There’s no better concert or festival in the world than the Newport Folk Festival. Having been more than a few times, I can declare this without hesitation.
Every year, the festival turns me onto new musicians I’d never heard of, and who then inevitably become my favorite, reconnects me with more established acts that have fallen off my radar for whatever reason, and births truly legendary musical moments that will never be forgotten.
This year was no different.
Some of those magical moments included Billy Bragg playing California Stars with Wilco (after a 20 year hiatus), John Prine performing with Roger Walters and Justin Vernon playing Bill Withers's songs with Hiss Golden Messenger.
And even though I wasn't there, I really enjoyed tuning into the festival via NPR, which regularly live-broadcasts select sets from the festival. This takes some of the sting out of not being able to make the annual pilgrimage to Newport.
It also means that there’s a great new pool of music to dive into over the next few months, like this Brent Cobb set and this Shovels and Rope set. (Want to go deeper? Check out Sturgill Simpson playing in 2015 and Leon Bridges performing the same year.)
Check out all the Newport coverage at NPR here, including this great photo essay, as well as all the Consequence of Sound coverage here. And if you're thinking of going next year, buy your tickets early, because it will sell out. It always does for good reason.