Hi Nields fans!
Sweet September approaches, and with it cooler nights, sharper colors and busier days. We are most excited about our dear friend Jo Comerford running for MA State Senate in our district. Election Day is this Tuesdays, Sept 4! We wrote her a jingle! It isn’t just us who are endorsing her. The Daily Hampshire Gazette, Monte Belmonte of WRSI (and “Dave Hayes the Weather Guy”) plus the mayor of Northampton have all given her the big thumbs up.
We’re laying low this Sept, getting ready for retreats, classes ( HooteNanny, Guitar), workshops, and choral groups. But we do have one awesome festival -brand new- in our own backyard! Easthampton MA is hosting a Signature Sounds festival called Arcadia–featuring Darlingside, Heather Maloney, and Birds of Chicago, not to mention Rani Arbo & Daisy Mahem. Coming right up, in early October (Sunday Oct 7) in Goshen CT, we’ll be at another new festival called Black Bear Americana Music Festival, with The Grand Slambovians, John Gorka, Vance Gilbert, and many more.
Finally, Falcon Ridge, with Amelia Nields Chalfant joining us on bass, was epic. Happy 30th anniversary, FRFF! Long may you ride.
Listen to the Jo Comerford Jingle!
What Did We Do On Our Summer Vacation?
Why, glad you asked! We stopped by the site of our very first steady gig: the Tavern at the Williams Inn!
My endorsements are BOOKS!
Nerissa already endorsed The Optimistic Decade by Heather Abel. I loved it too! So much. It’s a wonderful read with layers of awesomeness. I will endorse three other books.
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. This book is so beautifully written. It takes place just after the Bolshevik Revolution in Moscow. A former aristocrat is sentenced to house arrest in what was the finest hotel in Moscow. The characters are richly drawn and the story is expertly revealed. I found this book hopeful and wise and I learned a lot about Russian history.
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. The Daily Show host wrote this compelling memoir about growing up under apartheid in South Africa as a child of a black mother and a white father. The kids and I listened to this book while on our summer travels. Every time we got back in the car- even if it was a five minute drive- William would say, “Can we listen again????” Again, I learned so much from this book. Noah lays out how apartheid was created and how challenging it is to dismantle. His family story is heartbreaking and inspiring.
- The Road From Coorain by Jill Ker Conway. I was neighbors with Jill Ker Conway when I lived in Conway. When we moved to the neighborhood, Dave had just finished reading her memoirs. He was awestruck by seeing her name on the long driveway at the bottom of the hill. Since we lived in Conway, I figured the “Conway” sign referred to someone whose ancestors had founded the town. Turns out, Ms. Conway, who was the President of Smith College, had no ties to Conway before she purchased her house. She was raised in the bush of Australia. The Road from Coorain is her memoir of her early life. As I read this book, I felt that every school should assign it to their students. The way Conway reveals the history of Australia through her own story is so compelling. She was a woman of extraordinary intellect and her life story is moving and surprising.
CONFESSION: I mostly listen to the books I “read.” All of these are read so well by the talented actors who voice the authors’ words.
It’s been a great summer of reading! I loved: Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which my writing mentor advised me to read. I so enjoyed it that as soon as I finished the last page, I had to re-read The Corrections. Franzen is wickedly attuned to the most painful aspects of family life, and his writing is breathtaking, albeit disturbing. Sometimes his characters were so infuriating I threw the book down. Right now, I am thoroughly enjoying listening to David Sedaris’s Audio version of Calypso, his latest book. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, as Sedaris always is, but this book has a serious edge. My favorite read of the summer was without a doubt The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. We are reading this for my book group, and including our daughters in the discussion. The movie version is coming out on Oct. 19, and I cannot wait to go! See trailer.
Meanwhile, my 10 year old son and I are reading D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Mythology, my favorite when I was 10. It’s wonderful, full of memories and delicious etymological clues, but interesting to revisit as an adult. I remember thinking Hera was just a mean vengeful lady. But if my husband were philandering like that Zeus, I’d be pissed off too.
Watch the trailer for The Hate U Give
Keep in touch and see you at the gigs!
Love, Nerissa & Katryna