Gingerbread - Nancy Kerr
Our next LCM featured artist was awarded BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the year in 2015. Nancy Kerr has just released the excellent 'Instar' one of the strong contenders for folk album of the year. She will be launching the album at Cecil Sharp House on 6th October with her 'all star' Sweet Visitor Band. Our LCM #TrackOfTheDay is one of the lead singles from the new album the beautifully written 'Gingerbread'.
Nancy Kerr was born in London, she now lives in Sheffield. She is the daughter of London-born singer-songwriter Sandra Kerr and Northumbrian piper Ron Elliott. Nancy came to prominence in the early 1990s via a musical partnership with fellow fiddle player Eliza Carthy. The duo produced two albums - Eliza Carthy & Nancy Kerr(1993) and Shape of Scrape (1995) - before ceasing to work together. A retrospective collection of their work (plus three previously unreleased tracks) - On Reflection - was released in 2002. Nancy and her mother released an album together - Neat and Complete - in 1996.
Since 1995 Nancy has mostly worked in a duo with Australian bouzouki player and singer James Fagan, whom she married in 2007. The duo won the Horizon Award at the inaugural BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2000, and Best Duo at the same awards in both 2003 and 2011. Between 1997 and 2008 they released six albums on the Fellside label - "Starry Gazy Pie" (1997), "Scalene" (with Sandra Kerr) (1998), "Steely Water" (1999), "Between The Dark and Light" (2002), "Strands of Gold" (2006) and "Station House" (with Robert Harbron) (2008). 2010 saw the production their first completely original collection of songs - "Twice Reflected Sun", released 9 August 2010 on Navigator Records. First track of the album, Queen of Waters, was nominated for the Best Original Song category at the BBC Folk Awards in 2011.
In 2008 the duo joined forces with concertina player Robert Harbron to form the trio Kerr Fagan Harbron, recording and touring the album "Station House". Nancy has also worked with folk/pop group Epona, Australian folk family band The Fagans and the Tim van Eyken band, amongst others.
In 2010 she joined James Fagan, Richard Arrowsmith and Jess Arrowsmith to form "Melrose Quartet" in her new home city of Sheffield. They released a live EP in 2011 called "Live at Cheltenham" and a studio album "Fifty Verses" in 2013.
2013 saw Nancy make up part of Fay Hield's "The Full English" band to promote the on-line publication of the folk collections of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library in Cecil Sharp House. The collective won "Best Group" at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and their CD "The Full English" won "Best Album" at the same ceremony.
In 2014 Nancy was one of the key songwriters in "The Elizabethan Session", a concert, CD and film commissioned by Folk By The Oak and The English Folk Dance and Song Society creating new music about the Elizabethan era. 2014 also saw Nancy release her first CD of original songs under her own name. "Sweet Visitor" was released on her own label Little Dish Records on 21 July 2014. A UK tour with "The Sweet Visitor Band" (James Fagan, Rowan Rheingans, Tom Wright and Tim Yates) started on 18 November 2014. James Fagan now shares his role in the band with Greg Russell.
2015 saw the launch of "Simpson Cutting Kerr", a trio with Kerr, Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting. Their debut CD "Murmurs" was released on Topic Records on 8 June 2015. In November 2015, Nancy was one of four songwriters commissioned by Folk By The Oak and The English Folk Dance and Song Society to write and tour a production called "Sweet Liberties" looking at the history of British parliament and democracy. Their CD "Sweet Liberties" was released October 2016.
2016 saw the production of Nancy's second album of original songs with The Sweet Visitor Band on Little Dish Records. The album, entitled "Instar", was produced by Tom Wright and was released on 16 September 2016.