The Nields in Concert

What: Cornell Folk Song Society Concert
When: Saturday, February 23, 2008
Where: Hollis Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall,
Cornell University
How Much: $15 advance / $17 door / usual discounts

Nerissa and Katryna Nields

Sisters Nerissa and Katryna Nields were raised on campfires, singing Guthrie, Seeger, and Odetta, thrived at workshops with John Langstaff (of the Revels), and began writing and performing their own songs in the 1980s. They became festival darlings at Falcon Ridge and Lilith Fair with their contemporary folk-rock-pop close harmonies, deep and quirky songs, and dynamic energy.

In the 1990s, the Boston Globe's mantra was, "The Nields are young. They are hip. They are hot." With Nerissa writing lyrics and backing Katryna's vital lead voice, they were known for their poignant, punchy songs and distinct style.

Today, many gigs and 14 CDs later, the Nields have moved full circle to joyfully celebrate great traditional music. Their sweet voices, banjos, mandolins, and guitars fly as they recycle and refashion honest old songs with love. Much of their recent original material is inspired by -- and stolen with bravado from -- musicians from all times, both anonymous (Appalachian ballads, old-timey hollers, sea chanteys, spirituals) and famous (Bob Dylan). Their "new" songs are as familiar as home, yet eye-opening with fresh angles. Mike Joyce of the Washington Post writes, "Their harmonies are tight and soulful, their spirits unflagging. When these sisters are indeed hollering, they sound like they're ready to pound out their own version of The Seeger Sessions."

The Nields clearly revel in their roots. Raising their children in the rich music community of Western Massachusetts, they have returned to a focus on participatory singing, engaging listeners with the reminder that we are all music makers. In 2007, they released two CDs, Sister Holler and All Together Singing in the Kitchen, on which they realized their dream of creating a family album with songs learned from their father and loved by their kids and others of all ages.

They promise their live audiences: "You will sing. You will dance. You will not regret it." Please join the Cornell Folk Song Society in welcoming the return of the Nields to Ithaca.

Tickets are available at Ludgate Farm Market, Ithaca Guitar Works, Greenstar Co-op, Small World Music, Bound for Glory, and, if any are left, at the door. You may also order tickets online and by mail: SASE to CFSC, PO Box 481, Ithaca, NY 14851.

(Margaret Shepard)

For information about the concert, contact

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