We did go to the Newport Folk festival yesterday. I provided a Saturday sampler playlist in a previous post. Things went better than expected in some ways, worse in others, but the good far outweighed the bad.
We arrived during Billy Bragg’s set, having made great time from Boston to Newport, and then getting stuck in traffic for the last few miles. His banter/polemic, like his music, was a mixture of the traditional and the topical (or of the trad and the fad, as we sometimes say).
Billy made the traditional remark about the people who couldn’t afford tickets, and so had to watch from their boats. Then he added some kind words about sailboats, and their eco-friendliness, but reverted to traditional with some unkind words about jet-skis.
Next up were the Avett Brothers, for me the most must-catch act on a very strong lineup. They were tremendous. My video clip doesn’t come anywhere near doing them justice, but I include it hear because it does go some way toward capturing the weather and other aspects of the setting.
Neither the video nor the photo captures how hot it was. For reasons of sun and heat and son and daughter (almost 3, and 5 respectively) and of being on our way down to Philadelphia, we missed almost all of the remaining music. That means that I caught very little of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Even worse, I completely missed acts such as Fleet Foxes, Pete Seeger, Iron & Wine, and The Decemberists. Luckily, NPR captured some of The Decemberists’ set.