Entries in Newport Folk Festival (32)


Newport Folk Preview: Spirit Family Reunion LIVE


Words // Scott Pingeton

Spirit Family Reunion's recently-released, self-titled debut is one of my favorites of the year.  They don't make it that easy to buy or listen to, so why not check out one of their incredible live shows and buy it at a show?  Your next chance is Saturday afternoon at Newport Folk where they will kick off the weekend in style.  I can't wait, it's sure to be one of my favorite sets of the weekend and a launching pad for SFR.

I've seen them a bunch of times int he past few months, first opening for David Wax Museum in a church, and most recently at the "Road To Newport Folk" show we put on in Gloucester MA.  In the middle was the fantastic Brewery Sessions brunch show that you can listen to below.  Hear the entire house concert, documented in true Alan Lomax style for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy and please support the band by going to their shows, buying their merch and telling your friends.

Spirit Family Reunion
Boston MA - April 15, 2012

I Belong To The Band (?)
Alright Prayer
Green Rocky Road
Carry Me
No Separation
Leave Your Troubles At The Gate
Trouble (?)
Gazebo Song
On That Day
Unknown song
The Night Replaced The Day
When My Nname Is Spoken
I'll Find A Way
On My Mind (?)
Battle Hymn of the Republic

Full set download: mp3 zip


Newport Folk Preview: Alabama Shakes LIVE


Words // Scott Pingeton

To see Alabama Shakes live is to believe in the buzz.  They will convert you.  They will knock you on your ass.  If you see this band and don't believe in the power of rock n' roll, check your pulse.  Their show at the Paradise in April was hands down one of the greatest shows I've ever seen, and I've seen a few.  No doubt their set at Newport Folk will be one of the highlights of the weekend.

Complete live recording from the April 15 show at the Paradise in Boston is below.  Enjoy, and if you do, please support Alabama Shakes by buying their album and catch them at Newport!

Alabama Shakes
Paradise Rock Club - Boston MA
April 15, 2012

Goin' To The Party
Hold On
Hang Loose
I Found You
Always Alright
Boys & Girls
Be Mine
Worry'n Blues
Rise To The Sun
Making Me Itch
Hurricane Strut
You Ain't Alone
Heavy Chevy
--encore break--
I Ain't The Same
On Your Way
Heat Lightning
How Many More Times (Led Zeppelin cover)

Full set download: mp3 zip


Newport Folk Festival 2012 Lineup





Newport Folk Fest 2012

July 28-29 - Fort Adams State Park - Newport, RI

My Morning Jacket
Jackson Browne
Conor Oberst
Iron & Wine
Patty Griffin
Guthrie Family Reunion
The Head And The Heart
Deer Tick
Punch Brothers
City & Colour
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
The Tallest Man On Earth
Tom Morello
Trampled By Turtles
Gary Clark Jr.
Alabama Shakes
Blind Pilot
Of Monsters And Men
New Multitudes (feat. Jim James, Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker)
Sharon Van Etten
First Aid Kit
Sara Watkins
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Brown Bird
Johnny Corndawg
Jonathan Wilson
Spirit Family Reunion
Deep Dark Woods
Carl Broemel
Robert Ellis
Frank Fairfield
Spider John Koerner & His Rag Tag Boys
Joel Rafael
Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons
Sleepy Man Banjo Boys
The Kossoy Sisters
The Berklee City Music Choir



Newport Folk Festival 2011 Recap

Words by Scott Pingeton  |  Photos by Nina Mashurova

For me, Saturday at Newport was a blur.  There was the wide eyed anticipation of a great weekend of music that laid ahead of me, but also the disorienting buzz of the crowd morphing from an orderly line into a chaotic mass of humanity as we passed through the gates.  Once through the gates, it's a land grab for coveted blanket real estate.  And finally, a brief moment to look around and take in the beautiful surroundings - the salt air and sailboats, the rows of vendors, the bright colors of the beach chairs and blankets.  Then the madness begins.  With music pulling you in all directions it doesn't take long before the carefully-planned strategy is a distant memory as I rush from stage to stage to see as much music as possible.  And this year, there was the nagging reminder that our Nightcap afterparty looming just a few hours away - equal parts excitement and nerves.

Despite having to leave just a few hours into the day to start setting up for the afterparty, Saturday was full of highlights.  River City Extension delivered a stunning set of anthemic folk-rock, replete with rousing horns, breathless energy and a visit into the crowd.  Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside overcame a brief power outage to open the Quad stage with an impressive set of early rock n' roll-influenced songs.  Later, Delta Spirit proved why they are my favorite live band in the world.  It was a long whirlwind of a day.

