What We Saw At The 2016 Newport Folk Festival

July 28th, 2016 | by staff
What We Saw At The 2016 Newport Folk Festival
Music News
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  • Raury gets some serious air during his Friday-afternoon set at the Quad Stage.
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    Raury gets some serious air during his Friday-afternoon set at the Quad Stage.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Margo Price and surprise guest Kris Kristofferson, backed by The Texas Gentlemen, performed a rousing version of "Me & Bobby McGee" together.
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    Margo Price and surprise guest Kris Kristofferson, backed by The Texas Gentlemen, performed a rousing version of “Me & Bobby McGee” together.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Psych-blues band Amasa Hines, from Little Rock, Ark., kicked things off at the main stage on Friday morning.
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    Psych-blues band Amasa Hines, from Little Rock, Ark., kicked things off at the main stage on Friday morning.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Backstage Friday at Newport Folk: Violent Femmes were here.
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    Backstage Friday at Newport Folk: Violent Femmes were here.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Laura Veirs, k.d. lang and Neko Case played a stunning Friday-afternoon set as case/lang/veirs.
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    Laura Veirs, k.d. lang and Neko Case played a stunning Friday-afternoon set as case/lang/veirs.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • "Leaving it all onstage" took on a slightly new meaning for Paul Janeway of St. Paul & the Broken Bones. (Don't worry: He sprang up to attack the next song with gusto.)
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    “Leaving it all onstage” took on a slightly new meaning for Paul Janeway of St. Paul & the Broken Bones. (Don’t worry: He sprang up to attack the next song with gusto.)

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • There were some technical difficulties at the top of Brett Dennen's set, but he improvised and played his first few songs solo, with just one working microphone.
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    There were some technical difficulties at the top of Brett Dennen’s set, but he improvised and played his first few songs solo, with just one working microphone.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • The Arcs ushered in the Newport sunset on Friday evening.
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    The Arcs ushered in the Newport sunset on Friday evening.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Flight Of The Conchords closed out Friday at Newport with plenty of laughs.
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    Flight Of The Conchords closed out Friday at Newport with plenty of laughs.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • In one of Newport's many surprise collaborations, unannounced artists Lucius and Shovels and Rope played at the tiny Museum Stage with The Decemberists' Chris Funk.
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    In one of Newport’s many surprise collaborations, unannounced artists Lucius and Shovels and Rope played at the tiny Museum Stage with The Decemberists’ Chris Funk.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Ruby Amanfu's sultry cover of "I Put A Spell On You" was a crowd favorite on Saturday.
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    Ruby Amanfu’s sultry cover of “I Put A Spell On You” was a crowd favorite on Saturday.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Moreland performed Saturday at the Harbor Stage.
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    Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Moreland performed Saturday at the Harbor Stage.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • During Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats' set, Rateliff and special guest Matthew Logan Vasquez of Delta Spirit engaged in a friendly dance-off...
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    During Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats’ set, Rateliff and special guest Matthew Logan Vasquez of Delta Spirit engaged in a friendly dance-off…

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • ...but maybe it was lucky for them that they didn't invite The Oh Hellos to join in.
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    …but maybe it was lucky for them that they didn’t invite The Oh Hellos to join in.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Graham Nash gave a mighty performance at Newport on Saturday.
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    Graham Nash gave a mighty performance at Newport on Saturday.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Early exposure to folk festivals makes kids grow up stronger, smarter and healthier. We think.
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    Early exposure to folk festivals makes kids grow up stronger, smarter and healthier. We think.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Norah Jones, who played Saturday, is the only artist performing at both Newport Folk and Jazz festivals this year.
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    Norah Jones, who played Saturday, is the only artist performing at both Newport Folk and Jazz festivals this year.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Father John Misty played a solo set Saturday after his controversial appearance at XPN Fest the previous day. (No surprises during his Newport performance.)
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    Father John Misty played a solo set Saturday after his controversial appearance at XPN Fest the previous day. (No surprises during his Newport performance.)

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Patti Smith's inspiring, politically-charged set on Saturday evening included "People Have The Power" and her fiery version of The Who's "My Generation."
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    Patti Smith’s inspiring, politically-charged set on Saturday evening included “People Have The Power” and her fiery version of The Who’s “My Generation.”

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Performing at the Newport Folk Festival for the fourth year in a row, the Berklee Gospel and Roots Choir opened the Fort Stage on Sunday morning.
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    Performing at the Newport Folk Festival for the fourth year in a row, the Berklee Gospel and Roots Choir opened the Fort Stage on Sunday morning.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • The Fort Stage is often home to the Newport Folk Festival's largest bands, but Glen Hansard played much of his set there solo.
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    The Fort Stage is often home to the Newport Folk Festival’s largest bands, but Glen Hansard played much of his set there solo.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Phil Cook's Southland Revue performance included special guests The Blind Boys of Alabama and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso.
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    Phil Cook’s Southland Revue performance included special guests The Blind Boys of Alabama and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Julien Baker stunned the Quad Stage audience, who gave her several standing ovations during her set.
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    Julien Baker stunned the Quad Stage audience, who gave her several standing ovations during her set.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • The Preservation Hall Jazz Band brought a taste of New Orleans to Newport.
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    The Preservation Hall Jazz Band brought a taste of New Orleans to Newport.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros pauses for breath during the band's Sunday evening set.
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    Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros pauses for breath during the band’s Sunday evening set.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard howled, snarled and swaggered her way through a powerful closing set on Sunday.
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    Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard howled, snarled and swaggered her way through a powerful closing set on Sunday.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Against a breathtaking sunset, Alabama Shakes brought the 2016 Newport Folk Festival to a close.
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    Against a breathtaking sunset, Alabama Shakes brought the 2016 Newport Folk Festival to a close.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • One of the best Newport Folk traditions? The high-five line after Sunday's final performance.
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    One of the best Newport Folk traditions? The high-five line after Sunday’s final performance.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Festivalgoers celebrate another great year at Newport Folk.
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    Festivalgoers celebrate another great year at Newport Folk.

    Adam Kissick for NPR

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There was barely a cloud in the sky all weekend at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival this past weekend. But the uninterrupted stretch of three gloriously sunny days wasn’t the only stroke of good fortune festivalgoers encountered. Each day at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., was filled with surprise guests and moments of serendipity.

Take legendary country songwriter Kris Kristofferson showing up unannounced to perform “Me and Bobby McGee” with rising star Margo Price. Or Glen Hansard inviting an audience member onstage to sing a verse of the Irish folk song “The Auld Triangle.” Or Lucius and Shovels & Rope joining forces at Newport’s smallest stage for “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” — which was then sung the next day on the festival’s biggest stage by Elvis Costello himself.

Fueled by adrenaline and plenty of cold-brew coffee, our intrepid photographer Adam Kissick documented it all. Here’s some of what we saw.

Music News : NPR

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