Circle of Days is the twenty-first album by the folk-rock group, The Nields. That is remarkable in itself. How many other bands have been together for so long producing new material on a regular basis? What is most remarkable is that this album may be its best work yet. The versatile musicians on this album explore a variety of genres, from Appalachian folk ballad to gospel to some of the most rocking songs since the earliest incarnations of the band. The production beautifully balances each sister’s vocals, bringing out the best in their individual vocal styles and then bringing them together in their exquisite harmonies. The singing is more mature, more assured, and, to my ears, the best they’ve ever sounded. In these days in which the female songwriting voice is in its ascendency, we have grown accustomed to hearing that perspective from younger artists. What a joy to hear the same from a seasoned writer. In Nerissa Nields’ songs, she’s preaching her gospel. That’s what we want from an artist. One song ends with, “I want to write one sentence that is true and sing it to you. That’s what we do.” To that, I say, “Amen.” -Jeff Passe
Every Monday night, we have an awesome LiveStreamed show from our studio. We craft shows on themes, chat with you all, dive into our voluminous back catalogue, debut new songs, find interesting covers and generally have a great time. Shows usually last an hour, but sometimes less, sometimes more. Join the community! We stream on Facebook and YouTube.
The Nields are proud to announce the release of our 20th album. CDs available on Jan 31 (and at the shows Jan 25 and Feb 1!)
Nerissa & Katryna’s Big Opinions
We just recorded our first podcast! It’s medium good. Neither of us knows how to edit in Garageband, nor do we know how to package it and get it to you! Help us, please! We have always wanted to launch a podcast. Listen below to this First Episode entitled ” Sneaker Deal,” and you can hear all our wit and wisdom and silliness. Hear us endorse Rent! the Musical, Brandi Carlile and more. Plus we sing “One Little Song.” and dish about the 2020 Democratic field. It’s under 20 minutes long. Tell us what you like, what you don’t like, and what we can do better!
Broadchurch – TV show on Netflix. As you know, I love good TV. I’ve been in a bit of a dry spell as far as tv goes. I was missing it! Then my mother in law told me about Broadchurch. I had watched season one a few years ago. It’s a police procedural, but it’s British. And it stars Olivia Colman- of Oscar, “I won? This is Hilarious!’ fame- and David Tennant- of Doctor Who fame. The acting is AMAZING, the landscape is extraordinary, the stories are hard, the characters are all flawed and lovable- my favorite combo. This is not a bright, cheery show, but it is SO well done and I highly recommend.
Music! I spend so much of my car time listening to books and podcasts that I had forgotten to listen to music. My friend Amy Dryansky told me about the Gillian Welch song One Little Song and I promptly made Nerissa learn it so we could sing it. What a perfect gem of a song! And I am currently into singing very softly and have been trying to get Nerissa to write some super subtle quiet songs to soothe me through the events of the world. SO this one fit that bill.
Then, my daughter Amelia, turned me on to the wonder that is Brandi Carlile’s The Mother. Oh, you guys! It is brilliance. I know I am suffering through the realization that my oldest is growing up and leaving our house, so maybe I have A LOT of feelings these days, but wow, if you want to FEEL something, listen to this song. Send me your favorites! I want to listen.
100 Foot Journey
Do you like a feel-good romantic comedy with tons of food porn and gorgeous visuals of rural France? With hilarity and excellent Oscar-level acting? Rent this. It’s a cross-cultural delight, and it will thoroughly distract you from any of today’s woes without making you feel sick from your escapism, the way Captain Marvel did. (Though I also loved Captain Marvel and endorse that, too!) Plus that awesome actor Om Puri. And Helen Mirren.
Rent! The musical.
I got to go see this with my daughter, my niece, my daughter’s friend and my uncle Brian. Though I loved much of it, at other points, I was totally lost. We were in the upper balcony, and I often had no idea what was going on. Or I wouldn’t have, if Amelia hadn’t been sitting next to me. She’d watched the movie version 8 times, so she was not lost. I came home and rented Rent! on Amazon, and now I love it too. I had not understood that Rent! is based on La Boheme. The musical numbers in the movie blew me away, and the story put me squarely back in the 90s. I am so grateful AIDS is no longer the death sentence it was when I was in my 20s. In both versions, the acting is superb. Now I want to go see the musical version again. Rent Rent!
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
Win a fabulous package of vintage Nields merch, including an unopened copy of Gotta Get Over Greta (original Red Greta), classic Greta shirts, an “I Sold My Computer for a Used Acoustic Guitar” tee shirt, and “I Wanna Be A Woman Me” tee, plus bumper stickers! Whoever brings the most 1990’s dated currency will win! All proceeds go to the JFK Middle School Band Fund. Also, latest News
You just have to believe it. See our March news for shows–we are doing a bunch, writing new songs, looking forward to singing with you.
Shows in Piermont, NY and Cambridge MA and Norfolk CT coming right up! And our Christmas Album will be released December 1 in New Haven CT.
Here is our latest newsletter!