Artist Q&A

@JamminJavaMei's Q&A With Lucy Kaplansky


Lucy Kaplansky is one of the stars of the contemporary folk/pop singer/songwriter scene. Her songs are smart (she's has a PhD!), insightful, and melodic. Her voice is outstanding too! She's here this Friday.

Where and when was your first show? Here's the story: I was 17 and my dad was a math professor at the U. of Chicago. There was a math camp for teenagers that summer at the university and I started hanging out with the campers hoping to meet a cute guy. The campers were 17 too, and two of them played instruments, one played guitar and one played stand-up bass. We started playing music together (I sang and played guitar) and then the 3 of us went to a Bob Gibson concert at the university. But Bob Gibson never showed up. So with a fair amount of moxie we asked if we could play for the crowd. Well, the concert organizers liked us and hired us to play a show at the university that summer. I think they paid us $40, total. Years later I figured out that the bass player, whose name was Edgar, grew up to be Edgar Meyer, the famous bass virtuoso.

What band/artist would you consider to be your main influence? Definitely Joni Mitchell. I was 14 and loved the Beatles and was listening to pop radio when my older brother Spike told me to listen to an album called "Blue". I had never heard of Joni Mitchell. That album changed my life, made me want to be a singer-songwriter. I still think she is perhaps the best songwriter of all time.

What is one of your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experiences? Before I tried to have a career as a singer songwriter I sang country music for hire. One night I was in a band and we played at a horse farm, basically for the horses. Not a great night in my life.

Favorite Food: Macaroni and cheese Favorite Drink: white wine

If you were to have a film/movie based on your career, which actors or band would you select to portray yourself? Julia Louis Dreyfus would have to play me, SO many people have remarked that I remind them of Elaine from Seinfeld, and they're right!

Cat-Person, Dog-Person, or both Neither! My mother was afraid of dogs and didn't like cats so we never had either. And I really never grew to like them. I basically tolerate them.

What two words would best describe your music? Personal and emotionally truthful (Okay, that's four words)