Saturday: Ray LaMontagne, Richard Thompson, Del McCoury, The Kennedys, Patty Griffin, The Pixies...
FUV Fans | Ray LaMontagne | Richard Thompson with Del | Pete and Maura Kennedy | The Kennedys and Friends | FUV Street Team | Patty Griffin | Patty Griffin | Abby | Rita Houston | The Pixies | The Pixies | WFUV's Mary |
Sunday: Old Crow Medicine Show, Krystle Warren, Buddy Miller, Kasey Chambers, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Elvis Costello...
Old Crow Medicine Show | Krystle Warren & the Faculty | Buddy Miller | Kasey Chambers | Such a good time | Elvis Costello | Rita Houston in disguise | So well dressed | Gillian and David | Seriously, fun. | Really fun. | And then it's over. |
Rita Houston, Music Director/Host of The Whole Wide World:
It was all about the music for me this year at Newport. That's not to suggest that it isn't always - but some years there are more quiet spaces that get filled with working, networking, and hanging with friends.
We radio people love segues and connections, and there were many to draw throughout the weekend, starting with the film screening of Festival! Using amazing footage of Newport 1963, '64 and '65, the movie totally captures the atmosphere of Newport back in the day, and the changing mood of the times. Performances from Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Howlin' Wolf, Odetta, and of course, Dylan, left me wanting for more, more, more. I was fascinated by the scenes of college kids camping out on the beach and then gathering around the workshop stages. Nearly everyone had a guitar or some instrument in tow.
The weather this year was perfect. Sunshine, blue skies, 80-something degrees. Ray Lamontagne, Richard Thompson, Teddy Thompson, and Patty Griffin were all among the Saturday highlights. Patty Griffin closed her set with a beautiful version of "Moon River." After his own set of solid new material, Teddy Thompson joined his Dad on the main stage for "Persuasion" and an obscure Left Banke cover ("She May Call You Up Tonight") that had all of us jumping for joy. The Kennedys led an inspired Song Circle that included Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell (who were great!) and newcomers (to me) The Lonesome Sisters.
Sunday started with the Old Crow Medicine Show's cow-punky bluegrass twang, joined onstage by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. As it turns out, Emmylou Harris had to cancel at the last minute, but Gillian and David were vacationing nearby in Rhode Island and were able to jump in - good news for all. So the afternoon went from Bright Eyes with M. Ward and Jim James (all amazing) to Gillian Welch (who did my "Black Star" request!) and then Elvis, whose set was very rootsy, twangy and Newport-ready! Talk about a great segue.
Now if we can only find a way to have that 48-hour chicken all year round.
Janeen Shaitelman, Promotions Director:
Each year, I look forward to the Newport Folk Festival, and each year I'm not disappointed. This year, I think, was the best in recent memory for me - the lineup definitely kept me on my toes. I got to enjoy performances of those artists I always love to see - Elvis Costello, Bela Fleck, Patty Griffin, The Kennedys, Buddy Miller, Del McCoury, and Old Crow Medicine Show, to name just a few. And I enjoyed performances by artists I have not seen live before - I loved the Pixies' acoustic set and Bright Eyes/Jim James/M. Ward set. All the appearances by Gillian Welch were a nice surprise for me as well. I love her voice.
Each year we set up the WFUV booth and meet folks from all over, and this year was no exception. I met listeners from as far away as Maine, Oregon, Florida and Canada. I think the perfect weather we had kept everyone in a festival state of mind, and the beautiful sunsets over Naragansett Bay were an extra special treat.
I'm ready for next year - I've already packed my WFUV festival blanket and lip balm!
Dianne Harms, Membership Director:
My Newport highlight had to be Old Crow Medicine Show's rendition of "Wagon Wheel." Hearing it caused me to run right out and buy the CD, of course. (Darn it, enjoying good music gets expensive, doesn't it?) The liner notes credit the song as being written by Bob Dylan with "additional lyrics and melody." Turns out the catchy chorus is from "Rock Me Mama," an unreleased Dylan song supposedly written and recorded for the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid soundtrack, but didn't make it onto the album. Ketch Secor then added the verses, such gems as "Headed down south to the land of the pines, and I'm thumbin' my way into North Caroline; Starin' up the road, And pray to God I see headlights" - that really speaks to an old hitchhikin' gal like me.
Laura Fedele, Web Director:
It's getting hard to imagine a summer without Newport. I meet people every year who treat it as an annual pilgrimage - folks who camp out, folks who stay with friends, folks who always treat themselves to an August mini-vacation. There are the early birds, who know that good blanket position relies on the first-come, first-served rule and hit Fort Adams State Park before most folks hit their coffee pots (Nyack ladies, you know who you are!). Then there are the latecomers, who know that laying near the edges of the crowd, listening to the music, feeling the breeze off the water and looking up at the sky is one of the best spots you can find in the world. And then there are the wanderers, who don't tie themselves down so they can hop from one stage to another and hear the choice bits of every overlapping set.
Since I was excited about the lineup and planned my stage-hopping carefully to catch some of all my favorites, it surprises me that my musical highlight came from an unscheduled source - Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. I couldn't have heard a more perfect group of songs than if I'd written the set list myself. My special thanks go to them, to The Kennedys, to Brendan and Cheryl, to the early birds and latecomers and wanderers. See you all next year!
And I'm gonna crack the code to that chicken, I swear I will.
Nina Keneally, WFUV listener and contest winner:
Thank you very much for the weekend of amazing music at the Newport Folk Festival! It was a real treat to see and hear old favorites and get acquainted with new ones. For me, the highlights were Friday night (hearing "Alice's Restaurant" again), Richard Thompson on Saturday and the Bright Eyes set with M. Ward and Jim James and the surprise treat of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. But, the whole thing was a total gas. You all should justly be very proud of yourselves for being such a major player in it!
For more info on the Newport Folk Festival in general, visit newportfolkfest.net.