Avi Kaplan has the perfect message right now.
The acoustic version of “I’ll Get By” that he recorded for our most recent Live Session is an absolutely beautiful thing to watch. It give us chills – and it will for you, too.
When we asked him to cover a song of his choosing, Kaplan chose another perfectly-timed classic: “Lean On Me” from the inestimable Bill Withers – a major Kaplan influence who passed away in March.
Kaplan’s voice – a booming, reassuring bass – is an instrument unto itself, testament in 2017’s excellent Sage and Stone and this year’s sensational I’ll Get By. In his music, Kaplan is a bridge between the folk and soul of the 70s and the folk revival of the 21st century.
“Born in California” from I’ll Get By is a good example – an Appalachian-style tribute, this time to his home state, where he “was raised up by the trees.” In the song, he follows the breeze to West Virginia, lusting for home.
Kaplan is the three-time Grammy winner with Pentatonix, and in 2017 he forged ahead with a solo career, enabling him to utilize his rich voice and instrumentation – a sometimes-stomping, often gospel-rich, version of Americana.
“I’m paying homage to the sound that’s been passed down to me and doing it in my own way. I’d like to pass along something a little different,” he has said about music.
Last week, Kaplan released the story behind “I’ll Get By”, which you can watch below.