Lucy Wainwright Roche: Wry, Guarded And Hopeful While Roche's new album, Lucy, is suffused with melancholy and heartache, the overall spirit is refreshingly conciliatory and even-keeled. Teaming up with Indigo Girls' Amy Ray, she sings of hard-won optimism in "October."
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'October' by Lucy Wainwright Roche

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Lucy Wainwright Roche: Wry, Guarded And Hopeful

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Lucy Wainwright Roche: Wry, Guarded And Hopeful

'October' by Lucy Wainwright Roche

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Teaming up with Indigo Girls' Amy Ray, Lucy Wainwright Roche sings with the wry guardedness of hard-won optimism in "October." courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Thursday's Pick

Song: "October"

Artist: Lucy Wainwright Roche

CD: Lucy

Genre: Folk

Twenty-five years ago, Lucy Wainwright Roche's father, the celebrated folksinger and comic misanthrope Loudon Wainwright III, released "Thanksgiving," a lacerating account of a disastrous family holiday. By way of saying grace, Wainwright sang, "On this auspicious occasion / This special family dinner / If I argue with a loved one / Lord, please make me the winner."

For the gifted Lucy Wainwright Roche, folk singing is the family business. Besides her father, her mother is the excellent singer-songwriter Suzzy Roche, and her half-brother and half-sister (Rufus and Martha Wainwright) have each made beloved albums and gained rabid followings. Long before Jonathan Franzen's caustic and insightful disquisitions on the subject matter, the Wainwright clan has regularly addressed one another in song with all the ardor and bitterness of a fractious, complex contemporary family.

While Lucy Wainwright Roche's new album, Lucy, is suffused with melancholy and heartache, the overall spirit is refreshingly conciliatory and even-keeled. Teaming up with Indigo Girls' Amy Ray in "October," Roche sings with the wry guardedness of hard-won optimism: "October comes once a year and we've got a winner here / I hope we both remember this / 'Cause we're happy as we're ever gonna be." It may not be a Hallmark-worthy sentiment, but as a kind of autumn-themed sequel to "Thanksgiving," it qualifies as downright hopeful. We can all take comfort when even the purveyors of the Great American Songbook of Family Misery have to admit it's getting (a little) better all the time.