Newport Folk Fest 2017: Highlights


Newport Folk and its now-veteran booker Jay Sweet has proven itself to fans year after year. This year, the festival asked us to trust. Read More

August + September 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month


After a month long hiatus we are back with 75 fresh ones from Covey, Mondo Cozmo, Mr Jukes, Ted Leo, Dwight & Nicole, Grizzly Read More

October 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month


After a slightly bizarre Indian summer the weather has started to cool off and the leaves have finally started to turn in the Northeast. Read More

The Scene at Newport Folk Festival

Posted on by Ryan Schmitz in Newport Folk Festival Recap | Leave a comment
Photo by Tess O'Connor

Photo by Tess O’Connor

There ain’t no doubt in no one’s mind that the Newport Folk Festival is first and foremost about the music.  The 56 year old festival has seen some historic things, one of which celebrated its 50 year anniversary this past Sunday, as seemingly every performer ever took the stage to “go electric,” excluding Dylan of course.  The music is not the only palpable force at play when one enters the old sailing town positioned right at the Southern tip of Aquidneck Island.  Any festival goer can attest, Newport is not just a festival, it is a scene.

You can see it as you cross over the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge, the Fort, the old fashioned town, and of course the harbor.  From the second you first catch that view, you know that a good time lies ahead.  Every year in late July music fans from around the world flock to the town’s inns, hotels, and in my case, family members’ couches in order to take part in the time honored tradition that is the folk festival.  And while it’s easy to get caught up in the party, sometimes it’s nice to try and take in the surroundings that you’ve somehow found yourself in.

If you didn’t manage to get yourself a ticket to get into Fort Adams, all is not lost, find yourself a friend or family member with a boat and you’re golden.  This is where the party truly lies, anchored just off the rocky beach of the fort.  Because while the lucky ticket holders may be taking in the sights or traveling from stage to stage, the boat goers are doing just about whatever the hell they want.  From rafting up 7 boats deep to paddle-boarding with a beer stocked cooler as a lawn chair, the water crowd at the festival were having almost too good of a time.

Some people may be saying, “Ryan I came for the groovy tunes man, not some loud annoying party.”  Well anonymous music snob, I am equally pretentious and I thought that people yelling and chugging beer would get in the way of my spiritual connection with whoever was up on stage.  Luckily for me any sort of passive aggressive retaliatory response was never needed because once the music got started everyone remembered exactly why they were there.  This was never more apparent then when James Taylor took the stage, and this is not the biased ramblings of the self-proclaimed “world’s most dedicated James Taylor fan.”  When he sat down and played the opening notes to “Sweet Baby James” the people of the Aqua-Squad not only shut up, but actually clamored for the best spot to watch JT do his thing, it was truly an awe inspiring moment.

Photo by Tess O'Connor

Photo by Tess O’Connor

One of the coolest parts about the festival is that once the day was technically over, you could go to one of the local bars and find yourself watching one of the performers step up and jam.  Every second of that weekend was about the music, the party was always secondary, though it was still very easy to find.  Walking down Lower Thames was like walking through the festival all over again.  You could find old hippies in tie-dye shirts with bald heads and pony-tails chatting up frat boys about how good The Barr Brothers sounded, and make no mistake they sounded AMAZING.  The point is Newport is not just for the folkies or fans of the indie scene.  You don’t need to be a card carrying hipster or a hippie who can’t stop talking about “the good old days” to enjoy it.  Really, all you need is a love of music and the good time will be had for you.

Newport Folk Festival 2015 Recap

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Recap | Leave a comment

Photo by Andrew Cleak

The M&T crew had a wild and wonderful weekend at Fort Adams and we’ve chosen some of our favorite sets from this year’s Newport Folk Festival to share with you. Once again Newport proved why it’s such a magical place with once-in-a-lifetime performances from My Morning Jacket and Lucius backing Roger Waters to everyone who is anyone paying tribute to Bob Dylan in the hullabaloo that was ’65 Revisited. Now we begin counting down the days until next July and wondering what special surprises Newport will have in store for us in 2016.

