Lucy Kaplansky: Ten Year Night
I knew my father loved Lucy Kaplansky - at least, I had heard her name, and his recommendation. But the first time I remember seeing her, I was solo, at the Clearwater Folk Festival. And she was so sweet, and so real, so authentically what I needed at that moment, that I bought two albums, and slipped one into the CD player without looking the moment I slid into the long, slow crawl that served as the exit from the camping area.
To be fair, I was emotionally primed. My wife was home, eight months pregnant with our very first child; the jaunt to Clearwater had been designed to be a replacement for our usual trip to Falcon Ridge Folk Fest, which was scheduled for the week after the birth, and it had succeeded marvelously well. The world was heavy with poignancy, I was alone with myself and unfettered, and the utter joy in losing myself to the folk community that weekend had been a true catharsis, just what I needed.
But there, in the car, when I slipped the disc in the player, and this track soared forth on my shitty speakers, everything coalesced.
It was, truly, the first time I had a musical epiphany, the mandolin and the echoing folk guitar, lyrics and the voice, the music and my life coming together for a moment of transcendent glory. In some ways, my entire musical journey since has been a struggle to recapture that sense of wonder, that sense of musical perfection.
Thanks, Lucy. Thanks, Dad. Welcome, 2010. May the new year and decade bring wonder to us all.