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The sound of love

All Together Singing in the Kitchen
All Together Singing in the Kitchen
By The Nields

Peter Quince Productions: 2007

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This review first appeared in Turbula in July 2007.

Sisters Nerissa and Katryna Nields have been singing harmony vocals together through a variety of incarnations over the past 16 years. They started out, at least in their recordings, as a folkie acoustic trio before they morphed into an electric alt-rock combo, both called simply The Nields. Then the sisters let the band go and struck out as a duo, releasing a country album.

Now they've released a collection of family and children's sing-along songs, recorded with their immediate and extended families – including their father, John, who taught them many of these songs.

The basic formula remains the magical combination of Katryna's charmingly haunting lead vocals and Nerissa's harmony vocals. Different here are a couple of songs written by Katryna (Nerissa has been the primary songwriter through the years), although Nerissa also contributes a couple of new songs. Also different is Nerissa on lead vocals on three tracks. Different, too, is the presence of their father's rich baritone voice on both lead and harmony vocals. His lively approach to singing on record lends even seemingly worn-out chestnuts like "The Unicorn" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" surprising life and warmth.

Dave Chalfant, original guitarist for the full band (and husband to Katryna), provides most of the instrumental backing – showing impressive chops not only on guitars, which we already know, but banjo as well.

Chalfant also produced the record, and has created an atmosphere, a feeling that makes the performances here sound like your own extended family gathered for a holiday, sitting around after dinner singing songs traditional and new, reveling in the feeling that is family. The combination of performance and production captures what is nothing less than the sound of love.