The Nields | Armadillo’s | Keene

The Nields

Presented by Orange Earth Productions

At Armadillo’s Burritos
82 Main Street, Keene NH
Limited menu available until 5:45
Beer, Wine, Coffee, tea and other beverages all evening

Tickets available at:
Armadillos – Keene (603) 358-3700
Turn It Up – Keene (603) 358-6833
Toadstool Bookshop, Keene (603) 352-8815
Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, VT (802) 463-9404

Advanced Tickets $15
Doors Open 5pm
Show Begins 6pm
All Ages

To the songwriter/musician who has neither burned, bailed nor sold out, there comes a time when he or she turns from writing about who they are in the current moment to writing about who they have always been, addressing head-on their roots, sources and influences. SISTER HOLLER, the newest and 14th career release from Nerissa and Katryna Nields, is a “roots album,” but with a difference. Rather than simply reinterpret or re-record the music what brung ’em, the sisters from Western Massachusetts, have decided in Sister Holler to retool, assimilate and flat out burgle the music they grew up with to create something new. They tell the listener right up front that they’re even going to lift entire lines from some of the best songs ever written, and then they do it, right before your very ears. The result is a delightful oxymoron of songs simultaneously familiar and surprising.

On Sister Holler, the Nields’ “Moonlighter” revisits the old folk song, “Moonshiner” (about an alcoholic in love with the bottle) with songwriter Nerissa incorporating the actual lines, “I’ll eat when I’m hungry, I’ll drink when I’m dry.” But in Nerissa’s version the new narrator is in love with an unattainable lover. “Abington Sea Fair” is “Scarborough Fair” from a woman’s point of view, with genders swapped. “This Train” is a populist anthem for today and kind of a commentary on the state of the nation, particularly the polarization between Republicans and Democrats. “We’ll Plant an Oak” is a post-modern response to “The Water is Wide”. On the song “Endless Day”, Nerissa made the decision to use the progression from Johann Pachabel’s “Canon in D”, commenting, “but Blues Traveler used it. Sophie B. Hawkins used it. You can find it all over the place.” Indeed, part of the fun of Sister Holler is listening for the references.

Nerissa and Katryna Nields have been the darlings of the coffeehouse/festival scene since 1991, with tunes ranging from off-the-hook idiosyncratic to kicking to heartbreaking. “Our parents were total folkies,” says Nerissa. “Their first date was a Pete Seeger concert and their second was a Harry Bellefonte concert. We used to go to a family camp in the Adirondacks every summer where people sat around a fire. That’s where I learned how to finger pick. The music teacher at our school, Jack Langstaff, was more of the English tradition of folk music than the American, and his legacy was really strong. We grew up on simple folk songs.”