But on Sunday, with the successful Nightcap behind us and another full day of music from some of my favorite bands ahead, I was able to slow things down and take it all in.  My day started just as it did a year ago...waiting anxiously for David Wax Museum to take the stage.  Only this time it was the much bigger main stage.  It's been well-documented how David Wax and company seized their opportunity to play the Quad Stage last year after winning a contest, turning in one of the most memorable sets of the weekend and following that up with the release of Everything Is Saved (a shoe-in for my albums of the year list), a Tiny Desk Concert, Mountain Stage appearance, nonstop national touring and opening slots for Josh Ritter, The Avett Brothers and Dave Matthews Band.  They topped last year's appearance with an exuberant main stage set that won over so many of the blanket-mafia that they got called back for an encore.  It felt like a victory lap to see the band come full circle in such a big way, but I get the feeling that it was just a second wind in their sails on the way to even bigger fame.

Up next it was a mad dash to catch some of Mountain Man's gorgeous harmonies.  I got chills as they led the huge crowd at the Harbor Stage in a round on "Now I Walk In Beauty".  Then I was off to catch a bit of Secret Sisters before returning to the main stage for some Carolina Chocolate Drops - one of my favorite sets of the day.  I sacrificed Cave Singers - painful since I've never seen them live - to camp out for all of Trampled By Turtles...and boy am I glad I didn't leave their show early.  The intensity ramped up throughout the entire set of ragged breakneck bluegrass, culminating with "Wait So Long" and an encore of The Pixies' "Where Is My Mind".  I left the Quad Stage just long enough to catch a bit of Wanda Jackson whipping everyone into an absolute frenzy with "Let's Have A Party", returning in time for Justin Townes Earle's fantastic set.  Earle has a commanding stage presence, baring his soul in his lyrics and witty between song banter.  If you're on the fence, you gotta see him live - Justin Townes Earle is not getting by on name alone, he's the real fucking deal.

The hometown heroes (Deer Tick), budding stars (Dawes) and 2011 festival standouts (Delta Spirit) joined forces as Middle Brother for one of the true highlights of the weekend -- a raggedly fun set of rock n' roll that will likely be the supergroup's final appearance together for quite some time.  But before Dawes got called out for an impromptu encore of their own I was off to catch The Head And The Heart serenade an overflowing crowd at the Harbor Stage about canyons and valleys and rivers and roads.  Meanwhile Elvis Costello was playing a not-so-acoustic set on the main stage with the help from his Imposters.  It was a welcome sight to see Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas on stage with Costello and he didn't disappoint - bringing Chris Thile up for a gorgeous rendition of "Brilliant Mistake" and Emmylou Harris for "Scarlet Tide" before closing the set with the classic "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding".

As the sun cooled and set in the west, I caught the acoustic half of M. Ward's set from the side of the stage - the softly fingerpicked "Here Comes The Sun Again" was a gorgeous highlight.  As I made my way back to the main stage for Emmylou Harris that familiar bittersweet feeling came again.  Newport Folk was winding down, the crowd was starting to thin, the sun was getting low - it was time to go home. 

2011 was a landmark year in Newport Folk's history - the first advance sell-out in years, a diverse and deep lineup, perfect weather and a flawlessly-run festival.  If there was any room for improvement last year, it was improved this year.  More beer tents, larger Quad Stage, blanket-free zone in front of the Fort Stage - the list goes on.  As New Englanders we are truly lucky to have a festival of this caliber to call our own.  What was once a quaint little festival that's past far overshadowed it's present is now one of the premier music festivals in the world.  I cannot fathom a summer without a trip to Newport Folk.  It will be a long wait for 2012, but I'm already excited for what next year's festival will bring.

More photos from Newport Folk 2011 Day 2


Newport Folk Festival 2011 Day 1

So there it is, the climax of the year gone.  Truth is, if you're a music fan in around these parts, the whole year pretty much revolves around Newport Folk...at least it does for me.  It's the avatar of summer, a microcosm of all that is good in life:  friendship, community, music, collaboration, discovery, beer and sunshine.  On the coldest nights of an unrelenting New England winter there is the knowledge that, unfathomable as it may be, before you know it you'll be back at Fort Adams basking in the sun. By springtime, it starts to feel like a reality again - the lineup is announced, you scramble to absorb all the new music, you buy tickets, the the countdown begins. Then inevitably, in the blink of an eye, it's over and you're left grasping on to the memories.   Here are just a few of our memories from Saturday at Newport...

Photos by Nina Mashurova


Lots more to come on Newport Folk 2011 - stay tuned...



