Live Music Ahoy! Newport Festival Saturday

The Newport Folk Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. We’ll be there on Saturday, August 1. Here’s a playlist featuring some of the acts I expect to see (and led me to favor Saturday over Sunday, despite the fact that Neko Case is playing on Sunday).

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Iron & Wine Album My Favorite of 2007

I adore this year’s album from Iron & Wine, even more now than when I first posted about it. That’s partly because I can put it on when holding my baby son at night, and it soothes him as it interests me.

The tracks fall on a continuum from a rather sparse sound, similar to what Sam Beam did on previous I&W albums, to a fuller sound. My favorite example of the fuller sound is the opening track, “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car.” I love the “hey, ma, listen to all these instruments we found in the barn” feel. See if you do too:

But my favorite track from the album is one of the sparser ones: “Resurrection Fern.” You can find it, along with an envy-inducing account of a live I&W show, at Lonesome Music.

So my favorite album of 2007, barring some sudden revelation in the next couple of weeks, is The Shepherd’s Dog. (I’m not sure that I can make claims about the best album of 2007.)