Nancy Kerr

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Nancy Kerr
Nancy Kerr 2010.jpg
Kerr on stage at the 2010 Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Background information
Born Whipps Cross, London 1975
Genres English folk music
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, fiddle, viola, cello, guitar, harmonium, autoharp
Years active 1990s–present
Labels Little Dish Records
Associated acts Eliza Carthy
Sandra Kerr
James Fagan
Tim Van Eyken

Nancy Kerr (born 1975) is an English folk musician and songwriter, specialising in the fiddle and singing. Born in London, she now lives in Sheffield. She is the daughter of London-born singer-songwriter Sandra Kerr and Northumbrian piper Ron Elliott. She is the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards "Folk Singer of the Year".

Kerr 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)[1] - before ceasing to work together. A retrospective collection of their work (plus three previously unreleased tracks) - On Reflection - was released in 2002.[1]

Kerr and her mother released an album together - Neat and Complete - in 1996.[2]

Since 1995 Kerr has mostly worked in a duo with Australian bouzouki player and singer James Fagan,[3] 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[4] 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).[5] 2010 saw the production their first completely original collection of songs - "Twice Reflected Sun", released 9 August 2010 on Navigator Records (NAV0041). 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 (Fellside CD 211).

Kerr 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 Kerr 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 Kerr was one of the key songwriters in "The Elizabethan Session", a concert, CD and film[6] commissioned by Folk By The Oak and The English Folk Dance and Song Society creating new music about the Elizabethan era.

2014 saw Kerr 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.

Nancy won "Folk Singer of the Year" at the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

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, Kerr 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.

Partial discography[edit]

1993: Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr (with Eliza Carthy)
1994: Waterson:Carthy (with Waterson:Carthy)
1995: Shape of Scrape (with Eliza Carthy)
1995: Evolving Tradition 1 (with Kings of Calicut)
1996: Neat and Complete (with Sandra Kerr)
1996: Shine Again (with Epona)
1996: Evolving Tradition 2 (with Kings of Calicut)
1997: Starry Gazy Pie (with James Fagan)
1998: Scalene (with Sandra Kerr)
1999: Steely Water (with James Fagan)
2000: Five Little Frogs (with Sandra Kerr, Leon Rosselson, and Kevin Graal)
2000: Five Little Owls (with Sandra Kerr, Leon Rosselson, and Kevin Graal)
2002: Between The Dark and Light (with James Fagan)
2002: On Reflection (with Eliza Carthy)
2004: Evolving Tradition 4: Generations (with Sandra Kerr)
2004: Turning Fine (with The Fagans)
2005: Kind Letters (with Martin Simpson)
2006: Strands of Gold (with James Fagan)
2006: Stiffs, Lovers, Holymen, Thieves (with Tim van Eyken band)
2008: Station House (with James Fagan and Robert Harbron
2009: Milk and Honey Land (with The Fagans)
2010: Twice Reflected Sun (with James Fagan)
2011: Melrose Quartet Live at Cheltenham (with Melrose Quartet: Nancy Kerr, James Fagan, Richard and Jess Arrowsmith)
2013: Fifty Verses (with Melrose Quartet)
2014: The Full English (with Fay Hield, Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, Rob Harbron, Sam Sweeney and Ben Nicholls)
2014: Sweet Visitor
2015: Murmurs (with Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting)


  1. ^ a b Mrs Casey recordings
  2. ^ Fellside recordings
  3. ^ Taplas, the voice of folk in Wales & the borders, issue 130, Jun/Jul 2005
  4. ^ BBC Folk Awards, 2000, 2003, 2011
  5. ^ All recorded by Fellside
  6. ^ "The Elizabethan Session Documentary - Mallard Productions". Mallard Productions. Retrieved 2016-04-13. 

External links[edit]