Admirable Artists, Marvellous Music

Kerryn Fields

Kerryn Fields

I first saw this Kiwi performer at last year’s SacredEdge. I was lucky enough to see her again at this year’sNewstead Live!

What I love about folk festivals is the sheer diversity of music styles – all within the umbrella genre of folk. Kerryn is staunchly in the soul-fuelled singer-songwriter category, sweeping the audience in with her rhythms and pickings and the vulnerability of her stories. Being where I am in my personal life, it’s cathartic to sink into Kerryn’s world: to be allowed, and invited, into the shadow realms … to be supported in that space. Kerryn holds space for the fragile – and what a delightful experience it is, to be held!

I am unnerved when women are taller than I am: when I was younger it didn’t happen very often, so are younger generations getting universally taller, or am I getting shorter? I don’t feel like I am, yet there’s Kerryn, looking down on me from under her trademark blue wide-brimmed fur felt hat with its intriguing luminescent circle of white that catches the stage lights brilliantly.

Kerryn acknowledges country in Maori. I love it, that I’m hearing her First Nations language, acknowledging the First Nations people of the land on which I’m enjoying her performance. To me, that adds dignity and respect, and I appreciate the genuineness of it: it’s the polar opposite of the formulaic acknowledgements that are, sadly, too often bandied about as housekeeping to be rushed through. Thank you, Kerryn, for portraying dignity by adding elements of recognition and inclusiveness to the acknowledgements I customarily hear.

My wish is that all folk-lovers get to experience Kerryn’s music – and to gain as much from it as I did. I’m looking forward to what she does next!

Find Kerryn Fields’ music here.

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