THE NIELDS / PAMELA MEANS - Saturday December 15, 2018 at East Rock Concert Series @ mActivity in New Haven
Fernando Pinto Presents: The Nields
Special Guest: Pamela Means
Saturday December 15, at East Rock Concert Series @ mActivity in New Haven
Doors: 6:30 PM / Show: 7 PM
Tickets $17. In advance, $22 at door.
Nields seventeenth album, is both their most personal and their most community-minded. Well into their third decade as a musical partners andjudging by this sublime albumat the very top of their game, the Nields turn to meditations on time, and turning points, their roots and community both musical and personal but they also express joy in the present, faith in the future, and a whole lot of hope and promise. The Nields albums are often an eclectic mix of ideas and music styles, but clear themes emerge. Love and China (2002) was about the fragility of love and relationships. The Full Catastrophe (2012) explored the messy experience of raising a family. XVII has the Nields looking out from midlife, focusing on themes of time, love and community.The primary inspiration behind XVII was Nerissa and Katrynas hero, Pete Seeger, who died in January of 2014. His love of sharing music and his passion for justice had been a part of their lives since before they were born (their parents fell in love at a Pete Seeger concert). His death affected them profoundly. Pete is clearly on the album in songs like Joe Hill and Wasnt That a Time, but the entire album is infused with his spirit. Its there in the Nields delight in sharing music and in using it to build a community. And its there in the title XVII: when compared to a career and life like that of Pete Seeger, theyre not even out of their teens.
The songs on XVII are about the lessons we hope to learn by midlife: accepting the passage of time and the choices weve made, and being thankful for the moments of grace. They are about knowing where were supposed to be, and recognizing that there are many things we may never understand. Theyre about having faith in something bigger, be it God, humanity, love, or all of the above.
Although many of the songs on XVIIhave the Nields looking back at their lives and their career, its also an album about enjoying the moment: What a world we get to live in when there are wonders such as this (Normandies), looking ahead to whats next: I know the only way is forward; I dont mind what might have been (Treasure), and embracing in the people around you: Someone needs to ask for help tonight, and someone wants to lend a hand. Were all of us, on the bus, sharing our way to trust, we all just walk each other home (Dave Hayes).
Written by Nerissa, but with significant contributions from Katryna, the songs show a confident songwriter trusting her voice, willing to take leaps, and able to write songs that are deeply personal. Nerissa wrote my favorite songs shes ever written and they were more fun to sing than anything Ive ever gotten to sing. The songs give Katryna room to stretch her voice, from intimate whispers to full throated soaring. The sisters vocal interplay and intricate harmoniesthe duos hallmarkare as thrilling as ever.
I feel like when Pete died, Katryna recalls all musicians thought How do I carry on this tradition that he gave us and how do we nurture that. The greatest thing you get to do as a musician is create a community; thats the gift that Pete Seeger gave us more than anything else. Its our job to just keep singing and to keep encouraging others to keep singing, too.
On first listen, some might glibly categorize this acoustic folk trio-turned-modern rock quintet as Alanis Fronts the Indigo Girls. But listen to [the Nields] twice and youll start to catch the twists in the tales, the quirks and ironies that make every song a short story. And then youll be hooked.
Imagine if Natalie Merchant had a sister with an equally good voice singing perfect harmony with herintimate and electric.
-Sing Out! Magazine
If you dont like the Nields, you need to get your ears checked.
A masterful mix of modern folk with an alternative edge.
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
[The Nields] sounds like the Roches meets the Cranberries, but with better songwriting and better vocal harmonies.
If theres one constant here, its The Nields sisters beautifully sweet vocal harmonies that sound eerily like the Roches singing Lush in a really big room. Its infectious stuff.
The marvelously expressive Katryna and Nerissa Nields provide vocals sounding at various times very much like the Bangles, the Roches and Alanis Morrissettea delightful discovery.
a gentle explosion of high-strung harmonies and spare arrangements of songs that snap like cinnamon sticks. They ride their dynamics from literally whispered passages over tick-tocking sidestick or no drums at all, up to electric squalls that push Katryna and sister Nerissa Nields vocals without overwhelming them.
