This is our twelfth year covering the Newport Folk Festival. The big ole 12. It’s hard for us to imagine, with so many memories layered upon each other. But at our twelfth anniversary (certainly not as neat as tenth, but whatever), we’ve decided to do something a bit different. It’s about time to change things up, right? Best to keep you readers on your (musical) toes.
As you’ve probably noticed, we posted an interview with the incredibly talented Columbian band Cimarrón. That’s one thing we’re starting up. And at the end of our three-day review of Newport, we’ve got a little special treat for y’all, something that sparked our interest. So stay tuned for a couple weeks, we promise (and hope) it’s worth it.
So then, Friday: it’s been long enough. We’d kept y’all in anticipation for a month. How awful we are! But let’s start at the main stage with Adia Victoria, out of Nashville.
Now here’s a rocking start to the Folk Fest. You may not be able to tell because of the pair of saxophonists, but Adia’s rock is heavily percussive, a hard beat, and her vocals remind us somewhat of Cat Power’s (another Newport memory! – 2008). We liked the Nashvillian, but there were some acts this day we absolutely LOVED, so we feel we must move along.
A little preview: next we caught Yola. Who is Yola? Hold on, hold on. We weren’t able to photo her first appearance – perhaps we say too much already – patience, then. Have patience. All shall be revealed in good time.
We made a second stop to the main stage at Warren Haynes’ set. Haynes, the guitarist for the second iteration of the Allman Bros. and post-Garcia guitarist for the Grateful Dead, took his pasty white bum to play a solo set, hop on a few more stages, and stretch his surprisingly untarnished voice. He even dusted off a cover of Elton John’s Indian Sunset, a song we’d never thought would be covered. Tragically, Haynes is good musically, but not so good photographically. It took us a near forever to find a decent photo of him. Despite lacking the showmanship, he does not lack the musical chops, and we were impressed.
And now a photo of Yola.
A quick mention: we’d wished she’d sung “Everyday People” by Sly at her set. Why? More to come…
Amy Ray. End sentence. One half of the Indigo Girls, they’d helped carry the Newport Folk Fest through rough waters in the 1990s, making two handfuls of appearances and headlining the festival. While we’re not as deeply involved with the Indigo Girl’s discography as we should be, we do have an immense respect for them (and for Amy Ray) and Ray is, indeed, quite photographable. Here’s one of our better shots:
Much love, many props.
Sheryl Crow, 90s pop superstar might’ve come by. Let’s see…
Yes indeed, she did. “If It Makes You Happy” is one of those -strangely – depressing songs that still we’d love to be able to sing. We swear it’s about drug abuse, but apparently it’s about living in the moment and making the best of the bad. Close?
And the Highwomen made an –
IT’S THEM IT’S FINALLY THEM! Ahem – so the country quartet, whose album debuts Sept. 7th, made their debut performance at the Newport Folk Festival. If you couldn’t tell, their performance was our highlight. They performed… wait, who were “they?”
There seems to be an addition to the quartet, someone we’d been hyping up rather viciously. Perhaps a Miss Yola? Yes, indeed, she. We shall drop a little more hintingness about Yola – soul voice. You know how we feel about good, strong soul voices. Perhaps the kind of voice that would absolutely KILL Sly and the Family Stones’ “Everyday People.” Kill it. Keep this in mind.
The temporarily-quintet country supergroup performed a gay country song. As Carlile noted, the genre was “a void that needed to be filled.” And it was filled spectacularly, as it told the story of a woman whose heart could never be stolen by a man (poor unsuspecting man!). The Highwomen were our high-point of Friday. Did we mention they have an album coming out? (Sept. 7th, cough cough.)
That’s what we have for so far, and if you’re looking for us to soothe your anticipation of a certain powerful soul singer… you’ll have to come back again. But for now, adios and goodbye.
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