At least in terms of quality, Cry Cry Cry was a modern folk supergroup. The members of the group were Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell. They took the name of the group from a Johnny Cash song. They got together for one (self-titled) recording (1998) and one tour (1999). We caught them when they came through town in 1999 to play at the big auditorium of St. Catherine University in St. Paul. The crowd was large and the performance was terrific. After the tour, however, they mostly went their separate ways.
Each of them is a good songwriter and interpreter in his or her own right. They sounded great together and they brought attention to the work of worthy peers on their recording. In the disc’s opening number, they drew on a favorite from the R.E.M. catalog, “Fall On Me” (video below). Dar Williams sings the lead. They opened their set at St. Catherine with this one.
The disc was full of highlights. One such is James Keelaghan’s “Cold Missouri Waters” (video below), about the Mann Gulch Fire of 1949 in Montana. The fire is the subject of Norman Maclean’s posthumous Young Men and Fire. Richard Shindell sings the lead. The song is so real.
“By Way of Sorrow” (video below) is a song of reassurance and consolation by Julie Miller. Buddy and Julie Miller opened the show for Cry Cry Cry. Lucy Kaplansky sings the lead. I love this song.
I hope some readers may enjoy checking out one or another of these songs or find them a pleasant change of pace.