Friday, August 10, 2012

Newport Folk Festival: Sunday Through My Lens

Newport Folk Festival, Saturday, July 29 at Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI 

The final day of the Newport Folk Festival may have been a wee bit less hot weather wise than the previous day but, the music was just as hot, possibly hotter.  Oh, and the rain made its way out to see the show once again waiting for the last set.  My camera and I captured as much of it as we possibly could.  The full photo collection can be seen HERE.

The Fort Stage

The day started off with the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys.  Three brothers whom I described to someone as "small, medium and large" gave us a nice set of bluegrass.  The littlest of the three, well, his banjo was as big as he was.  More Sleepy Man Banjo Boys photos HERE.

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys

Sara Watkins was up next.  Watkins who has a lovely voice, seemed to be missing something in my opinion.  I just can't put my finger on what though.  More Sara Watkins photos HERE.

Sara Watkins

Trampled By Turtles were up next, they played one of the smaller stages last year and for some reason it seems I neglected to post any of the photos of that.  If you missed them, their set was all kinds of hardcore.  I heard someone refer to it as folk-metal ... like I said, hardcore.  More Trampled By Turtles photos HERE.

Trampled By Turtles

Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires took the stage next.  This was the set I most looked forward to all weekend.  Soul man Bradley was hands down the highlight of the entire festival.  It was one of those rare moments where you were left glad you had witnessed it.  He not only got love from the audience, he gave it back, literally when he came down from the stage and started hugging people.  This set alone was worth the price of admission.  The performance came with an MC and costume change.  Folks were dancing, some of them on beat, some not so much but everyone was having an incredible amount of fun.  More Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires photos HERE.

Charles Bradley

The Head and the Heart were up next.  They graduated to the main stage after playing a smaller stage last year.  More The Head and the Heart photos HERE.

The Head and the Heart

Conor Oberst started out with just him and his guitar before being joined on-stage by guests and kicking things up a notch.  More Conor Oberst photos HERE.

Conor Oberst

Jackson Browne closed out the day.  He came on stage just as the rain started.  Our intern Jillian (what's up JD Skillz?!), turns out to be a huge Browne fan.  By huge I mean she was bouncing in her seat waiting for him to hit the stage and made a beeline from our nice dry location inside the fort right behind the main stage, in the rain, to the front to see him.  After the set, she came back with a huge smile on her face and used a fair amount of adjectives describing how good his set was.  As for my thoughts, he sounded like well, Jackson Browne.  He didn't do "Running On Empty," one of the few songs I would have actually wanted to hear.  But, he did do "Take It Easy" so I guess that makes up for not doing the other song.  At some point, I got distracted from his set when Ben Sollee came into the room I was in and did a couple of songs for someone.  So after missing his set the day before and seeing him with other people, I finally got to see just him.  At any rate, folks loved Browne's set.  More Jackson Browne photos HERE.

Jackson Browne

The Quad Stage

Quad Stage music kicked off with The Kossoy Sisters.  For about 10 seconds I forgot they were identical twins and had that momentary moment of thinking I was succumbing to heat related issues.   The sisters played at the very first Newport Folk Festival back in 1959.  They have these really sweet, traditionally pure voices that I have a feeling sounded nearly exactly the same as they did all those years ago.  More Kossoy Sisters photos HERE.

The Kossoy Sisters

Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons were up next.  Any band that makes me want to toss back a whiskey or three in between hootin' and hollerin' is aces in my book.  They were more on the country, honky-tonk, boot shuffling side of the fence.  Y'all know I have some country tendencies!  Fletcher, did the nice guy next door, cheeky, tattooed hell-raiser thing and he did them all at once ... the women folk apparently liked that as I encountered several smitten ladies!  Fletcher and his Wrong Reasons were a hell of a lot of fun.  More Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons photos HERE.

Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons

New Multitudes took the stage next.  A talented group of musicians but gosh darn it, every last one of them hit the stage looking like the questionably sane uncles that nobody talks about but you love to bits.  That, by the way, is said in a loving way.  And speaking of being loved to bits, the audience did indeed love them.  More New Multitudes photos HERE.

New Multitudes

Gary Clark, Jr. was a much anticipated set by many.  As a matter of fact, trying to get to the photo area was a major challenge.  The audience was packed, it was hot and I was a sweaty mess by the time I reached my destination.  Women, were swooning, yes, swooning and a couple of them may have been hysterical in a Beatlemania sort of way.  Men were trying to pretend they weren't in the mist of a guy crush while others displayed it proudly.  People were acting like he was the second coming of Hendrix or perhaps I should say Stevie Ray since Clark's out of Austin.  The audience was just insane.  A fellow photographer, he shall remain nameless, at one point held out his arm for me to see the actual goose bumps Clark had given him.  I have to admit, I paid more attention to the audience than I did the set.  Clark was good, but the reaction to him was incredibly fun to watch.  More Gary Clark, Jr. photos HERE.

Gary Clark, Jr.

My final visit to the Quad Stage was to catch some of Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men.  Once again the audience was spilling out of the tent and packing the area surrounding it.  More about their set can be read here and photos Of Monsters and Men can be found HERE.

Of Monsters and Men

The Harbor Stage

I caught a bit of Deep Dark Woods who kicked the day off on the Harbor Stage.  More Deep Dark Woods photos HERE.

Deep Dark Woods

The Museum Stage

I finally made it over the newest stage at the festival.  I was able to catch HoneyHoney who I missed the previous day when they played the Harbor Stage.  More HoneyHoney photos HERE.


The Audience

Charles Bradley inspired a lot of unrepentant booty shaking as well as more sedate dancing.

The Unrepentant Booty Shaking

The More Sedate Dancing

Some people opted to sleep instead of dance.  Yes, you can nap at a music festival...

The Nap

When these folks asked me to take their photo, I expected them to hand me a camera phone or asked me to send them a copy but they did neither.  They were having fun and just simply wanted their photo taken. So, I took it!

Music Fans Having Fun

The View

This is what surrounds you at the Newport Folk Festival.

Even though it was obnoxiously hot and trying to get around to all of the stages proved to be a real chore, I had a good time.  Until next year.  But, let us hope the rain deity decides to forgo attending next years festival!