Newport Folk Festival's recent renaissance has come about, in large part, due to a willingness to embrace an exciting new generation of artists while still paying homage to the legends. Case in point, this year's lineup features Mountain Man, Freelance Whales and Typhoon alongside Emmylou Harris, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and festival co-founder Pete Seeger. There is no band that better represents the coalescence of likeminded contemporary folk-influenced artists than Middle Brother. The band features the three primary songwriters from Delta Spirit (also playing this year), 2009 alums Deer Tick and one of 2010's festival standouts Dawes. Drawing on classic rock, folk and country traditions the band found loose, collaborative sound that highlights each songwriter's strengths. Delta Spirit's Matt Vasquez mixes gritty southern soul with classic rock, Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith brings breezy SoCal folk and Deer Tick's John McCauley pairs poignant lyrics with his casual, off-the-cuff delivery. It's one of the rare "supergroup" albums that actually delivers - it's a must listen for fans of any of the bands.
Don't miss the band's Sunday set at Newport - with no other tour dates planned, it could be your last chance. Until then, check out our excellent live recording of the band's March 3 show at the Paradise in Boston.
Paradise Rock Club - Boston MA
March 3, 2011
Full set download: mp3 zip
Kitchen Sessions video of Dawes, featuring Matt Vasquez, John McCauley and Jonny Corndawg: