Newton, MA: performed at house concert
What does a folk-rock sister duo write about after twenty years in the music business; a career which produced fifteen CDs, three books, a DVD, a thriving children’s music educational empire, four children and two husbands (one apiece)? The full catastrophe of course. Taken from the line from Zorba the Greek: "I'm a man, so I married. Wife, children, house, everything. The full catastrophe," the Nields sisters have created a powerful, passionate, thoughtful, humorous work that explores the crazy ride that is this insane twenty-first century idea that in a post-feminist world it might somehow be possible for a woman to raise her children, maintain her relationship and career and contribution to her community while tending to her artistic soul at the same time.
If it is possible, the Nields come damn close with The Full Catastrophe, their sixteenth album in two full decades of work. Since the heyday of their legendary band The Nields they have strictly reduced their touring to make time to see their kids’ piano recitals, soccer games and school pageants while still maintaining a strong presence in the folk world, branching out to writing books and teaching workshops. But coming close — in fact, success itself, they insist — is beside the point. The point is to surrender to the mess. Lots of women could and should win gold medals for the Great Juggling Act, but what Nerissa and Katryna are more interested in is being present to the bare experience of life, to get out of the whirlwind created by Facebook, iPhones, to-do lists and day planners to notice what a miracle it is to watch life go by. As Nerissa writes in the second track on the CD, "I don’t need the good life; I just need life... If you’ll see me that way/with my feet covered in clay/I’ll meet you back at the fruit tree."