Friday July 24

Hiss Golden Messenger @ Harbor Stage

A great example of stumbling upon a set you didn’t intend to see and having that band blow your mind. Hiss Golden Messenger’s bluesy jam vibes were perfect for a sunny Newport afternoon.

-Eric

Strand of Oaks @ Harbor Stage

We billed them as one of our most anticipated acts of the weekend and they did not disappoint. Timothy Showalter and co. knew exactly how to get the Newport crowd going and clearly understood the essence of the festival by expressing some very heartfelt sentiments to the crowd before launching into the slow burning ballad “Plymouth” from the band’s breakthrough album HEAL.

-Eric

Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell @ Quad Stage

A magical friendship reignited after 15 years. Iron & Wine (Sam Beam) and Ben Bridwell took control of the Quad Stage a little after 4 on Friday. The two musicians knew each other well during their formative years in South Carolina and they have kept in touch through letters and cassettes ever since. Although their careers took off on opposite sides of the country they haven’t forgot the songs that bound them together over so many miles. Inside the fort, Bridwell and Beam delighted the crowd with an entrancing rendition of Pete Seeger’s “Coyote, My Little Brother” from their new all-covers LP,Sing Into My Mouth. The set also included versions of Band of Horses classics “General Specific” and “No One’s Gonna Love You.”

-Kyle

My Morning Jacket/Roger Waters @ Fort Stage

We don’t even know what to say that could possibly explain how magical this set was. Look at the combined setlist and then try to pick your jaw up off the floor. Newport has gained a reputation as a hotbed for on-stage collaborations, but this was even more special since MMJ performed their own set and then backed Waters for all of his, which effectively made them dual headliners for the evening. For Waters Newport was a logical launching point for an upcoming tour due to its historic roots as a hub for protest and a platform for artists to speak their mind. Guiding the crowd through a stunning setlist of Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and John Prine hits, Waters commanded the stage while being joined by additional stars such as G.E. Smith, Lucius, Sara Watkins and Amy Helm. We’re not gonna lie, we may have shed a few tears during the “Forever Young” finale.

-Eric + Trev

Saturday July 25

Traveller @ Quad Stage

We’ve been huge fans of Jonny Fritz aka Jonny Corndawg aka @dadcountry since his legendary stint with Middle Brother at Newport ‘11, so we had high hopes for his new project, Traveller. It didn’t disappoint (despite the fact that the band had only begun rehearsing together two weeks ago). Fritz was ever the entertainer (guy really needs his own variety show) while Robert Ellis made his electric guitar sing, but most importantly, we discovered their track “Hummingbird.” It’s basically “Meet Virginia” for the internet age, and it’s the best music discovery I made all weekend. (Evidenced by some moderately disturbing search results, it’s not yet available online, but we’ll link to it as soon as it is.)

-Caroline

The Barr Brothers @ Fort Stage

These brothers and their band from Montreal via Rhode Island were another act we told readers to keep an eye on heading into the festival. The band blew everyone away with back-to-back epic jam sections on “Come In The Water” and “Half Crazy,” but the best moment may have been when frontman Brad Barr told the story of his parents’ first date where they snuck into Newport Folk Festival to see Arlo Guthrie. Another perfect example of how Newport is so much more than just a music festival.

-Eric

Photo by Tess O'Connor

Photo by Tess O’Connor

Langhorne Slim @ Quad Stage

Having seen Langhorne Slim before, I knew he put on a good show, but there’s something about Newport that brings out the best in artists. The appreciation and respect that the musicians have for the festival is apparent, and Langhorne did that sentiment justice with the raw energy and emotion he brought to this set. As he himself said of Newport, “This shit feels good.”

-Tess

Colin Meloy @ Museum Stage (Solo Set)

Ever since the festival added this indoor venue as a fourth stage a few years back it has produced some of our favorite moments at Newport (see Jeff Tweedy solo set from last year). Meloy performed a handful of songs totally acoustic and without any amplification, which added even more intimacy to the small room. Along with two old British folk ballads, Meloy also performed The Decemberists’ “June Hymn” and “Blues Run The Game,” a song that has been covered many a time over the years and most famously by Simon & Garfunkel.

