Festivals, Newport Folk Festival, The Revue — July 21, 2016 at 9:15 am

Newport Folk Fest 2016: Friday Guide

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The 57th annual Newport Folk Festival kicks off today with a stellar lineup of performances on four stages. Many of these artists are household names while others are in the earlier stages of their careers. Download the Newport Folk Festival app or view the PDF Handbook that has the schedule and some important pointers if this is your first time attending.

Or, you can read our guide to help plan your folk adventure, whether it includes many intimate performances at the smaller Harbor Stage or crowd-filled singalongs at the Fort Stage. There is plenty of amazing music in store today, so here is our guide to Friday’s events.

 

Newport Folk Festival 2016: Friday Guide

One of the day’s first performers is Nashville’s JP HARRIS (11:00 AM, Harbor Stage). Be sure you’re wearing your dancing shoes, since his upbeat honky-tonk tunes will make you want to boogie, unless you’re seeing…

…the Americana group WILD CHILD (11:15 AM, Quad Stage), who have been building a faithful fan base since releasing their debut album in 2011. Come see and hear why these Austinites were named Best Folk Band at the 2013 SXSW Arts and Music Festival. Unfortunately, their set conflicts with another smokin’ southern band, namely…

…the incredible Arkansas group AMASA HINES (11:30 AM, Fort Stage), who are bringing plenty of southern soul at their Newport debut. If you like bluesy indie folk/rock that features a powerful horn section, you won’t want to miss this show, unless you’re planning to catch…

…indie country/folk legends FREAKWATER (12:00 PM, Harbor Stage). These talented veterans have been together more than 25 years, and their time-honed harmonies will really set the pace for the rest of the day’s performances. They’re partially based in Louisville, Kentucky, making them the fourth southern American group of the day, unlike…

…Canadian alt-pop/folk/folk-pop singer BASIA BULAT (12:25 PM, Quad Stage), who will probably be the first artist of the day to break out the autoharp and hammered dulcimer. This multi-talented multi-instrumentalist has many fans at Newport, so get there early to grab a seat for this set before you check out the amazing harmonies of…

…English sister trio THE STAVES (12:40 PM, Fort Stage), whose last album was produced by Justin Vernon. They’ve toured with Vernon’s project Bon Iver and The Civil Wars, and their music captures the gentility of the former while delivering harmonies on par with the latter. We are warning you now, be prepared to be blown away before…

…the afternoon gets into full swing with indie folk/rock pioneers FRUIT BATS (1:10 PM, Harbor Stage). Fans can expect to hear hits dating back to their 2001 debut along with songs from their newest album, Absolute Loser, which is an absolute gem in our book. Their set overlaps with a performer who is a superstar in the making. We’re talking about…

RAURY (1:35 PM, Quad Stage), the emerging star who is not even old enough to legally drink yet! The 20-year-old singer/songwriter from Atlanta turned the music world on its head last year with his powerful blend of rap/folk/rock. There is a timeless quality to his blues-rooted sound, and his message that promotes peace and harmony is particularly salient. We expect this is a set that people will be talking about for years, since it will be as full of heart and soul as…

ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES (1:55 PM, Fort Stage), who have hot new tunes to share. If you haven’t been dancing yet, Paul Janeway and company will change that as soon as they hit the stage. These southern soul ambassadors will energize you with their high-octane delivery, although some may have to leave their set early to catch…

… the mellower indie-folk stylings of AOIFE O’DONOVAN (2:25 PM, Harbor Stage), who will delight listeners with her gentle melodies. She recently toured with Irish troubadour Glen Hansard (who plays here on Sunday), so it’s a mystery if he (or other musicians) will join her for a bit of collaboration while…

…Delta Spirit’s MATTHEW LOGAN VASQUEZ (2:50 PM, Quad Stage) promises to bring some Texas heat when he showcases tunes from his new solo debut album. If you’re used to seeing his band perform on larger stages, this is a perfect chance to catch him in a more intimate setting. That is unless you’re planning to rock a little harder with…

…indie punk-rock veterans VIOLENT FEMMES (3:10 PM, Fort Stage), whose newly released album has less angst than their earlier hits. It, however, still packs just as much of a punch in terms of wry lyrics set to bold beats, which is the complete opposite of what you’ll find when…

…Florida indie-folk singer/songwriter RADICAL FACE (3:45 PM, Harbor Stage) shares the tales from his trilogy of devastatingly beautiful albums. If the afternoon’s pace has you yearning for a refreshing respite, you can spend time with this master storyteller whose voice has the same intimate honesty of Sufjan Stevens. Unfortunately his set conflicts with…

…the new female supergroup, case/lang/veirs (4:10 PM, Quad Stage). You’re in for a treat when Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs make their Newport debut as the newly formed folk trio. These singers are equally talented on their own, but together they are a force of nature, much like…

RAY LAMONTAGNE (4:40 PM, Fort Stage), who is touring with 4/5 of My Morning Jacket as his backing band. Those guys backed Roger Waters on that very stage last year, so you know this set will be jam-packed with huge sounds and an even larger crowd of dedicated fans. But if crowds aren’t your thing, check out…

…indie singer/songwriter BRETT DENNEN (5:05 PM, Harbor Stage) whose sunny songs will refresh you. He makes the kind of music that puts a smile on your face. You won’t be able to get his infectious melodies out of your head, at least not until you head over to see…

… The Black Keys Dan Auerbach’s side project, THE ARCS (5:35 PM, Quad Stage). This super-collective will lay a bluesy rock smackdown on the Festival. The success of their debut album means this set will deliver plenty of memories and possibly some surprise cameos from artists who performed earlier in the day. But the collaboration most people have been waiting all day to see is…

…the quirky comedic genius of Kiwi duo FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS (6:15 PM, Fort Stage), who are making their first appearance at the festival this year. You know what time it is when Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie take the stage – It’s business time! The critically acclaimed, former TV stars are in the midst of a worldwide tour, but they promise to make you feel like the most beautiful person in the whole crowd with their tongue-in-cheek ditties and wry banter, if…that’s what you’re into.

 

Check back here tomorrow when we’ll share the guide to all of Saturday’s performances.

 

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