The inaugural event may have happened way back in April, but when the Earth Room Concerts Series resumes in Lincroft this Saturday night, it will more than maintain its mission to “fill a local gap” by bringing nationally known folk musicians — acts more commonly seen and heard at festivals and venues in New York — to a friendly port of call on the Greater Red Bank Green.
That happy harbor is the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, where the stained-glass sanctuary (known for the occasion as the Earth Room) offers an environment that’s acoustically and aesthetically well suited to the sophisticated songcraft and sparkling harmonies of Nerissa and Katryna Nield — the Massachusetts-based sister act known for the past quarter-century as the Nields.
While the Nields have regularly recorded and toured as the twin-barreled centerpiece of a full band, they’ve never stopped performing as an acoustic duo. It’s in just such an intimate format that the they’ll present a retrospective of their 25-year journey, one that draws from their recent double album best-of release (on vinyl, yet) entitled “Haven’t I Paid My Dues By Now,” as well as from their latest album “XVII,” a set that pays tribute to the late folk icon Pete Seeger as it “celebrates a lifelong career whose aims continue to be a deep faith in community, loyalty, and the power of music to bring joy.”
It’s a made-to-order introduction to an act that’s been likened to Natalie Merchant, the Roches, the Cranberries, and Alanis Morrissette — only, you know, even better. Known as much for their humorous stage banter as for their engagingly warm style and almost heartbreakingly gorgeous harmonies, the Nields have never been ones to keep to a musical pigeonhole or niche — having applied their wisdom and experience as mothers to a series of children’s albums, and a book entitled “All Together Singing in the Kitchen: Creative Ways to Make and Listen to Music as a Family.” It’s even possible that Saturday’s concert may preview some material from their forthcoming project: a soundtrack to “The Big Idea,” songwriter Nerissa’s first endeavor as a novelist.
Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. concert are available online here ($15 adult, $7.50 children age 12 and under) or at the door ($20 adult, $10 children age 12 and under).
The Earth Room Concerts series continues on November 5 with an appearance by former Dave Carter partner Tracy Grammer, and resumes in 2017 with singer-songwriter Matt Nakoa (March 11), Toronto duo the Young Novelists (April 8), and Celtic-tinged songsmith/ painter Joe Crookston (May 6).