Looking back on Newport Folk 2010

We're looking forward to soaking in some folk and UV rays in Newport this weekend, the best weekend of the year is once again upon us!  And 2011 is a big year for Newport Folk - not only did the festival sell out weeks in advance for the first time ever...the (unofficial) Newport Nightcap and (official) Backyard BBQ late-night parties are making their debut - extending the festivities well into the night.  In the words of Dawes, "The only point of looking back is to see how far we've come", so with that in mind, let's take a look back at some of the memories from Newport Folk 2010:





Newport Folk Preview: Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside

By Brian Hodge

I had the pleasure of catching Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside at Tipitina’s in New Orleans this past Saturday.  The Portland-based outfit took to the historic venue with refreshing, almost youthful enthusiasm; perhaps not surprising given their nascent musical career.  (The band has also notably opened for the Avett Brothers, notoriously riotous performers.)

Ford will quickly put you in mind of a female Buddy Holly, performing catchy, rockabilly-like tunes from behind vintage glasses, and owning a pointed, percussive singing.  Her style is unmistakeably pinned to a jukebox, sock-hop sound (see: “Cage” or “This Crew”), though she is equally capable of filling the room with soul.  “Poison Milk” and “Against the Law” make up the mid-tempo middle of her album.

But she’s at her best (and most fun) when she’s letting loose.  She ended the evening by imploring the crowd to dance on the irrepressibly catchy “Danger”  and we were happy to oblige.

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside are the perfect opening act on the bright-eyed Saturday morning at Newport: fun, fresh and owning the perfect combination of traditional, form-fitting proficiency and eager, envelope-pushing energy.

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside - Danger


Newport Folk Preview: David Wax Museum

The following is reposted from October 2010: 

My first introduction to The David Wax Museum was at the inaugural Kitchen Session back in March.  I still remember showing up on that rainy Spring night knowing literally nothing about the band and leaving later in the night, CDs in hand, a fan.  A polite golf clap turned into raucous applause over the course of the night as David Wax, Suz Slezak, Jiro Kokubu and Jordan Wax played an energetic set of Mexican-infused folk songs.

Over the last six-plus months I've had the chance to see the band win over larger and larger audiences in the same way they did a small living room that night.  First it was the tiny Lizard Lounge and Club Passim, later it was the mighty Newport Folk Festival - in all cases the band's enthusiasm brought the crowds to their feet as they sang and danced along. 

Since Newport 2010, the band has continued to play big and prestigious stages - from NPR's Mountain Stage to Bob Boilen's famous desk, released one of the best albums of 2011 so far, has continued to tour the country tirelessly, and has shared the stage with Josh Ritter, Will Oldham, Bela Fleck, Andrew Bird and more.  They return to Newport again this year, the site of their biggest triumph and the show that thrust them into the national spotlight to open the main stage on Sunday. 

Listen to the band's set from the Paradise in October 2010, opening for fellow Newport 2011 band Carolina Chocolate Drops.  The set was a mix of songs from their last LP Carpenter Bird, and songs from their upcoming album Everything Is Saved.  The full set is available for stream/download below in fantastic sound - a pristine matrix of soundboard and audience recording.


The David Wax Museum
Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
October 16, 2010

The Persimmon Tree
When You Are Still
Born With A Broken Heart
Lavender Street (acoustic)
The Great Unawakening
Vivian Won't You Take Me In
Yes, Maria, Yes


Newport Folk Preview: The Head And The Heart

I've written before about how I first fell in love with The Head And The Heart, bleary-eyed and head-aching after a long flight followed by a longer night in a rainy Seattle.  I listened to this local band that I remembered hearing about the night before and made it my mission to learn more about them.  They happened to be playing an opening set at a tiny bar the very next day - alas, it was sold out.  So, I made it my mission to track down one of the city's last remaining copies of the self-released debut before the Sub Pop rerelease (unannounced at the time) that would surely launch them to stardom.

Well, fast forward 9 months, and they are well on their way to stardom.  Their trademark catchy, bouncy folk-pop has won them a national following - no doubt with help from the Sub Pop marketing machine, major festival appearances and opening slots for Dr. Dog, My Morning Jacket and more.  Their first national headlining tour is still a few months away, but they play Newport Folk late on Sunday.  While they drew a tough timeslot up against Elvis Costello and Middle Brother, I know I'll be carving out time to see some of their set.  They're an energetic and captivating live band - check out our recording from their opening set at the Paradise in February for proof:

The Head And The Heart
Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
February 20, 2011

Cats And Dogs 
Honey Come Home
Heaven Go Easy On Me
Lost In My Mind
Winter Song
Sounds Like Hallelujah
Down In The Valley
Rivers And Roads

Full set download: mp3 zip