I’ve never made it to the just-passed historic Newport Folk Festival (where Dylan went electric in 1965) but I hope i do so next year. One of the oldest festivals in America it was founded in 1959 by George Wein, the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival and over it’s history has featured some of the greatest live performances by folk, blues, country, bluegrass and folk rock legends.
The Newport Folk Festival might have “folk” in it’s title but it looks to me like it was “Americana” before Americana was cool, or even a word associated to a musical genre.
I’m not a fan of the sweaty-body packed sampler-mix of festivals, but the Newport Folk Festival is a different beast. It offers consistently excellent performances played to an audience that is there for music rather than spectacle. I can endure the occasional sweaty festival-goer for this level of excellence.
I found a few videos of the 2013 festival’s performances to whet my appetite. I share some of the better ones with you below. Enjoy!
Father John Misty
Black Prairie (Decemberists) perform Jump up Jon
Shovels and Rope
The Lone Bellow