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LARRY KAPLAN - True Enough

LARRY KAPLAN - True Enough
Hannah Lane Music HLM04

Larry Kaplan is a songwriter from Boston with several albums already under his belt. His latest, True Enough, features 14 of his songs and one from the tradition. He sings them here, accompanied by his own guitar and banjo, with several guest musicians including, notably, Grey Larsen, on concertina, harmonium, whistle and vocals.

Larry is an adept storyteller. He weaves the songs in a way that is easily accessible, telling the tale without resorting to being overly wordy or flowery in his lyrics. Similarly, his tunes are not flashy or ostentatious. They do their job in an understated way, creeping into your subconscious and becoming more firmly placed there with each listen. Larry has a voice that is easy to listen to – not, perhaps, the most accomplished you are likely to hear, but perfectly suiting his material. The overall effect is relaxed and gentle, and the stories are very much the focus.

Subject matter ranges from accounts of people, historical events and places, with some political comment and some musings on everyday life, as in Old Stuff. My favourites are Auction At Enfield, which tells the sad tale of a widow selling her belongings to feed her family (based on an announcement Larry saw on a museum door). Memorial Day Photograph tells the story of one family’s loss. And Flying Horses features some very descriptive music, conjuring images of the carousel and its sounds. His version of the traditional The Two Sisters comes from New England, and has no deaths and a happy ending.

On True Enough, Larry has managed to weave the tales and experiences of everyday people in an easily understood and endearing fashion. Storytelling at its best.

Michael White

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This album was reviewed in Issue 125 of The Living Tradition magazine.