“Larry has a very gentle, laid back style accompanied by his almost genius-level playing on his guitar. His set included some classic songs by other folk like 'Down by the Sally Gardens' and one of the many different versions of 'The Two Sisters'. But I reckon his real strength lies in his own songs.
A number of them reflect his love of sailing and the sea. He sang about some of the characters he has known over the years including one about an old man, the former captain of a windjammer, saying a final farewell to his boat. He captures the nostalgia and depth of feeling and loss very well.
Another of his songs pays tribute to Francis James Child, the famous collector of ballads.
He also delves into some nostalgia of his own with a song about family gatherings when he had the job of recording the older generation singing. He did this on an old reel to reel tape recorder and so has preserved many traditional songs for posterity... a very valuable archive!
Larry will be back again, I am entirely sure.
Leith Folk Club
One of the best song-makers in the folk song revival."
-Sandy Paton, Folk Legacy Records
"This is ‘Folk Music’ in the truest sense of the term, ballads telling stories of real people, past and present, seemingly simple but truly profound observations of history and contemporary life and the people who live it. The fact that these songs are contemporarily written—and written so well— illustrates how the tradition can be taken into the hands of a skilled songsmith, with love, respect, and care, and passed along to the listener with the values and lessons they embody."
No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music
With his masterful attention to detail, poetic turns of phrase, and lilting musical sensibility, Larry Kaplan transports us to lives and times, both far in the past and contemporary. Larry has the ability to peer insightfully into the past, making it current for all of us, distilling the struggles, yearning and mournings of life into tuneful nuggets of history, deeply personal, and therefore recognizable as our own.
"Writes so honestly about people, he makes you feel a part of their lives...Kaplan tells delightful stories. His music is a rare find."
- New England Folk Almanac Cambridge, Mass.
"[His] mastery of music, song and storytelling is the finest I have heard. One of the best folk music artists I know…."
-Gery Deugaw, Archivist GEST Songs Of Newfoundland And Labrador
Some of the most finely-crafted songs in modern folk music….stunningly painted portraits of life in the North Atlantic seaboard states."
- No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music
"Larry Kaplan is known best as a talented song maker…but as our audience discovered, in concert, Larry can weave those songs and tunes together with the stories behind them into a beautiful evening of music that will be long and fondly remembered by all."
--Ed Brown, The ‘U’N’I Coffeehouse, Springfield, Mass
"Strong voice, strong stories. His songs are New England through and through. His style is never cluttered or overwrought despite the difficult topics he explores. The charm of Kaplan is the beauty he sees in the ordinary. He gives a voice to those who are often not heard.
--Kelly Stimmell, Monadnock, Ledger, NH.
"Lovely ballads and stories told in songs; real people, dealing with their good times and hard times."
--Faith Petric, San Francisco
"Larry Kaplan's songwriting is what every songwriter should aspire to. He doesn't let himself get in the way. Just paints beautiful pictures of real landscapes, real people, real emotions in a way that always touches me deeply. What a gift!"
- Kathy Westra Folklore Society of Greater Washington, D.C.
"His songs are stories woven like my grandmother’s hand-made quilts… One of my favorite songwriters of all time."
--Wanda Fischer, National Public Radio, WAMC, Albany, NY
"His tales are captivating with pleasing voice accompanied by excellent musicianship. There’s a naturalness and ease here, missing from many recordings, that draws you in to the many fine stories…."
--Rich Warren, “The Midnight Special” (Favorite CDs of the past 22 years), WFMT, Chicago