LUCY WAINWRIGHT ROCHE
If Lucy Wainwright Roche was the bragging type, she could boast an illustrious bloodline. With Lucy’s aunts, mother Suzzy Roche founded the quirky and inventive folk vocal trio The Roches. Lucy’s half siblings, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, craft lush theatrical pop with more than a hint of drama queen. Father Loudon Wainwright III is justly celebrated as a scathingly satirical chronicler of family dysfunction. At every family gathering there’s always the quiet one, the perceptive witness who frequently forms the keenest insights — and that’s where Lucy fits in. With a warmly funny, almost gawky, stage demeanor and a clear, lilting voice, she sings of small towns, being on the road and the absurd humor of random disaster. Not as showboating as Martha or Rufus, Lucy crafts narratives that are openhearted, keenly observed and candid. Compassion is her strong suit, and it’s no accident that she does a killer cover of “Hungry Heart,” Bruce Springsteen’s rousing ode to empathy. It may seem faint praise to call a smart and funny singer/songwriter even-keeled, but Roche is every bit as incisive as her father and her siblings — there’s just no trace of bitterness.