Entries in 2017 (1)

Friday
Aug042017

Newport Folk Festival 2017

With political tumult still hanging in the air, and a President in office that is, shall we say, unpredictable, the Newport Folk Festival is a salve. A yearly gathering of like-minded music lovers congregating on the water to speak out, sing loud, and renew our hopes.Angel Olsen

The festival always tends to have a political bend, but this year was particularly sharp. Shirts like “Resist”, “Make America Read Again”, and “Nasty Woman” were commonplace. And if some of this year’s stand-outs are any indication, “the future is female” is much more than a slogan.

Female voices rang out from all three stages this year, including Margaret Glaspy breezing through the Quad stage with her assured singing style, Angel Olsen gripping Fort stage listeners by the collar with songs like “Shut Up and Kiss Me”, and the over-the-top Vaudevillian action of Nancy and Beth at the jam-packed Harbor stage.
Nancy and Beth

New acts helmed by female lead singers stole the show all weekend. Expectations were high for Big Thief, and the Brooklyn-based band delivered. Singer Adrianne Lenker alternated between ripping extended guitar solos like on “Real Love”, and bringing the house down with a show-stopping turn of “Mary.”

The Wild ReedsThe Seratones, from Shreveport, La., showcased the festival’s penchant for genre-defying acts as their blend of rock, soul, and punk invigorated the festival. Singer A.J. Hayne’s voice was like a scythe cutting through the crowd, clearing the way for an unforgettable performance.

One of the weekend’s most memorable acts was the Wild Reeds. Their sharp songs and rich tones lingered in this writer’s head long after the festival came to its sonorous sunset. The song

“Capable” will undoubtedly help the band reach scores of new listeners, with its prescient lyrics of “You’re capable of so much more/ than these people give you credit for. /And you just need to show it.” We have been huge fans of these ladies for quite some time now and are so elated that they were able to kill it on a Newport Folk Festival Stage.

 

The Newport Folk Festival boasts an illustrious history, a potent present, and with an eye for spotting up-and-coming acts, the future is in good hands, female and otherwise.

Here are are a few more of our favorite sets:

Regina Spekto

Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats

 L.A Salami

 

Fleet Foxes

Wilco

 

Robert Ellis

Words // Photos by Brian Hodge

Photo // by Bethany Hodge