Festivals, Newport Folk Festival, The Revue — July 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

Newport Folk Festival 2018 – Day Two Guide

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After a memorable Day One, we get to do it all again at Fort Adams State Park. What will Newport Folk Festival have in store for us this day? We offer a few predictions in our Newport Folk Festival 2018 – Day Two Guide , which also might be handy to navigate through the multiple conflicts. Since WiFi is at a premium and mobile coverage is iffy at best, we’ve also included PDF and Microsoft Word attachments in case you want to print this out (note the attachments are for all three days but each day is easy to parcel out).

The NFF 2018 app is still the place to see the entire schedule (download options here). In addition, we highly recommend that you connect with the Festival on social media to get all the latest news, developments, and updates on who is unexpectedly performing.

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NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL 2018 – THE FULL GUIDE – Word

NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL 2018 – THE FULL GUIDE – PDF

 

Following the traditional Open Mic (10:00 AM, Museum), Day Two of Newport Folk Festival 2018 kicks off with some crowd-pleasing bluegrass Americana in in the form of Boston’s own CAAMP (11:00, Harbor). Imagine Hozier dropping in on a The Head and The Heart rehearsal and that’s essentially what you get with Taylor and Evan’s project. Or in other words, the duo will likely be one of the Festival’s unlikely stars who will be asked to return in two years time…

…which is the time elapsed between Kaia Kater‘s (11:00, Museum) sensational album Slow Burn and her debut appearance at NFF. The Toronto-based banjo expert and singer-songwriter gives bluegrass and indie-folk a dark, mystical appeal, which makes the Museum the perfect setting for her Appalachian folklore. Come and take notes and photos because a little bit of history will be made this morning, specifically a young woman making a permanent mark on the Festival and leading people to draw comparisons to Gillian Welch, Ruthie Foster, and Abigail Washburn…

…while Philadelphia old-school rockers Low Cut Connie (11:10, Quad) will be compared to everyone from J. Roddy Walston and the Business to Okkervil River. And you know what that means – a jolly good time will be had under the big tent with plenty of hand clapping, dancing, and screaming and shouting. But the sextet will do more than entertain, they will also amuse and provoke with their tales of long road trips and struggling to get through life’s many obstacles. They are, in a sense, an American band through and through…

…and Curtis Harding (11:30, Fort) is the artist who is the new flag bearer of retro R&B and soul. He is the heir to Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones, and Lee Fields, which he emphatically proved on his remarkable 2017 album, Face Your Fear (which was one of our 50 Favorite Albums of 2017). Now Harding won’t dress up in the bright, silky attire that the late Mr. Bradley once donned, but like The Screaming Eagle of Soul he’ll bring you back to the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s when the genres were at their artistic heights. He’ll also get you on you feet and moving…

…whereas Bedouine (12:05, Harbor) will make you feel wistful with her arresting dream-folk. The project of Syrian-born Azniv Korkejian, Bedouine’s story is one that personifies the American Dream – a young woman and her family immigrating to the USA and doing things they could never have imagined before. She translates some of her experiences and emotions on her gorgeous debut album, which was celebrated by The Independent newspaper in the UK, The Guardian, Mojo, and Uncut. Now NFF goers will get to be charmed and dazzled by one of 2017’s hidden gems

…and this label should also be reserved for singer-songwriter Zane Campbell (12:05, Museum). The country-bluegrass-folk artist is like the bridge between the past and the present, bringing together the classic music that once filled the Smokey Mountains with more modern takes of folk and even touches of punk (at least in his songwriting, where he’s unafraid to get political). As you sit and listen to him, you might quietly hope that the Cohens will make a sequel to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, with Campbell responsible for the soundtrack…

…while the criminally underrated Hiss Golden Messenger (12:15, Quad) has been writing the soundtracks to our lives for more than a decade. Led by M.C. Taylor, the folk-rock outfit from North Carolina have delivered one memorable album after another, including 2017’s Hallelujah Anyhow and their 2016 masterpiece Heart Like a Levee. If their performance at the 2015 edition and Deer Tick’s post-NFF show are any indications, their performance should be one of the most energetic and explosive of the Festival. The big tent won’t be able to contain them…

