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Cry Cry Cry together again after 20 years

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Cry Cry Cry includes, from left, folk greats Richard Shindell, Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky. (Courtesy Jo Chattman, Tom-Moore and Beowulf Sheehan)

When Cry Cry Cry hits Berkeley on Sunday, it will be exactly two decades since the folk supergroup issued its sole self-titled album of cover songs. But it’s not technically a 20th anniversary tour, says New York singer Lucy Kaplansky, who formed the trio with Dar Williams and Richard Shindell. The idea came from promoter Steve Lurie, who wanted the band to reunite for 2017’s Hudson, N.Y. Clearwater Festival. “The night we played that concert, I was just overwhelmed. I had waves of chills, so we immediately thought, ‘Hey, let’s do some more shows!’” she says. The group even recorded a new song, Jump Little Children’s “Cathedrals,” for the occasion.

How did you guys first form?

My understanding is that Dar and Richard had done a whole bunch of gigs together, and during soundchecks they were singing cover songs and singing harmonies, and they had this idea to make a covers album. They had the same manager, and they mentioned it to him, and he said, “Well, you’ve got to get a third person if you’re going to do something like this.” And they both knew me, so I got a call from the manager asking if I’d be interested. And I said, “Oh, yeah, sure!”

And you were named after the great Johnny Cash song?

No, not at all. I can’t speak for Richard, but Dar and I had never even heard that song. It was a name Dar came up with, completely separate from the song. And we only later, after the fact, started performing “Cry Cry Cry” live.

Then you made one record and simply walked away?

Yeah, That’s exactly what happened. I think we all thought, “Let’s quit while we’re ahead. Let’s not ride this into oblivion.” And we all got busy with our own lives and our own careers, because we never intended to do it again. It was incredibly fun, and certainly a boost to my career. But it felt good to just walk away.

Has touring whetted your appetite for more recording?

I don’t know if we necessarily have plans to do that. There may be more tracks that we’ll put out, but that’s not clear yet. But touring around together in a van again has been weird, but it’s really fun. It’s like a big time warp, back to 20 years ago.

Four years before “Cry Cry Cry,” you had tour own psychology practice. Ever think of hanging your shingle again?

No. Never. I very much enjoy thinking about psychopathology. But actually sitting in a room, trying to solve someone’s psychopathology with them? It just wasn’t for me.

IF YOU GO
Cry Cry Cry
Where: Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
When: 4 and 7 p.m. April 15
Tickets: $45 to $49 (sold out)
Contact: (510) 644-2020, www.ticketfly.com

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