-Eric

Photo by Tess O'Connor

Photo by Tess O’Connor

Courtney Barnett @ Quad Stage

Courtney Barnett’s sound might seem out of place on a Newport lineup, but Barnett has established herself as an entertaining lyricist who can paint a picture that encapsulates both the mundane and extraordinary. It was impossible not to enjoy this set, not just because of the excellent music, but also because Barnett was so clearly enjoying herself, breaking out in smiles between head-banging solos.

-Trev + Tess

Photo by Tess O'Connor

Photo by Tess O’Connor

James Taylor @ Fort Stage

Saturday’s unannounced appearance by James Taylor had the crowd in a buzz all morning. Taylor, returning to complete his 1969 set, played staples such as “Fire and Rain” and “Sweet Baby James” all while bantering with the crowd. A special moment for those in attendance.

-Trev

Sufjan Stevens @ Fort Stage

All of us at Maimed & Tamed are still talking about Sufjan Steven’s brilliant and haunting full-band set. His synth-heavy rearrangements of Carrie & Lowell tracks challenged our expectations, yet still retained – even magnified – the beauty of his work. He even turned “All of Me Wants All of You” into a “sexy slow jam” – his words, not mine. It was a stunning reimagining of a song we thought we knew (but let’s be clear, you haven’t felt weird inside until you’ve watched a man bodyroll while singing about his deceased mother). In addition to that new new, Sufjan’s rare take on old tunes like “The Dress Looks Nice On You” and “Come On! Feel The Illinoise!” was the cherry on top of a very strange, delicious cake.

-Caroline

The Decemberists @ Fort Stage

The 3-time Newport vets had a tough task following both James Taylor and Sufjan Stevens, but The Decemberists took it all in stride and delivered a signature headlining set to the Newport crowd. Their set was heavy on material from this year’s What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, but they also worked in old standbys like “16 Military Wives” and of course, “The Mariner’s Revenge Song.” The icing on the cake though was their singalong finale on “This Land Is Your Land” where they were joined by the Lucius ladies, Bela Fleck, Dave Rawlings, Gillian Welch, and more.

-Eric

Sunday July 26

The Ballroom Thieves @ Quad Stage

This was a real proud papa moment for us after watching this band grow from an opening act at Great Scott, to tagging along for their journey to Summerfest, and now seeing them release an incredible debut record and realize their dreams by gracing the Newport stage with their wonderfully epic folk ballads. We couldn’t be happier for these guys, and it’s only a matter of time before they move up to that Fort Stage headlining slot.

-Eric

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats @ Quad Stage

Anyone who covers “The Shape I’m In” and gets J Mascis on stage to rip a scorching solo during said cover is OK in my book. This band is already doing big things and if their crowd-pleasing set at Newport is any indication I expect these guys to be hitting the festival circuit even harder next summer.

-Eric

Blake Mills @ Harbor Stage

Much like Sufjan Stevens, Blake Mills makes sure you get a vastly different experience from his live show compared to listening to his records. Mills put interesting twists on songs like “Hey Lover” and “Seven” putting his guitar virtuosity front and center. Throw in an epic, guitar-driven cover of Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and you’ve got yourself one of our favorite sets of the weekend.

-Eric

Hozier @ Fort Stage

Hozier performed his stacked catalog on the main stage, and it was celebratory, soulful, and surprisingly loud. Despite the dance party at his Sunday set, we also saw him pay homage to the festival’s roots when he and his cellist played traditional Irish folk songs to a reverent Museum Stage crowd. Hozier showed incredible range at NFF this year, proving – if there was any doubt – that he deserves every bit of fame he’s received.

