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Lucy Kaplansky w/ Dan Blakeslee

She started out singing in Chicago bars. Then, barely out of high school, Lucy Kaplansky took off for New York City. There she found a fertile community of songwriters and performers—Suzanne Vega, Steve Forbert, The Roches, and others. With a beautiful flair for harmony, Lucy was everyone’s favorite singing partner, but most often she found herself singing as a duo with Shawn Colvin. People envisioned big things for them; in fact, The New York Times said it was “easy to predict stardom for her.” But then Lucy dropped it all.

Convinced that her calling was in another direction, Lucy left the musical fast track to pursue a doctorate in Psychology. Upon completing her degree, Dr. Kaplansky took a job at a New York hospital working with chronically mentally ill adults, and also started a private practice. Yet she continued to sing. Lucy was often pulled back into the studio by her friends, (who now had contracts with record labels) wanting her to sing on their albums. She harmonized on Colvin’s Grammy-winning Steady On, and on Nanci Griffith’s Lone Star State of Mind and Little Love Affairs. She also landed soundtrack credits, singing with Suzanne Vega on Pretty in Pink and with Griffith on The Firm, and several commercial credits as well—including “The Heartbeat of America” for Chevrolet.

Then Shawn Colvin—who was itching to produce a record—hooked up with Lucy, her ex-singing partner. They went into the studio, and it all came together. When Lucy’s solo tapes got into the hands of Bob Feldman, president of Red House Records, he was blown away. Suddenly, Lucy was back in the music business. She signed with Red House and started playing gigs. Red House released The Tide in 1994 to rave reviews, and within six months Lucy signed with a major booking agency—Fleming Tamulevich & Associates—and began touring so much it required leaving her two psychologist positions behind.

Lucy released “Reunion”, her seventh solo CD, in 2012. For this album, Lucy reunited with her impressive core of musicians–Buddy Miller, Richard Shindell, Jonatha Brooke, John Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson, Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpenter, J. Geils Band), Jon Herington (Steely Dan) and producer/drummer Ben Wittman (Paula Cole, Don Byron)–creating a true masterwork.

The title song “Reunion” celebrates Lucy’s pioneering immigrant grandmother and her journey from Poland to Toronto, where the matriarch and business woman founded the Health Bread Bakery chain in the early 20th century. Depicted on the album cover in a painting by noted political cartoonist Avrom Yanovsky (one of the original bakery workers and father to Lovin’ Spoonful’s Zal Yanovsky), the bakery was the center of the Kaplansky family’s life. Although raised in Chicago, Lucy attended many family reunions in Toronto, reuniting one last time with her cousins in 2011 after the passing of her parents, aunts and uncles.

Lucy Kaplansky

dan_blakesleeWhile attending art school in Baltimore, Maryland Dan Blakeslee, a Maine native discovered that he had an equal and deeply rooted connection to music. He would sneak into the galleries to play his guitar through the late hours of the evening surrounded by easels and oil paintings. After four years in “Charm City” he returned to his childhood home in the Tatnic Woods of South Berwick, ME. That summer he played street corners in New Hampshire and Maine while working at a lobster restaurant. His employer urged him to sever ties to manual labor for one of a more musical nature. A phone call from a friend offering him a room in Somerville, MA began his journey south in 1995. While settling into this artful community he began to practice his craft in the smoke laden subways of Boston. He now has been making music and art in the New England region ever since, leading him to tour the U.S.. He has performed with The Low Anthem, David Wax Museum, Lydia Loveless, The Lumineers, Deer Tick, Liam Finn, Brown Bird, Joe Fletcher, Jonah Tolchin, Pearl and the Beard, Will Dailey, Death Vessel, Kimya Dawson among others. In 2015 his dream of playing Newport Folk Festival became a reality, the location where Bob Dylan went electric 50 years earlier.

Blakeslee has six albums under his belt. Two recorded by long time art school friend Ron Harrity (Peapod Recordings). The first of the two “Lincoln Street Roughs” was recorded in a warehouse called The Map Room in Portland, Maine in 2007. The next was “Tatnic Tales” released on May 10, 2011. It is a collection of Blakeslee’s country folk songs most stemming from real life experiences. This album features his band The Calabash Club who formed in a Dover, NH basement in October of 2008. The members: Mike Effenberger – piano, Nick Phaneuf – bass, and Jim Rudolf – drums; are the essential ingredients in this acoustic folk outfit. “Tatnic Tales” was recorded in Dean Ludingtons barn in North Berwick, ME by the railroad as the friendship between the members of the band bloomed. “Tatnic” is the first full length album the band has recorded together to date. Blakeslee’s most recent album “Owed To The Tanglin’ Wind” was recorded at the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI by Ben Knox Miller and Jeffrey Prystowsky (The Low Anthem). It was released August 19th, 2014 with which Blakeslee did extensive touring in 2015. This album received “Album Of The Year” from Red Line Roots. Blakeslee was also awarded 2014 “Folk Artist Of The Year” at the Boston Music Awards, and “Male Performer of The Year” at the 2015 New England Music Awards.

Dan Blakeslee

7pm doors | 8pm show | $20 adv. | $25 day of