Amongst the younger acts on the line-up of Newport Folk Festival's first day -- many of which play folk-influenced music rather than purely straight-up "folk" -- it was exciting to see legendary American folk singer Ramblin' Jack Elliott represent the festival's deep-rooted history, playing a set of traditional songs originally written by the Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and other singers.
While Newport Folk was getting gypsy-punk'd this afternoon downm in Rhode Island, we were welcomed to the top of Fort Adams for an aerial view of GOGOL BORDELLO'S mid-day set. Oye.
Slicked-back hair -- check. Perfectly worn-in suit? Check. Gorgeous ladyfriend straight off the pin-up? Check. Engaging, time-machine performance on the Harbor stage at this year's Newport Folk? Check, check, check. The aforementioned POKEY LAFARGE & THE SOUTH CITY THREE were a sight to see and hear during this afternoon's Saturday session at Newport Folk.
...And here are some of NEWPORT FOLK FEST'S Day 1 highlights from on the stage. Standing out among a host of great Saturday performances were St Louis' POKEY LAFARGE AND THE SOUTH CITY THREE. Forget about synthpoppers or classic rock dudes claiming the "retro" tag -- LaFarge and his crew are the ultimate retro act, laying down old timey country blues and early jazz to perhaps the most diverse crowd assembled at Fort Adams.
Day 1 of NEWPORT FOLK FEST wrapped up just a few hours ago with a closing set on the main stage by the Decemberists, who failed to address our January accusation of ruining indie. But while Team PHX spent the day out in Fort Adams State Park getting folk'n baked under the summer sun, now we'll spend the next few evening hours recapping what we saw, photographed and recorded.
A clear highlight of day 1 at Newport Folk Festival today was Ramblin’ Jack Elliott singing “Hard Traveling” with Pete Seeger!
While the sold-out masses at this year’s Newport Folk Fest pack the main Fort Stage to catch the headlining likes of the Decemberists, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and Elvis Costello, you can find five under-the-radar acts worth taking in under the warm summer sun:
POKEY LAFARGE AND THE SOUTH CITY THREE | With his brand-new album Middle of Everywhere (Free Dirt Records), Pokey LaFarge is already St.
This is awesome.
The What Cheer? Brigade, pictured in part above, pretty much made the festival for me. They ended the day by leading a parade through the festival grounds with Elvis Perkins at the head. Totally epic. More on them later.
We stayed at a friends house close to the festival ground. What probably would have been a thirty minute walk turned into an hour long car ride due to traffic in downtown Newport and we missed Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.