Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Jake Hill

Plymouth, MA native Jake Hill isn’t playing at Newport this year…but he should be. His musical style fits perfectly with the rest of the acts at Newport and his love and appreciation for the festival runs deep. A proud festival goer himself, Hill’s music combines simple yet thoughtful arrangements with honest, yet sometimes playful, songwriting that seems to be made for the Newport stage. He draws inspiration from the likes of Tom Waits and festival vet A.A. Bondy, which certainly comes through in some of his music. Hill’s most recent release, Motel By the Side of the Road, features his unmistakable gravelly vocals matched with his uncanny ability to piece together an elegant folk song with just a guitar and the occasional harmonica. Even with its minimalist production approach, Motel finds a way to accomplish a sound that is full and lush by incorporating beautiful vocal harmonies on the choruses and strategically adding subtle percussion and melodic accompaniment throughout.

Hill’s versatility as a musician and songwriter shines bright on his work with producer Charley Hustle on their New Men Old Boys EP, a favorite of Maimed & Tamed. With this versatility comes a style and swagger that separates Hill from most other folk acts and that is exactly the kind of artist that Newport seeks to share with the world, one who has the confidence to make music that is built to last. Check out some standout tracks from Motel By the Side of the Road below:

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Spotlight

One Response to Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Jake Hill

  1. JP Donskeet

    Jake effin nailed his performance at Roger’s Pub on the Babson College campus… he really knows how to work the crowd, tell a story, and induce intense cravings for tomato cigarettes

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