liner in on the show: I called Sue (the duplicitous, treacherous island woman) the Linda Tripp of the island, and Bryant and people on the set actually laughed. Then to my amazement I got kind of addicted to "Survivor" and had to watch the finale. Thank God it's over.
So I'm starting to make concrete plans for a new album, and I'm hoping to record it in January and release it next summer or early fall, if all goes well. As it gets more real, I'll keep you posted.
For those of you in Ireland and the U.K. I'll be over there in December. One of the dates is: Dec13th, Sheffield City Memorial Hall, Sheffield. For tickets call: 0114 2789789. More details about other gigs to follow.
I'm going to have a couple of different guitar players with me in the next few weeks: on Sept. 20 John Putnam will be playing with me in Piermont, NY (he played with me at Falcon Ridge, among other places). And Duke Levine will be with me on Oct. 14th in Concord, MA. Anyway, here's where I'll be in the next few weeks:
A reminder: my web page is now accessible via www.lucykaplansky.com and you can get all kinds of info there, including my complete tour schedule. I'll also be posting some brand new photos in the next couple of weeks.
Once again, thanks so much for all the e-mails (especially the ones with suggestions for what to wear on CBS!) I just can't respond to everyone, but I love getting them.
Have a great fall!