Friday, August 7, 2009

Folk Festival 50 - Day 2

George Wein's Folk Festival 50: August 2 @ Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

Rain had been forecasted for the weekend. The previous day was the perfect day to spend outside enjoying music. Sunday, while not as sunny and perfect still looked to be a good day to hang out at George Wein's Folk Festival 50.

I got to the park and the first act I caught was Canadian duo Dala. They were sunshine in human form brightening up the late morning with constant smiles.

After that, I went around to the second stage and caught a bit of Dave Rawlings who the day before had played with Gillian Welch. This time, their roles were reversed ... she was playing with him.

I then dashed over to catch some of Josh Ritter's set. He did an ok set but I thought he was a little too loud and rockin' for that time of day. Yikes! I'm getting old. Too loud and rockin'?! The audience didn't agree with me judging by the loud applause he received throughout his set.

After that I stuck around to catch the Campbell Brothers who put on a rousing set of "Sunday music." Personally, I thought they should have kicked the morning off on that stage instead of Ritter. What better way to kick off a Sunday morning than with some good old-fashioned uplifting music?

It was then time to head over to another stage and catch Guy Clark.

I then popped over to check out a bit of Joe Pug's set. I found him to be rather boring to be honest.

I then went around to check out Neko Case. I'd been hearing great things about her so I was looking forward to seeing what she was about live. I wasn't feeling her. Obviously, I'm missing something that others see/hear. The crowd loved her though.

I hopped over to another stage to catch the Del McCoury Band. The Midwestern country girl in me came out of hibernation. I found myself clapping, smiling and tapping my foot. Heck, I was moments away from breaking out into a bit of a jig! This set gets my vote for highlight of the day with Dala coming in a close second.

That's Ice Cream Man (Matt) ... he's traveling the country (eventually the world) going to festivals spreading the love ... ice cream love that is. He gives away free ice cream and a nifty Ice Cream Man sticker to those who venture over to his truck.

It was then time to take in Arlo Guthrie's set. He seemed a bit off Sunday. His normal witty storytelling was there and the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves but it just felt like something was missing.

Joan Baez took the stage next. She played the inaugural year of the festival 50 years ago.

I then headed over to check out some of Elvis Perkins In Dearland's set. They weren't bad. I'll have to check them out a bit more.

After that, I headed back over to the main stage where Judy Collins did a set.

Festival founders Pete Seeger & George Wein watching Collins' set.

Collins was joined onstage by Baez for a duet of the latter's song "Diamonds and Rust" which happens to be my favorite Baez song.

Collins with Seeger & Wein after her set.

Somewhere along the line, the nice day had started getting cloudy and it began to look more and more likely that rain would make an appearance at Folk Fest 50.

Pete and Tao Seeger & Friends took to the stage for the big finale. Not long after they started playing, drops of rain started making themselves known. Like the previous night, many of the artists who had performed during the day joined the Seeger's onstage to bring Folk Fest 50 to a joyous but wet end.

Pete Seeger
Tao Rodriguez Seeger
Elvis Perkins

I think this photo of a smiling, dancing Joan Baez sums up the overall spirit and feeling of Folk Fest 50 without words.

I had a great two days filled with lots of great music. Here's to another 50 years!