-Caroline

’65 Revisited @ Fort Stage

Everyone halfway knew what to expect from this set, but I don’t think anyone out there predicted the set that was actually delivered. With a core backing band featuring Dawes, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, and Dylan’s collaborator and keys player Al Kooper, an all-star cast of Newport artists ripped through songs made famous by Mr. Zimmerman. Nearly every artist who hit the stage got a chance to play the very guitar that Dylan used in his (in)famous 1965 set and it was clear how happy each of them was to get their hands on it. Only at Newport will you see names like those mentioned above plus Deer Tick, Robyn Hitchcock, Willie Watson, Hozier, Blake Mills, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and more all in one set.

-Eric

Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Leon Bridges’ Coming Home

Posted on by Ryan Schmitz in Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | Leave a comment

Leon Bridges

In a musical climate with a high premium for nostalgia, Leon Bridges manages to bring an old school flavor to his music while offering something undeniably fresh at the same time.

It has been a few months since the release of his first single “Coming Home,” which immediately grabbed the attention of indie fans around the country. The Fort Worth, Texas native has begun to pick up steam and attention playing shows from Sofar Dallas to the upcoming Newport Folk Festival. His first taste of the Newport stage comes on the heels of the release of his debut album Coming Home and any soul music fans should rejoice, for the second coming has finally arrived.

The album begins with the title track “Coming Home” and right from the start the listener is transported to (insert early 60’s location of your choice here).  Bridges does not make any attempt to disguise his influences but at no point does it feel insincere or forced.  The soul that erupts from the speakers even during the first line is enough to prove that this man feels his music.  Every word, syllable, and inflection is sung with passion, every sentiment is delivered as though he is speaking directly to the listener.  Listening to this album is not a passive experience, it is not meant to be background music while you focus on something else.  If you put on Coming Home prepare to participate in the experience.  Each note and beat are played with unmistakable purpose, carried on the back of arguably the finest Rhythm and Blues voice of this generation.  The melodies on this album could make you want to dance, cry, or apologize to your ex, maybe even all of the above.  Essentially, if you play this record you’re going to feel it, trust me on that.

Once you get past listening to the opening track over and over again, the album begins to expand musically and thematically.  The second track titled, “Better Man” ups the tempo slightly and explores who Bridges is as a person.  The song is a cry to a lost love about regretting the past and wanting her back, all set over doo-wop music to continue the Classic Soul nature of the album.  There is a clear Southern influence permeating every facet of this record, from the style to the lyrics, the music can transport you straight to the banks of the Mississippi River in New Orleans or to some blues club in Nashville.  Even Bridges’ voice has a distinct Southern quality, not in drawl or accent, but the way he sings has that unmistakable Southern feel, reminiscent of  Otis Redding or Sam Cooke.

The record continues to climb and fall in tempo as Bridges takes you through his life, from women who have come and gone, to regrets from his youth, to celebrations.  The music is eclectic, Bridges seamlessly transitions between Soul, R&B, Rock and Roll, the Blues, and Gospel, to create a sound that, while rooted in the classic days of Soul music, is fresh and new.  Each song brings its own unique flavor while being delivered by the sweet yet soulful sound of Bridges’ voice.  In spite of his obvious influences, he manages to avoid being stuck to one type of song or style, Bridges is not just a soul singer, he is a story teller.  In “Lisa Sawyer” we get the story of a woman’s life, from her lineage to her transgressions.  The song is both moving and compelling, and if the story somehow doesn’t keep you interested his voice certainly will.

After nine remarkably well crafted songs, Coming Home finds its conclusion with the track “River.”  Putting this song at the closing spot on the album is genius in itself.  The album is one long story, it has told us who Bridges is, who he has loved, how he celebrates and how he mourns.  “River” is the closing paragraph to that story, it is the final summation of who Bridges truly is. The song is the closest link to the gospel tradition on the album, it is a confession where Bridges can wash away his sins and we as the listeners act as witnesses.  The slow moving ballad carries more emotion and power than any other song on the record.  “River” is the perfect closing point to what is a remarkable debut record and hopefully the start of a very long successful career.

Here is Leon playing “River” live.

