Last summer a buddy and I went to the 50th annual Newport Folk Festival and it turned out to be one of the better shows/festivals that I have ever had the blessing of attending. I was living just outside of Manhattan and my pal came up from Alabama and we made the 3ish hour drive to Newport, RI.
The bridge that we crossed on our way in gave one of the most scenic views I have ever had, blue skies, sailboats, seagulls fluttering next to you. I had one of those moments you know when everything just seems perfect at least in that moment, no past or future just bliss. The town itself is really nice cobble roads and cute shops etc. etc.
We decided to park our car early and walk because the traffic was so bad and we got scammed by a grandpa were we parked (but we got him back). We ended up hitchhiking up to the fort where the festival was.
There were two stages and as always there were conflicts because I wanted to see bands on both stages at the same time. We saw Gillian Welch, then Fleet Foxes followed by the Decemberists and it came to an end with Pete Seeger. All of them were wonderful especially Fleet Foxes who I had been dying to see, they were perfect.
Pete Seeger was the star by far. He is quite an old man though, he was the original musician/political activist even before Bob Dylan. He is all about getting the crowd to sing along, he made songs like This Little Light of Mine and This My Land famous.
For his encore he had all the musicians from that day come on stage and play and sing with him, turns out that some of the people we met hitchhiking were on stage with old man Seeger, I guess they preformed. Kind of a special moment being with a group of a couple thousand 15 – 80 year-olds at an old civil war naval base on an island singing This Little Light of Mine together, sunset, sailboats and all.
The new line up for 2010 has been posted and I hope to make it, especially because I have to see to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
I really like how the Newport Folk Festival has mixed old traditional folk music with upcoming folk indie. The line up looks incredible, see yall there.
Friday, July 30 (International Tennis Hall of Fame)
-Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
Saturday, July 31 (Fort Adams State Park)
-The Low Anthem
-Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket
-Doc Watson & David Holt
Sunday, Aug. 1 (Fort Adams State Park)
-Levon Helm’s Ramble on the Road
-The Swell Season
-The Avett Brothers
-Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
-Justin Townes Earle
-Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
-The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
-Punch Brothers with Chris Thile
-The Felice Brothers
-Tao Seeger Band
-Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons
-Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore
-Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three