Festivals, Newport Folk Festival, The Revue — July 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Newport Folk Fest 2016: Saturday Guide

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Day 1 is in the books, and true to form the NFF gang have delivered a stellar opening. Now it is time to get ready for Saturday. We have tried to cover as many acts as possible. 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. To assist you with your decisions on Saturday – since there are always, always conflicts – here is the Guide.

 

Newport Folk Festival 2016: Saturday Guide

If you have your guitar, can sing in tune, and always wanted to perform at NFF, show up for the Martin Guitar Open Mic (10:00, Museum Stage). Even if you cannot sing or play an instrument, here’s an opportunity to discover the next NFF star…

…which CACTUS BLOSSOMS (11:00, Harbor Stage) could very well be at this year’s festival. The duo from Minneapolis will bring their Midwestern charm and their traditional brand of folk to help ease us into the day. They are like the morning cup of coffee, providing the right tonic to awaken you gently from your stupor…

…or maybe you need the Red Bull equivalent in BANDITOS (11:10, Quad Stage). The Nashville-via-Birmingham sextet will share their unique blend of honkey tonk and rock ‘n roll and just blow the roof off the Quad Stage. Banditos could be this year’s version of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – i.e., be one of the most talked about shows of the festival…

…for which RAYLAND BAXTER (11:25, Fort Stage) immediately received when his inclusion was announced. With one of the most unique and captivating voices and a multi-genre style that borders on the dreamy and cinematic, the Nashville-based artist has been compared to Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Just one listen to him, however, will make you realize Baxter belongs in a category all his own…

…just like the incomparable RUBY AMANFU (12:05, Harbor Stage). Trying to describe the Grammy-nominated, Ghanaian-born singer songwriter’s style and sound is difficult because Amanfu dabbles in everything from blues, jazz, folk, pop, rock, and gospel. Her versatility has made her a much sought-after artist, as she can list Brittany Howard (of Alabama Shakes), Jack White, Patti Labelle, and Wanda Jackson as collaborators. Despite her talents and accolades, she is only starting to make a name for herself…

…while AMY HELM (12:35, Fort Stage) continues to be one of the most respected names in the industry. Most will associate Amy with her late father Levon, but the younger Helm has taken center stage with her first solo album, Didn’t It Rain. The process was not easy, as Helm told our Kristine St.-Pierre, “It took a long time to create an album. It took some steps toward the front of the stage that I had never taken. As I’ve been in this process the past few years, I’ve come to feel a real need to continue challenging myself to do it.” As you watch Ms. Helm perform this day, remember the long journey she has taken…

…which is one that JOHN MORELAND (1:15 PM, Harbor Stage) knows all too well. The former hard-core, punk rocker opted to turn a new page and commence a solo career focused on folk-rock, country, and Americana. In 2013, his album The Throes had many comparing him to Steven Van Zandt and Steve Earle, but it is only now, following the release of High on Tulsa Heat, that people are starting to recognize his talent…

…as is the case with MARGO PRICE (1:40, Quad Stage). For nearly a decade, Price toiled on the margins of the Nashville music scene before co-founding Buffalo Clover and later Margo and the Pricetags. As her star started to shine more brightly within Nashville, she started to receive more national attention, including Rolling Stone magazine identifying her as a “Country Artist You Need to Know in 2014”. Earlier this year, Price released her critically acclaimed, debut, solo album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, which was critically acclaimed. Price’s name has since been mentioned alongside Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, and Dora Freeman as the new generation of country stars and saviors of the genre. This is huge praise, which Price is surely going to meet, if not exceed, these lofty expectations…

…in much the same way NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS (1:45, Fort Stage) have done following the release of their terrific self-titled album in 2015. Their performance at last year’s Newport Folk Festival was legendary and still talked about today (we were there to witness it), and their performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon made them national favorites. Most will associate the band with their euphoric take of Americana and folk-rock, but listen closely to the lyrics as Rateliff’s stories are honest, humbling, and even challenging…

…which Aly Spaltro – a.k.a. LADY LAMB (2:30, Harbor Stage) – has become synonymous with in her young career. Only 27 years old, Lady Lamb has released eight albums and EPs. Whether tackling the peculiarities of relationships and dating to questioning our own very existence to providing a whimsical outlook of humanity, the Maine native is part singer-songwriter, part poet, part anthropologist, and every part genius. Her NFF debut could be the most memorable…

…if it was not for Scottish super-indie group FRIGHTENED RABBIT (2:55, Quad Stage) also making their debut appearance. Their latest album, Painting of a Panic Attack, is arguably one of the best albums of the year. Consequently, the band are scheduled to play nearly every major music festival in 2016 – Glastonbury, Sasquatch, Latitude, Lollapalooza, etc. It is Newport Folk Festival, however, that they listed as a bucket list show. As such, their set should be SPECIAL…

…like RYAN ADAMS(3:10, Fort Stage) return to NFF promises to be. Accompanied by THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS and NICKI BLUHM, who is another NFF favorite, what will be shared on this day is largely unknown. If their short performance at Telluride Bluegrass Festival was any indication, festival goers could be witnessing an immensely unique and rare show…

…and these words would be appropriate in describing DAVE SIMONETT & DAVE CARROLL‘s performance (3:45, Harbor Stage). It is not often that the two members of The Trampled by Turtles perform outside the collective, which will make them a curiosity for a lot of people. Will they perform stripped-back version of TBT’s euphoric blend of bluegrass, Americana, and indie folk, will they offer some new tunes, or will they share their interpretations of classic folk songs? Your guess is as good as ours on what to expect…

…although we have a good idea on what to expect when GRAHAM NASH (4:20, Quad Stage) takes center stage – a Hall of Fame performance. The member of Crosby, Stills, and Nash is still going strong at the age of 74. Earlier this year, he released This Path Tonight, his first album in fourteen years, for which he currently is touring in support. As such, expect to hear new tunes as well as the classics…

…which is what NORAH JONES (4:40, Fort Stage) is surely going to do. Jones is one of those rare artists whose music cuts across multiple generations of music fans, as her piano-driven ballads are tender, alluring, and at times breathtaking. However, don’t expect Jones to relegate herself behind her the ebony and ivory keys, as she might break out a few numbers from her side project Puss N Boots, with whom she performed at NFF two years ago. That makes Jones a veteran of the Festival…

…but for bluegrass living legends DEL McCOURY and DAVID GRISMAN – a.k.a. DEL & DAWG (5:00, Harbor Stage) – they will be making their inaugural visit to NFF as a duo. For anyone who loves to watch and hear finger-plucking at its finest, this show has to be on your “must see” list. It is not often that two iconic artists within their genre get to perform together, but leave it to Newport Folk Festival to make the unexpected happen…

…kind of like re-inviting J. Tillman, who is better known as FATHER JOHN MISTY (5:40, Quad Stage). You never know what mood Father John Misty will be. For that matter, his mood could shift in multiple directions within an hour. But two things are for certain – FJM will entertain and his music will provoke. His addition is likely not a coincidence, as his critically acclaimed sophomore album, I Love You, Honeybear, had a couple of politically and socially focused songs..

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…which have been specialties for the venerable and iconic PATTI SMITH (6:15, Fort Stage). Although Smith may have set aside her youthful punk days, she remains a political activist and social champion. Her songs may be more somber, but they continue to be as sharp and poignant as they were 40 years ago. Smith may be nearing 70 years old (December 30th of this year), but she is still a relevant and driving force in music.

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