Unannounced Newport Folk Festival Acts

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | Leave a comment

Newport Folk Festival 2015 Unannounced SlotsWith the M&T crew already posted up in a vacation rental in Newport (yea, we’re pros at this), all of our conversations this week have eventually turned to speculation as to who will be filling the two “unannounced” slots on Friday and Saturday of the festival. We won’t know for sure until we show up at the Fort, but here are a few (somewhat) educated guesses at who will be playing in those two slots and why.

Friday July 24: 530-630pm  @ The Fort Stage

My Morning Jacket

The Case For: We’ve been pining for MMJ to make their NFF comeback ever since their headlining set was cut short by rain three years ago, and their tour to support The Waterfall seems like it is perfectly routed for a performance on Friday. Another possible indicator of an MMJ set is that there is literally no changeover time on the schedule between the unannounced slot and Roger Waters’ set so it could be someone who has collaborated with Waters in the past and would potentially join him during his set. Well, remember that time Waters and MMJ rocked out on “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” at the Love for Levon concert?

The Case Against: As we mentioned, MMJ has headlined Newport Folk Festival before so it would be a bit odd for them to return in a non-headlining capacity.

Jeff Beck

The Case For: Earlier this year Roger Waters re-released his 1992 concept album Amused to Death, an album that featured a host of collaborators and special guests. One guest who featured prominently was English guitar god Jeff Beck who could certainly hold down an hour long set as well as join Mr. Waters onstage during his.

The Case Against: Beck’s tour schedule is becoming more and more sparse as he gets older in age and he recently wrapped a North American tour earlier this spring. With no upcoming Stateside shows on the schedule it’s tough to think he’d come to Newport for a one-off performance in an hour long time slot.

Saturday July 25: 350-420pm @ The Fort Stage

Eyelids

The Case For: We predicted this Decemberists/Guided By Voices/The Minus 5 supergroup would be on this year’s lineup and it would make sense that they perform the same day that The Decemberists are headlining.

The Case Against: They haven’t played many shows recently as a group and their website indicates that there are no dates scheduled for the future. Much like Jeff Beck, it wouldn’t make too much sense for them to play a one-off gig in a 30 minute time slot.

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

The Case For: Ramblin’ Jack is the wise old folk sage on NFF’s board of advisors and this year’s lineup is lacking a representative from Elliott’s generation. Not to mention Colin Meloy being the only member of the aforementioned board who is scheduled to appear this weekend, it would only make sense for at least one more (and possibly Jim James??) advisor to join the lineup.

The Case Against: Like Beck, touring for Elliott has become less frequent in recent years and with a short tour scheduled in August and September it would be a bit of a stretch for him to add any new dates and deviate from that course.

Bellwire Premiere New Video For “Time Out”

Posted on by Eric in M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

Bellwire "Time Out" Video

Boston based powerpop quartet Bellwire have released a brand new video for their single “Time Out.” The video, directed by Ben Bocko (who also snapped the lovely photo of the band above), was filmed in Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, MA. The song will be included on the band’s upcoming full-length produced by Elio DeLuca who has previously worked with acts like Titus Andronicus and Hallelujah the Hills. After watching the video for “Time Out” it’s no surprise that DeLuca and Bellwire fit perfectly together given the tongue-in-cheek approach we have seen Titus and HTH take on some of their previous work as well.

The band will be on tour across New England this October and will follow up with a more extensive run of dates next Spring to support the release of the new album. Keep your eyes peeled to the band’s website for tour updates. Until then check out the video for ‘Time Out” and let its sweet summery vibes put a smile back on your face on this rainy Wednesday.

5 Undercard Acts To Keep Your Eye on at Newport Folk Festival

Posted on by Ryan Schmitz in Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | 1 Comment

The schedule for this year’s Newport Folk Festival was just released on their app and though there might be a few scheduling conflicts, we’ve got you covered if you’re not quite sure who to devote your time to. In addition to our most anticipated acts of this year’s fest here are 5 more acts who are not quite near the top of the bill, but very much worth checking out.

