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Cry Cry Cry

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk


Most recent release Live @ the Freight (live, 2020)

See also:

Cry Cry Cry's Bandcamp page

Dar Williams Web Site

The Official Richard Shindell Web Site

Lucy Kaplansky's site

Solo Ectophiles' Guide entries for Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky, and Richard Shindell


Four Bitchin' Babes, On a Winter's Night. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Covers/own material:

A mix of covers and their own material.

General comments:

Cry Cry Cry is a trio made up of three of the most respected names in contemporary folk music—Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell. Williams and Shindell should need little introduction to anyone who's been following folk lately—their songwriting skills are rapidly becoming legendary, and both have been covered by and spent time opening for Joan Baez in the last couple of years. Kaplansky may be a little less well-known outside folk circles but is no less talented, being a fine songwriter in her own right and also one of the best harmonising singers currently around. In a move that might seem strange to those who aren't familiar with the collaborative ways of folk music, these three artists have come together to record an album of covers—some by well-known artists such as R.E.M., others by lesser-known folkies such as Leslie Smith. At a time when mainstream artists at Williams' or Shindell's level of success might be looking for ways to advance their solo careers, this truly collaborative effort is a refreshing demonstration of the spirit of folk music. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Comments about live performance:

Cry Cry Cry sounded great, and performed every song from the album except one of my faves, their cover of The Nields' "I Know What Kind of Love This Is." (sigh). It was a great show. Lots of witty banter from and between the principals. Highly recommended. (

Pure magic. (

Recommended first album:

Cry Cry Cry


  • Cry Cry Cry (1998)
  • Cathedrals (single, 2018)
  • Live @ the Freight (live, 2020)

Cry Cry Cry

Release info:

1998—Razor & Tie—7930182840-2


Available in the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Lucy Kaplansky—vocals
Richard Shindell—vocals, guitar
Dar Williams—vocals

Guest artists:

Jay Bellerose—drums, percussion
Larry Campbell—acoustic guitar, pedal steel, lap steel, mandolin, electric guitar, fiddle
Cliff Eberhardt—guitar
Richard Gates—bass
John Herington—guitar
Jeff Hill—bass, upright bass
Billy Masters—electric guitar
Chuck Parrish—acoustic guitar
Doug Plavin—drums, percussion
Mike Rivard—bass, fretless bass, upright bass
Alan Williams—electric guitar, organ
Stephanie Winters—cello

Produced by:

Darleen Wilson with Alan Williams


Dar Williams writes in the liner notes of this album, "I had a vision of an album that would cover the back roads of the United States and Canada...Richard said, 'Why don't we just do an album of songs we love?'" And here it is. This album is a good snapshot of the state of current folk music, with selections such as the a cappella version of Leslie Smith's "Northern Cross" and the cover of Cliff Eberhardt's "Memphis". The harmonies, of course, are sublime. Standout tracks include the powerful "Cold Missouri Waters", a song about the first fireman to survive a forest fire by scorching a circle around himself; Williams and Kaplansky harmonising on The Nields' "I Know What Kind of Love This Is"; and the gentle version of Buddy Mondlock's "The Kid". But for me, the album would have been worth the price of admission for the final track alone, a version of Shindell's song "The Ballad of Mary Magdalen" (the only song on the album actually written by one of the collaborators), with Williams on lead vocal and Kaplansky and Shindell harmonising. Life doesn't get much better than this. Highly recommended. (Sherlyn.Koo)

A wonderful set of cover tunes from two of the most important voices in contemporary folk music (Dar Williams and Richard Shindell), plus the best backup singer in the genre (Lucy Kaplansky). Their version of The Nields' "I Know What Kind Of Love This Is" is even better than the original, and that alone is enough to merit the disc a place on this list. Never mind that Richard Shindell sings James Keelaghan's brilliant "Cold Missouri Water" as though it were his own, and their "Fall On Me" (yes, the R.E.M. song) could be a hit if the right curiosity-seeking outlets got hold of it. I hope this project spawns a sequel! (

Cry Cry Cry is wonderful, but perhaps too purty. There's hardly anything on it that can make me cry, despite the title. (

This album didn't wow me as much as I thought it would. But then, Richard Shindell's albums are always perfectly crafted and never overdone or showy. That's exactly how this album is. Lots of great songs and lots of great harmonies. I really love it, but am in a way disappointed by it. It's a great album full of great songs—but each of the songs sound like they would fit perfectly on any of the performer's solo albums. Each singer takes turns with the lead and one or two of the others do harmonizing, except on a couple of duets. However it is a great album. I particularly love Lucy and Dar singing The Nields' "I Know What Kind of Love This Is". (

I just received this disk as a birthday gift and I can't get enough of it! There isn't a song on it that I don't adore! (

This is excellent! I'm glad I found it and picked it up. Although they're covers, they're so well done that most of them are better than the original. And to cover a Nields song! Most excellent. (Matt.Bittner)

A truly wonderful effort by Richard Shindell, Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky, though I think that Richard's efforts are the best the album has to offer. (

This album is so beautiful. I'm generally not into covers, but their voices work so beautifully together and they make such wonderful harmonies. Plus the songs are just good songs. I like the way they trade lead vocals. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Thanks to Sherlyn Koo for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2022-01-26 18:14:02.
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