Contact/Press Kit

We would love to hear from you.

–“The music you two made last night was magic!”

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Great Blue's Elevator Pitch

  • Shirl and Steve at Friends of Great Swamp Art Show 2012
    Right click for high-resolution image.
  • Great Blue is a musical duo using two voices, guitars and mandolin to weave a fabric of eclectic tunes that warm the heart and feed the soul.  Our memorable harmonies are carefully delivered to touch people by emphasizing their meaningful lyrics.  We strive to pass on songs from our musical influences, and to showcase tunes we’ve crafted ourselves.  When you wake up after one of our performances, you won’t need a radio.  Our tunes will already be with you.

    Great Blue's Short Bio

  • Steve's Martin D-21 guitar, Flatirons A-5 Artist Mandolin and Shirl's sweet Martin 0-18 guitar
    Right click for high-resolution image.

  • Shirl Lawrence and Steve Kaplan have been singing together in the Hudson River Valley for more than thirty-five years.  They are now based in the Rockies of Northern Colorado.  Their beautifully crafted music has been heard at coffeehouses and festivals as a duo, and also as members of the Hudson River Sloop Singers and the Walkabout Chorus.  Their choice of material offers a fresh variety and a varied tempo.  Listeners have been transfixed by a hauntingly beautiful Kate Wolf ballad, then amused by the audacity of Byrne & McCarthy's “Old Cook Pot” or Bryan Bowers’ “Bad Boy”.  Many concert-goers have said that they were pleasantly surprised that the songs were so carefully chosen, and the lyrics of each song were so compelling and meaningful.  Many audience members have often commented about the beauty of Shirl’s voice.

    This duo is now called “Great Blue” after the observant heron they often find during their kayak trips.  Their ever-increasing number of original home-spun tunes are complemented by Utah Philips, Pete Seeger, well-known folk anthems and songs echoing Clearwater’s environmental message.  They will sing one of the old songs, and then bring out something more current by Ellis.  One sailor from the Hudson River Sloop Woody Guthrie who ought to know said Steve’s “We’ll Make It to Coxsackie” truly described how it felt to be in a rockin’ Hudson River storm. 

    These two kindred spirits have spent many years perfecting their musical performances among other musicians they’ve worked with or opened for.  They include Pete Seeger, Kim and Reggie Harris, Joe Crookston, David Amram, Odetta, Guy Davis, Eric Weissberg, Tony Bird, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Sy Kahn.

What People Are Saying About Us

“I enjoyed their work enormously” -- Bob Sherman, on his venerable radio show “Woody’s Children,” broadcast on WFUV, New York City, NY.

“This is great, but the music you two made last night was magic!” -- Artist Ted Berkowitz, at the star-studded Seegerfest (Bardavon Theater in Poughkeepsie), talking about our show at the Ferry Sloops Concert Series, Ossining, NY.

“People around here like your sound.” -- Nick Mollé, videographer and naturalist, after a Great Blue show at The Rock Inn, Estes Park, CO.

“Great BlueRough Cuts” is a baker's half-dozen of our favorite tunes, some collected from other writers and some of Steve's.  You can play these tunes (at right), or download them.

Great Blue (a/k/a Shirl Lawrence and Steve Kaplan) is an acoustic folk duo with eclectic tastes. We are happy to welcome you to our website. You can listen to our music, view our videos, or download our tunes. read more →