The Barr Brothers – 12:10pm Saturday July 25 @ Fort Stage

Rhode Island natives Andrew and Brad Barr return to their home state to play the hallowed grounds of Fort Adams along with their full folk ensemble.  With the drop of their newest EP, Alta Falls, happening only a few months ago, The Barr Brothers will have plenty of quality material to bring to the stage.  For the uninitiated, one can expect a haunting blend of traditional folk, delta blues, and a remarkably unique use of ambient sound to create a sound that can only be classified as The Barr Brothers.

Leon Bridges – 1:35pm Friday July 24 @ Quad Stage

The 26 year old out of Fort Worth, Texas may be new on the scene but his sound is distinctly classic.  With his debut album, Coming Home, less than a month old, Bridges is still picking up steam and will no doubt bring some youthful energy to the stages of the Newport Folk Fest.  More importantly, with him comes a taste of 60s rhythm and blues.  His sound is a harkening to the genre’s heyday when the likes of Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding were at their heights. Well now, in the year 2015, Leon Bridges is coming up North to show us all that Soul music is alive and well.

Joe Pug – 12:00pm Friday July 24 @ Harbor Stage

Joe Pug is no stranger to the folk scene, the veteran finger picker just released his third album titled Windfall earlier this year and will no doubt bring plenty of fresh folksy material up to Newport.  Pug is one of the leaders of the modern day singer-songwriter movement, melding his gripping acoustic guitar playing with some of the most vivid and thought provoking lyrics of this generation.  Pug is an absolute must see for any appreciator of the singer-songwriter.

Elephant Revival – 1:00pm Friday July 24 @ Fort Stage

This folk quintet out of Colorado brings a taste of the West with them wherever they go.  They have cultivated a sound that I have eloquently dubbed “prairie music,” bringing all familiar Americana ingredients together with a sort of romantic style of songwriting that really can bring you right to the foot of the Rockies if you let it.  Of course, Fort Adams is a solid 5 hour flight to Colorado but Elephant Revival is guaranteed to make you forget that for at least a minute (no easy task given the view you get in the grounds).

Spirit Family Reunion – 11:10am Saturday July 25 @ Quad Stage

Feeling a craving to stomp your feet?  Look no further than to whichever stage is tasked with holding up Spirit Family Reunion.  This New York roots group brings high energy Americana everywhere they go and is sure to bring out the hillbilly in anyone.  SFR just released their newest album Hands Together earlier this year so some exciting fresh material should be in the lineup.

Exclusive Premiere: Hayley Sabella – “Speak To Me Loud (Anchour Remix)”

Posted on by Eric in M&T Favorites | 2 Comments

Last year one of our favorite Massachusetts based songwriters, Hayley Sabella, released her full-length album King Solomon, which featured the beautifully minimalist track “Speak To Me Loud.” Now the fine folks at Anchour Studio in Windham, Maine have given “Speak To Me Loud” a remix treatment that turns the solitary and contemplative original into a bona fide summer jam. Take a listen to the original and then try not to get out of your seat and dance while you stream the remix below.

If you’re in Boston make sure to catch Hayley opening for Jason Myles Goss’ album release at Club Passim this weekend on July 11.

July Spotify Playlist of the Month

Posted on by Eric in Playlists | Leave a comment

July 2015 Spotify Playlist of the Month

Does everyone else think there is there a lot of great music coming out in 2015 or is is just us? Once again we’ve got an expanded playlist for you in July, totaling 40 brand new songs for your listening pleasure. This month features fresh jams from newcomers like Wolf Alice and Pavo Pavo as well as tracks off potential album-of-the-year contenders by indie vets like The Vaccines and Desaparecidos. Check out all those artists and more on the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tunes every month.

