Year after year, the Newport Folk Festival lineup represents the best of what we love and the best of what we hoped to discover. This year, follows suit. While I’ve been somewhat distracted by my global tour, the Festival has been wrapping up their major lineup announcements (a few late additions are expected). Here’s a bit of commentary on some of the latest news (albeit a bit late)…
- Joe Fletcher & The Low Anthem Presents – we’re not sure exactly how this will look, but Joe Fletcher will be celebrating some of our favorite Nashville artists with a special lineup of some of our favorites like Andrew Combs and Amanda Shires. Meanwhile, Providence-based The Low Anthem’s Ben Knox Miller will be highlighting some of Rhode Island’s burgeoning artists with Newport Homegrown.
- Beck & Feist Join the Lineup – There’s a fair amount of pop on the lineup this year, which is nothing new…perhaps a bit more than before. However, I’m fine with it…and even excited about almost all of it. I last saw Beck on the Two Turntables and a Microphone tour the week I graduated from high school back in 1998. It was awesome…and the first time I moshed. I hope (and expect) that’ he’ll bring a more acoustic-based set to the festival, but looking forward to it either way. Hello, Feist!
- Evening Shows – In place of the Festival’s annual Backstage BBQ Benefit, which was flooded by a massive downpour last year, Dawes will be playing benefit performances WITH FRIENDS at The Pickens Theater on Friday and Saturday nights. This should make for some pretty epic sit-ins with other artists. Meanwhile, Deer Tick will again host their annual evening set at the Newport Blues Café. Telluride has always done a great job with the evening shows and this is great for Newport.
It’s hard to say who I’m most excited to see on the lineup, but it’s safe to say that our minute-by-minute guide to the Festival will involve a lot of running around. With its growth in profile (and in length), Newport could have gone a lot of different ways, but these additions are keeping the festival on the straight and narrow path of respectable decision making – something that larger festivals haven’t frequently made.
If you haven’t made time to watch Ryan Mastro’s mini-documentary of the 2013 festival, you should turn from your shortsighted sinful behavior and do so NOW. Tickets for Friday are still available, but the rest of the Festival is sold out.