Newport Folk Festival 2013 Recap

Any time I get to type the words “Newport Folk Festival” on my keyboard I get a bit giddy like a kid writing out his Christmas list, but when the end of July rolls around and those three wonderful words are followed with “Recap,” it is quite the bittersweet moment. If we could stay at the Fort year-round listening to incredible music, eating oysters, and drinking Del’s lemonade we most certainly would, but all good things must come to an end.

NFF ’13 was filled with plenty of special moments, boundless collaborations, and a wealth of memories that will stick with us for a long time to come. Between our crew of M&T contributors and friends we probably caught the majority of sets at this year’s festival, but below we chose some of our favorites from each day that stood out from the rest. Read on and take a listen and we’ll start crossing the days off the calendar until next July.

Friday July 26

Kingsley Flood @ Fort Stage– We highlighted these Boston locals in our Newport preview and they did not disappoint by any means. Seeing the guys and gal of Kingsley Flood enjoy themselves on stage as much as they did brought an energy into the crowd that was the perfect way to kick off the festival.

Phosphorescent @ Quad Stage– This was quite the pleasant surprise after hearing mixed reviews from friends and colleagues who caught Matthew Houck and Co. at SXSW earlier this year. With Phosphorescent’s Muchacho being one of our favorite records of 2013 thus far, we were quick to our feet at the Quad Stage, but by the end of the set the tent was a full-on dance party.

John McCauley @ Quad Stage– Although we had expected a few more artist collaborations from the Prince of Newport Folk Festival, all we really needed was McCauley’s cover of “Margaritaville” with his Mom. Yea that happened. And so did rousing singalongs of Deer Tick standbys “Ashamed” and “The Bump,” but Mama McCauley belting some Buffett was certainly a highlight.

Video by Shivohn Fleming

Saturday July 27

The Lone Bellow @ Quad Stage– Another group that we touched on in our Newport preview, this Brooklyn trio brought all of the passion and energy that we had hoped they would. Combine their foot-stomping, hand-clapping show at the Quad Stage with an after-party in downtown Newport where we were lucky enough to catch them cover Mariah Carey and Brian McKnight, and we’d say The Lone Bellow had quite the day for themselves.

Video by Boston Through My Eyes

Jim James @ Fort Stage–  How could you not see this one coming? The My Morning Jacket frontman got the crowd moving with his spacey vocals, crunchy guitar licks, and of course his smooth saxophone skills which have become a staple of his Regions of Light and Sound of God tour.

Deer Tick After Party @ Newport Blues Cafe– Deer Tick + Jason Isbell + Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” = Magic.

Sunday July 28

Spirit Family Reunion @ Quad Stage– Singing along to “Green Rocky Road” under the shining Sunday sun was one of the happiest moments of the weekend.

Lord Huron @ Quad Stage– We caught this LA based band give an acoustic performance at Bonnaroo earlier this summer, and although we thoroughly enjoy the intimate sets that Bonnaroo’s Sonic Stage provides, that set did not hold a candle to what we saw at Newport Folk. Drummer Mark Barry brought a whole new layer and vigor to the songs from Lonesome Dreams that wasn’t there when we saw the band in June, and the rest of the group certainly raised the energy level to meet the anticipation from the crowd. Lord Huron also had the distinction of being one of very few bands that were cheered back on stage for an encore last weekend.

Video by Boston Through My Eyes

Bombino @ Harbor Stage– Even though he could barely speak English between songs, Nigerian born Bombino had no issues connecting with the crowd through his impressive guitar chops. It was as if Hendrix had been reincarnated in the African desert and transported 5000 miles to Fort Adams to grace us with his blazing guitar riffs and impeccable style.

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Recap, Newport Folk Festival Spotlight

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