…and thankfully NFF scheduled Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real (12:30, Fort) for the big stage because his combination of country-rock and roots-rock is boisterous. Actually, that might be an understatement. Their set will feel like a party both in the field and on the stage. With respect to the latter, expect the Lucius ladies to be singing backup (they did on their 2017 self-titled album) and other guests to join them. For instance, we could use the Deer Tick and Middle Brother lads showing up…

…and who knows who might make a presence at Nicole Atkins Digs Other People’s Music (1:10, Museum). Anyone who has followed the New Jersey native’s career knows that she’s a throwback, creating retro soul and pop for the most part. She’ll showcase this side on Sunday, but on Saturday she will be covering some classic tunes. Exactly what, we have no clue, but if we had to guess we would imagine maybe some Billie Holiday, Fiona Apple, June Carter, and Woody Guthrie. Yes, she is that versatile…

…as is Daniel Norgren (1:15, Harbor). Most pigeonhole the Swedish artist as a folk musician, but he is so much more. He is an innovator who makes bold, breathtaking, and cinematic soundscapes. He definitely can craft a stunning folk tune, but he’s at his best when he channels his inner José González and Sam Beam and casts a spell upon all those listening. There won’t be anything more beautiful to hear during the three days than Norgren’s intimate songs…

…and there won’t be anything as outrageously fun and ostentatious (we say this as a compliment) as Tank and The Bangas(1:25, Quad) set early in the afternoon. The winners of the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk contest, the New Orleans collective have developed a reputation for their energetic shows and a style that has no definition. Funk, pop, soul, hip hop, and blues, they are a kaleidoscope of sounds and emotions. One moment, they could be banging out catchy tunes å la Sly and The Family Stone and the next moment front woman Tarriona Ball turns into Mary J. Blige, Macy Gray, and Lauren Hill – and all within one song. Get a seat early because the tent will likely be overflowing…

…whereas the front barrier at the Fort will be overwhelmed with fans of Valerie June (1:50, Fort). It’s hard to believe that it has been almost a decade since June first appeared on music fans’ radar with her exceptionally unique voice and style, which blends folk, Americana, soul, gospel, and blues. Anyone who saw her in 2014 at NFF will still remember the powerful yet intimate performance she gave at the Quad. This time around, however, she gets to grace thousands of fans at the grandest stage of them all…

…on which the underrated and underappreciated Laura Veirs (2:15, Museum) will hopefully one day perform. This way, more people can discover the talent of one of the 21st Century’s great singer-songwriters. Every single one of her albums is excellent, including the recently released The Lookout and our personal favorite, 2010’s July Flame. For fifty minutes, Veirs will send those in attendance through the rabbit hole and into her brilliant and imaginative world, where the grandest stories and fairy tales come to life…

…and the past 18 months has been exactly that for Phoebe Bridgers (2:25, Harbor). She teased people with her talent in 2014 with a couple of singles and covers and again in 2015 with Ryan Adams-produced EP, Killer. It was in 2017, however, that saw the LA-based artist truly break through. Her debut album, Stranger in the Alps, was beyond beautiful. It was a piece of masterful art and literature that ended up on a few “Best of” or “Favorites” lists. Like how her friend Julien Baker did back in 2016, we fully anticipate the audience and everyone walking by to be silent when she takes the stage and in complete awe of her quiet power…

…and the star power that makes up Beneath The Sacred Mountain: A Cosmic American Revue (2:40, Quad) will equally leave mouths agape. Curated by Matthew E. White and Phil Cook, we’re not exactly sure what to expect. We do know that the Spacebomb house band will be on stage. We can also guess that this set will delve deep into the history of American music, possibly a mix of Americana, folk, bluegrass, and possibly psychedelia. There probably will be plenty of special guests joining these two great songwriters and producers, which translates to unforgettable memories to be created…

…just like every Shakey Graves (3:10, Fort) performance. Better known to friends and family as Alejandro Rose-Garcia, the Austin native will grace the big stage for the first time (not including the times he participated in the big collective shows), and there’s no question that he’s ready for it. For that matter, he probably should have been on the Fort a few years ago and an argument could be made he should be on later. Expect there to be a lot of movement on and off the stage, as Rose-Garcia should be joined by a supporting band, a host of guests, and performing as a one-man band, which is how it all first began. What will be interesting to observe is how he translates his 2017 album / double EP – Shakey Graves And The Horse He Rode In On (Nobody’s Fool and The Donor Blues EP) – to the big stage, as it was a low-key and intimate affair. Then again, maybe he’ll focus on the rocking Can’t Wake Up. But given this is Shakey Graves, we know he will deliver one of this year’s marquee sets…

