Music, Newport Folk Festival, The Revue — July 25, 2015 at 7:30 am

Newport Folk Festival July 25th Guide

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Some people might be a bit groggy getting up this morning after spending the evening at one of Newport’s fine eateries or watering holes or possibly at Deer Tick’s post-Newport Folk Festival shows at the Newport Blues Cafe (like us!). But with another full slate of great music starting “bright and early,” it’s time to get ready and head down to Fort Adams State Park. Here’s the Newport Folk Festival July 25th Guide, and once again apologies to the artists not included below.

The list below is, for the most part, in chronological order. The entire lineup can be viewed via the PDF schedule or by artist on the Newport Folk Festival’s website. If you can’t make it out to NFF but want to still hear the performance live, visit Newport Folk Radio Station, who will be streaming concerts throughout the day.

Follow us on Instagram to get some up-to-the-minute photos or Twitter to get the occasional update.

 

Newport Folk Festival July 25th Guide

The Festival gets started today with some Canadian content. Regina, Saskatchewan native ANDY SHAUF (11:05, Harbor Stage) may not be a household name, but he is one of the most gifted storytellers to come around in the past five years. On The Bearer of Bad News, which is among the best albums of the first half, Shauf exhibits the quiet intimacy of Elliott Smith and the vivid songwriting of Canadian band Timber Timbre. “Wendall Walker” and the dual-companion songs, “Jerry Was A Clerk” and “My Dear Helen,” will leave jaws dropping…

…while mouths will be agape during SPIRIT FAMILY REUNION‘s (11:05, Quad Stage) set, as the audience will either be signing or dancing in unison with the New York-based band’s combination of bluegrass and roots music. With stories about American life, as depicted on their new album Hands Together, their music will resonate with people in unexpected ways…

…just like the stunning dream-folk of New York City-via-Melbourne, Australia duet LULUC (12:05, Harbor Stage). While their music may be stripped down and even minimalist, as evidenced on their stunning 2014 album Passerby, they are able to craft songs that are breathtaking and emotionally stirring. These adjectives will be uttered throughout the day…

…particularly during MADISEN WARD AND THE MAMA BEAR‘s (1:10, Harbor Stage) highly-anticipated show at the Festival. The duo from Kansas City will thrill the audience with their theatrical stories and soulful folk sound, showcasing songs from their aptly titled Silent Movies. So bring some popcorn, be prepared to clap along, and enjoy the show…

…but if you’ll be at LANGHORNE SLIM & THE LAW’s (1:40, Quad Stage), leave the popcorn behind because you’ll be dancing and singing along, even to tracks from his forthcoming new album, The Spirit Moves. While their music will move you, it is the energy and stage presence of frontman and project mastermind Sean Scolnick that will leave audiences talking long after the set is finished…

…but NIKKI LANE (2:25, Harbor Stage) could be the day’s discovery. Country, Americana, folk, roots – the Greenville, South Carolina native covers it all on her sophomore album All or Nothin’, which was produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. From her voice to her style to her no-holds-barred songwriting, she’s been compared to a modern-day Wanda Jackson. The accolades and comparisons will only grow as Lane’s career progresses…

…much like it has for JASON ISBELL (2:35 PM, Fort Stage). From his days with Drive-by Truckers to now his solo work, Isbell has established himself as one of music’s great singer-songwriters of the past 15 years. His ability to take difficult and often dark situations (such as on 2013’s fantastic Southeastern) or describe in a humble way moments of triumph (as revealed on his equally impressive Something More Than Free) has made him one of the Festival’s – or any festival’s – must-see acts. Hearing “Children of Children” will be worth the price of admission…

…as will be seeing COURTNEY BARNETT‘s (2:55 PM, Quad Stage) debut at NFF. The Melbourne, Australia southpaw guitarist has seen her star skyrocket over the past 18 months thanks to releasing two superb albums – 2013’s The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas and this year’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. She’s one of the great lyricists of her generation, and her live show has evolved into a cathartic affair. She’s also known to throw out some covers, so expect something special in store…

…and special is how to describe the mere presence of TOMMY STINSON (3:40 PM, Harbor Stage). Expectations will be high to hear tracks from Stinson’s days with The Replacements, Guns N’ Roses, and maybe even Soul Asylum, but the venerable bass player and guitarist will likely sprinkle in some unexpected delights. Regardless of what he does, he’ll have the audience taking in every single note…

…which is what JAMES TAYLOR (3:50 PM, Fort Stage) will be doing. While the lineup says “unannounced”, news officially was released yesterday on various media outlets and Taylor even announced it himself on Facebook. Rock fans don’t need any introduction to Taylor, the iconic singer-songwriter whose unique style and sound have captivated three generations of music fans. His presence will make us remember the brilliance of rock ‘n roll…

…just like how STURGILL SIMPSON (4:20 PM, Quad Stage) made us remember the greatness of country music, even non-country music fans. On many “best of” or “favorites” list of 2014, including as one of our 50 favorite albumsMetamodern Sounds In Country Music was hailed as saving country music by maintaining the genre’s raw authenticity yet adding a modern spin. What Sturgill Simpson is doing for country music…

…is what JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ (5:00, Harbor Stage) has long been applying to folk. The native of Göteborg, Sweden has been at the forefront of taking folk music to dreamier, ethereal soundscapes. González’s most recent album, Vestiges & Claws, exhibited his minimalist yet complex approach, where he is able to take even the most subtle and simple sounds, tones, and notes and make them into something absolutely stunning. It’s an approach mastered by only a few…

…and one of them is SUFJAN STEVENS (4:45, Fort Stage). For 15 years, he has amazed music lovers with his poignant songwriting and creative ideas (Michigan, Illnoise) and for not sticking to a single formula (The Age of Adz). But on his crushing new album, Carrie & Lowell, we were introduced to a new side of Stevens, one that was deeply personal, retrospective, and introspective. Although he’ll be on the Festival’s largest stage, it will likely be one of its most intimate affairs…

…while THE DECEMBERISTS‘ (6:15, Fort Stage) could be one of the most entertaining and energized sets of the weekend. With a discography that spans seven full-length albums, including 2015’s What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, over nearly 15 years, the Portland, Oregon-based quintet might opt for a dance-oriented show or a theatrical one. Whatever they decide, there will be plenty of surprises. There will definitely be audience interaction. And hopefully, there will be The Crane Wife suite.

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