This past weekend in Newport, Rhode Island, the 50th anniversary of the Newport Folk Festival took place, and, of course, to celebrate this milestone, Pete Seeger, one of the founders of the festival, was the headlining act for Saturday. After phenomenal sets from the likes of The Avett Brothers, Ben Kweller, Fleet Foxes, and The Decemberists earlier in the afternoon, The 90 year old’s performance was definitely the highlight of the day. He was joined on-stage for a sing-along by Kweller, the Decemberists, Gillian Welch, Billy Bragg, Tom Morello, Fleet Foxes, and his grandson Tao.
Songs on this very special set-list were “This Little Light of Mine,” “Turn Turn Turn,” and what really got the crowd going was “This Land is Your Land.” It seemed as if all 9,700 people in attendance joined in to sing with Seeger and friends. At the end of the day, Seeger really did prove, as George Wein stated, “that he really is the Newport Folk Festival.”
(look for the WERS tent in the above fan video!!)
Photos by Andrew Bruss
To see more exclusive photos and videos from Folk Festival 50, visit WERS.org
We’re getting closer and closer to Folk Festival 50 with every passing minute (it’s THIS weekend!, and once again, we’ve got another video to share with you).
Seth and Scott Avett, known together with Bob Crawford as the Avett Brothers, cite “fraternal magic” and “naked honesty” as the reason behind their musical success. The group combines folk, country, bluegrass, rock, punk, and pop to create a truly unique sound that some critics and fans are calling “grungegrass”. The trio avoided labels for a long time, saying that “none would do the music justice”, but were eventually signed to the American Recordings/Columbia Records label last year. Their newest album, I and Love and You, is considered their big-label debut and will be released in September. Check out the music video to their song “Paranoia in B-Flat Major”, from their 2007 album, Emotionalism.
In case you haven’t heard George Wein’s Folk Festival is happening this weekend August 1-2! Since its founding in 1959, the George Wein’s Folk Festival, better known as the Newport Folk Festival has widely been considered one of the preeminent music festivals of the summer. A mecca for folk music lovers to congregate and discover new and emerging artists, the Festival has been responsible for introducing many of today’s folk legends to the world. One such artist, is Joan Baez. Known for her unique and haunting voice and social activist spirit, Baez had her first breakthrough national performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. It was also at the Folk Festival, that Baez first introduced the world to the then little known folk singer, Bob Dylan. Baez and Dylan had a very close musical and personal relationship and some of her most notable songs are Dylan covers. This weeks Throwback features Baez performing an achingly beautiful rendition of “It Ain’t Me Babe”, a song originally written by Bob Dylan. Baez will be one of the headlining performers for the festival this weekend and if this video is any indication, her performance is definitely not one to be missed. Enjoy the clip and the festival, if you’re lucky enough to be going this weekend!
Folk Festival 50 is this weekend, August 1st and 2nd, and we can barely contain ourselves! To share our excitement with you, we’ve got another video from one of the festival artists.
Neko Case left home at the young age of 15. Born on an Air Force base in Virginia, she went to college in Canada. There, she recorded vocals for a few tracks on the New Pornographers‘ first album, Mass Romantic. Case often collaborates with other Canadian artists besides the New Pornographers, and has been referred to as an “honorary Canadian” because of her prominence in the Canadian music industry. Her voice was featured on an Aqua Teen Hunger episode early last year, and she is scheduled to take part in a new series by one of the ATHF co-creators, fancifully titled Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorns of Sugar Town Candy Fudge. Here’s “This Tornado Loves You”, from her latest album, Middle Cyclone.
With Folk Festival 50 right around the corner, we just can’t stop thinking about the artists performing in Newport, RI on August 1st and 2nd. So all week, we’re posting videos of some of the acts we’ll be seeing at the festival.
Ben Kweller, scheduled to perform on Saturday, had an early start with music. The California-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist first learned to play the drums at the age of 7, and would often play songs with his father. By the time he was 9, Kweller already had a dozen original compositions and received an honorable mention for a Billboard magazine songwriting competition. Earlier this year, he released his fourth studio album, Changing Horses. He’s performed with acts such as Guster, Death Cab For Cutie, and Gomez. Give a listen to “On My Way”, the title track from his second album.
With Folk Festival 50 less than a week away, it’s time to started getting amped up for all the amazing acts we’ll be seeing next weekend, August 1st and 2nd, in Rhode Island. That’s why all this week we’ll be posting a different video from artists who’ll be taking the stage in Newport.
To kick us off, let’s take a listen to a song by Samuel Beam, otherwise known under the monicker Iron & Wine. The South Carolina native just released a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks called Around the Well, but one of my favorite songs of his is “Boy With a Coin” which is off his 2007 release The Shepherd’s Dog. Paste Magazine named this album one of the 10 best albums of 2007 and I can totally see why because it’s filled with beautiful and mellow songs — it’s the perfect music to listen to for total relaxation. Another fun fact is that the last track on this album, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth,” was used in the 2008 vampire flick, Twilight.
Without further adieu, here’s Iron & Wine’s flamenco-inspired video for “Boy With a Coin:”
Who are you most excited to see at this year’s festival?
Over the past few days, we’ve been revving up for the historic Folk Festival 50 (formerly Newport Folk Festival) down in Newport, RI on August 1st and 2nd. Each day we give you a clue about two artists at the festival, one at 8:30 and one at 9:22. In the afternoon, we ask a question about the first artist at 5:30 and the second at 6:30. The first caller not only gets a pair of tickets to one day at the festival, they are entered into a drawing for VIP passes for the weekend. Not bad, huh? Follow the Twitter and this blog for bonus clues as well. For more information go here.
One of the bands we’re excited about seeing is Fleet Foxes. They came out with their self-titled release last year and it hinted at music from their parents generation. Probably the best comparison is with Crosby, Stills and Nash. The record is filled with vocal harmonies similar to the ones CSN used to create back in the 1960s. Here’s a music video where they decided to try out claymation for their song “White Winter Hymnal”.