… while back inside, one of NFF’s finest friends JP Harris will be curating a collaboration explosion called Outside Folk (3:30-6:15, Museum). Gifted guitarists and great songwriters from across multiple genres – folk, rock, country, Americana, blues, psychedelic – will team up to cover classics and possibly share new tunes they’ve created (or spontaneously crafted on the spot). There will be plenty of storytelling and lots of laughs to go long with the great music. Scheduled performers include: Jonathan Tyler & Ramsay Midwood (3:30); Matt the Electrician & Chris Smither (4:05); JP Harris & Patrick Haggerty of The Autumn Defense (4:50); Lula Wiles & Valerie Mindel (5:30). Hopefully someone will be recording this….

…and hopefully the cameras will be on when country-folk-Americana singer-songwriter Colter Wall (3:40, Harbor) takes the stage. The Saskatchewan native checks all the boxes when it comes to describing a “throwback” artist – low-key, husky vocals, stories about life on the road, and always with his trusty guitar. The closest comparable we can think of is the legend John Prine. Colter has that kind of talent. The type of talent that one day people will be comparing new, young artists to him…

…although it seems Jenny Lewis (4:05, Quad) has long been the standard to which indie artists are held. There are plenty of reasons for why the former Rilo Kiley front woman has been adored by fans and critics. She’s not one to stay stationary, effortlessly moving between indie-pop, country-pop, indie-rock, Americana, alt-country, and orchestral pop throughout her career. There’s her bedroom-style vocals to go with her intimate and personal style of songwriting. And then there is her presence on stage, where the lights and all eyes become fixated on her. Lewis hasn’t released anything new since her excellent The Voyager album in 2014, but there are rumors she’s working on something new. So maybe she will offer some surprises…

…but for Courtney Barnett (4:40, Fort) she won’t surprise anyone anymore. This isn’t a critique of the Melbourne singer-songwriter, label owner, producer, and all-around one awesome individual. Instead, it is an acknowledgement that her hard work of the past five years – two albums, a collaborative record with Kurt Vile, a double EP, and constant touring across the globe – has finally paid off. She is recognized as one of the world’s most gifted lyricists and greatest live performers. Every record she’s released has exceeded excellence, including her latest, Tell Me How You Feel, which will most likely be on many of 2018’s “Best of” or “Favorites” lists. The last time she played Newport (in 2016), the Quad almost exploded. How the Fort will hold up is a question we cannot wait to have answered…

…and another question we would like to have answered is why did it take NFF so long to bring Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam (5:00, Harbor) to Rhode Island. Well, we know schedules don’t always line up, and it’s better later than never at all. This super-duo featuring two of indie’s and NYC’s finest artists is like ice and lemonade – the perfect combination for a summer’s evening. Their first album together, I Had A Dream That You Were Mine, is literally made of dreams. It is an eye-popping and imaginative affair, so expect to see the audience at the Harbor paralyzed and entranced…

…yet laughter will emanating on the other side of the Fort Adams when Cheech & Chong (5:30, Quad) entertain the crowd. Will they sing and dance or do a stand-up comedy routine? Will they smoke a joint or four while performing? How many bongs will they have and how large will they be? With the famed comedic duo, expect than unexpected and come ready to have your belly aching with laughter. This should be one of the more unforgettable occasions of the Festival…

…and likewise whomever the Unannounced (6:15, Fort) artist/band is. We have heard rumors (such as one of the great folk-rock quartets of all-time), but it could also be more simplistic (e.g, Uncle Tupelo reuniting or Wilco performing given how many of the band members are at Newport). Or maybe Jay Sweet will do a stand-up routine, belt a few tunes, or allow Matt Vasquez to bury his belly into the NFF Executive Director’s face once more (you had to be at the Blues Café two years ago to understand this). Whoever shall grace the main stage, it sure will be a landmark event, which is saying something for a Festival filled with them.

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