Once again it is time for our sister festival to the north. This year Jay Sweet and company have outdone themselves with a fantastic collection of artists. In fact, there is a great overlap between folks that I have discussed here and folks that are playing the Fort this weekend. The big highlight here is the reunion performance from the Fleet Foxes, who have just put out an excellent new record and will be taking the headlining spot on Friday night. They are followed by closing sets from Wilco on Saturday (Jeff Tweedy is a Newport mainstay) and John Prine on Sunday. You can also catch sets from Suzanne Vega, Margaret Glaspy (who had one of my favorite records last year), local hero Hurray For the Riff Raff (Alynda Segarra who has one of my favorite records this year), Angel Olsen (who I interviewed here) and Big Thief (who I covered here). In addition to these great performers, Newport is hosting a number of excellent artist collaborations including Offa Rex, which is the English folk project of Olivia Chaney, and The Decemberists and American Acoustic, which is the combination of Chris Thile’s Punch Brothers and the power trio I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan). In many ways these collaborations represent the best of what Newport has to offer. There is an emphasis on the premier performers of the American folk tradition working together in the creation of authentic moments of inspiration. Shows at Newport don’t look or sound like other stops on the tour—performers step outside of the script and their carefully prepared sets to offer something more. The casual comfort of the festival inspires this sort of experimentation. As I am now the proud father of a 3-week-old son, I am not able to be there this year, but you can bet we’ll all be up at the fort with a new member of the folk family next year. Check out the coverage of the weekend at tunein.com/newportfolkradio.
To Do This Week
Tonight check out Men Without Hats at Siberia. Tomorrow Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers are the Free Friday show at Tipitina’s. Saturday Papa Mali is at Tips. Sunday check out the Joe Krown Trio at The Maple Leaf. Tuesday you can catch Nite Jewel at Gasa Gasa. On Wednesday Crystal Garden will take the stage at One Eyed Jacks.
To Listen This Week
- Purity Ring celebrate the fifth(!) anniversary of Shrines with a new track via Youtube
- Sylvan Esso announce rerecorded versions of their songs in a collaborative EP via CoS
- New track from Hop Along via BrooklynVegan