Most Anticipated Acts at Newport Folk Festival 2015

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | Leave a comment

Newport Folk Fest 2015

Friday July 24, 2015

Strand of Oaks – 3:45pm @ Harbor Stage

After seeing Timothy Showalter and the rest of Strand of Oaks put on a rousing set at Sasquatch earlier this summer, they were an easy pick for my most anticipated act of Friday at NFF. I know that the Roger Waters performance will certainly be something special and unique, but Strand of Oaks is an act that will feed off of the emotional connection that Newport fans forge during inspiring sets. Not to mention that “JM”, Showalter’s ode to the late Jason Molina, might be one of the best set closers on the festival circuit this summer.

-Eric

Heartless Bastards – 5:05pm @ Harbor Stage

The first moment you hear Erika Wennerstrom’s voice is a reality check: it’s instantly clear she’s lived a lot more life than you, but if you listen up, you might just learn something. Weathered but not weary, Wennerstorm and her band share epic road stories set to anthemic blues rock. With all their gritty charm and grunge-y guitars, Heartless Bastards’ huge sound will fill the Fort and then some on Friday night.

-Caroline

Saturday July 25, 2015

Tommy Stinson – 3:40pm @ Harbor Stage

Clearly Tommy Stinson is known as the bass player of alt-rock pioneers The Replacements, but he’s had a pretty solid solo career to boot. 2004’s Village Gorilla Head is an album that is filled with the same nostalgic aura that can be found in many of the best ‘Mats recordings and 2011’s One Man Mutiny is a rollicking rock ‘n roll album through and through. Newport is known for its outside-the-box programming, but I’d like to give an extra special tip of the cap to the NFF team for bringing in a rock veteran that plenty of other artists on the lineup look up to and hope to collaborate with come festival weekend.

-Eric

Andy Shauf – 11:05am @ Harbor Stage

Newport Folk is a listener’s music festival. You’ll hear lots of music of course, and you can dance, sing, party, and all those other festy verbs, but thanks to NFF’s deeply rooted reverence for songwriting, the festival is designed for listening. And thus, there’s no better place to see Andy Shauf, a folk singer who will have you leaning in and lingering on every single word and note. Shauf crafts delicate songs built on intricate stories. It’s a model beloved by so many great Newport alums before him, and chances are you’ll fall in love with it too.

-Caroline

Sunday July 26, 2015

The Ballroom Thieves – 11:10am at Quad Stage

What can we say on this blog that we haven’t already about The Ballroom Thieves? We’ve been to Milwaukee and back with the band for a special Summerfest set, and shared so many other memories in Boston, New York, and beyond. To see The Thieves added to this year’s lineup is a win for the Boston indie music scene as a whole, and man did we need one after the recent news of TT The Bear’s closing. For years we’ve been saying that a set from The Thieves would be one to get the Newport faithful on their feet and dancing in the aisles, and we’re not backing down from that claim whatsoever. So do yourself a couple favors and grab a copy of A Wolf in the Doorway and carve out some time in your Sunday schedule to catch what is sure to be an incredible set.

-Eric

Rodrigo Amarante – 1:15pm @ Harbor Stage

Question: Are shamans still a thing? Follow-up question: Is Rodrigo Amarante one? The healing nature of Amarante’s soul-stirring Brazilian folk makes me seriously wonder if the dude has supernatural powers. Amarante’s catalog ranges from spare and wandering to a full-band tropicalia groove. It’s strange, transfixing, and always gorgeous – and the set will surely be a can’t-miss moment at the Fort.

-Caroline

June Spotify Playlist of the Month

Posted on by Eric in Playlists | Leave a comment

Maimed & Tamed Spotify Playlist of the Month June 2015

Since the weather has been gloomy and rainy in both Brooklyn and Boston this week, we’ve compiled the perfect set of fresh tunes to fix your summertime blues. This month’s playlist boasts 10 bonus tracks (30 songs in total because we love you) from newcomers and M&T faves alike. Hop Along returns with what might be an album-of-the-year contender, Holly Miranda has released her first full-length since we saw her absolutely destroy Terminal 5 opening for My Morning Jacket 5 years ago, and Júníus Meyvant is back after bringing us one of our favorite tracks from 2014. Check out all those artists and more on the full 30-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tuneage every month.