As the work of the Everly Brothers or the McGarrigle Sisters has amply demonstrated, there are few sounds as sublime as close harmonies rendered by siblings. In the case of western Massachusetts folk rockers the Nields, the siblings are sisters Nerissa and Katryna Nields, and their inimitable vocal blend is a disarming mix of clean folk harmonies and clenched Generation-X angst.
-The Chicago Tribune
Guitarist Nerissa has written the clear-eyed, literary lyrics and sister Katryna has provided a gloriously eccentric vocal delivery Lots of backward glances and relationship foibles punctuate this quiet collection, which is ideal for harmony addicts and dreamers alike.
Special Guest: Pamela Means
"Within the industry, and in print, I've been called both a 'white Tracy Chapman' and a 'black Ani DiFranco'. But, really, I'm just me." - Pamela Means
"So what sets [Pamela Means] apart...? For starters, Means plays a snarling, energetic guitar. She's got chops - more than the other gentle pickers of her ilk will ever have. Means' voice is hard-wired to her heart: emotional, raw, angry when it needs to be, yet supple and warm as an embrace. The truth may not always be pretty, but Means is a stunningly effective messenger." - Oregon Live, Portland OR
PLAINFIELD! Pamela Means's new solo acoustic recording is here! Pamela Means, singer-songwriter and jazz musician, with "mad guitar-and-vocal skills" (Time Out New York) has toured throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, selling tens of thousands of her seven independent releases along the way. Currently, Means is booking PLAINFIELD cd release shows!
A multi-talented performer, singer, songwriter, composer and producer, Pamela Means's multiple honors include being named Falcon Ridge Folk Festival's "# 1 Most Wanted New Artist," "Wisconsin Folk Artist of the Year," "Wisconsin Female Vocalist of the Year," and her politically provocative album, Single Bullet Theory, was voted 2004's "Outmusic Outstanding New Recording." Pamela Means was twice voted "Best Acoustic Act" of the year in her hometown of Milwaukee, WI; and after setting up shop in the bustling 'burbs of Boston, Mass., Pamela was nominated for an "Outstanding Contemporary Folk Artist" Boston Music Award. Means's latest album, Precedent, elegantly addresses a range of themes from the state of the union to the state of the heart. Curve Magazine calls her "one of the fiercest guitar players and politically-rooted singer-songwriters in the music industry today."
Consistently honing her craft, Pamela Means garnered acclaim with her seminal jazz recording, the "insanely brilliant" (Press Herald, Portland ME), Pamela Means Jazz Project, Vol. 1, in which, "Means takes her rightful place among contemporary superstar jazz vocalists such as Cassandra Wilson and Norah Jones" (Curve Magazine). Pamela Means Jazz Project, Vol. 1 was also named a "Top Ten Album of 2007" (Muruch Entertainment Blog).
From recording her first tape in the living room of Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie, Pamela Means has gone on to share stages with artists including Ani DiFranco, Pete Seeger, Indigo Girls, Joan Baez, Howard Zinn, Angela Davis, Eve Ensler, David Strathairn, Neil Young, Shawn Colvin, Richie Havens, Patty Larkin, Melissa Ferrick, Violent Femmes, Television, The Radiators, Adrian Belew, Leo Kottke and Janis Ian. Pamela Means has performed at notable venues such as the Newport, Falcon Ridge and Clearwater Folk Festival(s), SXSW Music Conference and, internationally, at the eminent Woodford Folk Festival (Australia), Stockholm Pride (Sweden) and Jazz Cafe Alto (The Netherlands). Pamela Means has also composed for and licensed music to PBS, independent filmmakers and folkpoet Alix Olson's multi-award-winning film and CD projects.
With virtuosic musicianship, razor wit and a disarming sense of humor, Pamela Means is building a vibrant and remarkable career, delighting audiences from Anchorage to Amsterdam to Sydney to Stockholm to Honolulu and New York. Thrilled audience members often exclaim they've 'never seen anyone play guitar like Pamela Means!' Plus, Ani DiFranco said to Pamela Means, "you groove so deep, so deep I can't get out. And I wouldn't want to." We guarantee you won't want to either.
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