Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Newport Jazz Festival: Day 1

Friday, July 31, 2015 -- Newport, RI

Summer's here and that means music...outdoors. My camera and I headed out for another weekend at the scenic Fort Adams State Park.  This time it was to take in the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management.  It was a bit humid out, it rained the night before so it wasn't as dusty as the previous week was where I came home coated in a layer of dust. My only hope for the weekend was that I could manage a few decent photos with my bum wrist while enjoying a weekend full of great music.  This is what it looked like.

I started my day at the Quad Stage to catch the Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a trumpet fan but, I dig some of his stuff so I hung out there for a bit. 

My next stop was at the Harbor Stage to see what Matana Roberts' Coin Coin was all about. Um, well, while the rest of the audience was into it, I however couldn't get into it at all. Seriously, that was some weird ass shh…stuff and upon deciding I probably needed substances to "get it", I made my exit.

I walked around a bit and then made my way to the Fort Stage to catch some of the Johnathan Blake Quartet before taking a break.

I went back over to the Harbor Stage and caught a bit of Bria Skonberg & The Jazz Compatriots before heading back to the Fort Stage to catch the Gerald Clayton Quintet and then headed towards the food.

Food in hand, I realize I've not been paying attention to the time and heard Lucky Peterson starting up. Oh crap! So, I stashed my food in a safe location, grabbed my camera and ran over to the Quad Stage to grab a few photos. Making my way back to my food, I sat near the Quad and listened to the rest of Lucky's killer set. 

Next up at the Quad was Kneebody followed by the Christian McBride Trio.

The day closed out with Snarky Puppy on the Fort Stage who had the crowd on their feet.  And, it was nice to see some kids right up front enjoying the set like they were at a rock concert, props to them. I know I certainly wouldn't have been hanging front row at a jazz festival at that age.

Check out more photos in the slideshow below or see the photo album HERE.
Day 1: Newport Jazz Festival

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Newport Folk Festival 2015: Day 3

Sunday, July 26, 2015 -- Newport, RI

The weekend went by fast and I found myself at Fort Adams State Park for the final day of the Newport Folk Festival. I had been shooting with a bum wrist all weekend and was really starting to feel it but the show must go on! From the beginning of the morning, everyones mind was on who would perform during the '65 Revisited set. There were some wild speculations (Dylan himself, Clapton) and jokes (Kanye West) about who it would be. But there was a lot of music to see and hear before we would find out.

I started my day at the Harbor Stage to catch some of Christopher Paul Stelling whom someone on Instagram said I should make a point of seeing. Good recommendation. I didn't stay for his whole set as I wanted to get in as much music as I could. He apparently got engaged during his set which I missed but, congratulations!

I then dashed off to catch some of Ballroom Thieves on the Quad before heading over to the Fort Stage for a bit of the Berklee Gospel Choir. I somehow  neglected to make it over to the Harbor Stage to catch the Jones Family Singers who I wanted to check out. I'm not sure what I was doing but I must have been wondering around with my head in the clouds because there's a big gap of unaccounted for time where I apparently didn't see anything!

Next, I ended up at the Quad Stage where I caught some of Brian Fallon's set. Catherine Popper joined him; I dig her work. I enjoyed what I was able to catch of his set. His mood was infectious…he seemed genuinely happy to be there and that mood carried over to those of us watching him.

My next stop was at the Fort Stage to catch Jon Batiste & Stay Human. I normally see them at Folk's older sister the Newport Jazz Festival, where they would be playing a week later. The folk festival crowd enjoyed the energetic band as much as their jazz counterparts. 

I then headed over to the Quad to catch Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats. Talk about some high energy grooving! They were a lot of fun and I stuck around for a bit watching them before heading back to the Fort Stage to catch a bit of Lord Huron before taking a break.

After my break, I went over to the Fort Stage to catch First Aid Kit. Johanna had lost her voice but sister Klara held it down well for the both of them. I watched them for a bit before heading over to the Quad to catch Laura Marling.

I made my way to the Fort Stage to catch a set I was looking forward to all weekend, Hozier. I'm pretty sure I sang along more than I took photos during "Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene". The crowd was enthusiastic and I think it was the most singing along during a set that I heard from the audience other than the '65 Revisited set that would take place later on that the same stage.  A friend sent me a message, 'get a photo of J Mascis' … um, Hozier is on stage! But, I ran over to Timbuktu, I mean the Harbor Stage, where J Mascis was and ran back to Hozier.

All good things must come to an end. Closing out the Newport Folk Festival for the year, '65 Revisited. In case you didn't know, '65 was being revisited because it was the 50th anniversary of one of music's most iconic moments, Dylan going electric at Newport Folk. No, Dylan didn't show up which my ears probably appreciated, nor did Clapton or the joked about Kanye.  Who did show up? A string of musicians led by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. There was Willie Watson, Dawes, Al Kooper, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Deer Tick, Blake Mills, Hozier, First Aid Kit, Robyn Hitchcock, even the guitar Dylan played 50 years ago was there for the party. The set ended with a rousing sing-a-long of "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" with everybody. 

Check out more photos in the slideshow below or see the photo album HERE
Newport Folk Festival 2015: Day 3

Video of the Day: Hank & Cupcakes - "Shut Up"

Today we have for you the latest video from duo Hank & Cupcakes.  The clip is for the song "Shut Up" and they shot and directed it themselves in a hotel room while on tour. Check it out and enjoy!

Newport Folk Festival 2015: Day 2

Saturday, July 25, 2015 -- Newport, RI

Day two of the Newport Folk Festival kicked off with a rousing set by The Suffers. They really got the crowd going at the Fort Stage.

I dashed off to catch a bit of the Spirit Family Reunion before walking around. I stopped by the big wooden FOLK lettering and manned several mobile phones for people who wanted to have their photos taken with it. I stopped by the Late July tent where the Ghosts of Paul Revere were just starting before I headed off for a little break.

It was then off to the Fort Stage for a bit of The Barr Brothers. I seem to remember them starting late due to some technical issues.

I made my way over to the Quad to catch Traveller…Jonny Fritz, Robert Ellis and Cory Chisel.  This is your new favorite band, seriously.  "Hummingbird" is still stuck in my head and I don't mind one bit.  I reluctantly missed the end of their set to catch another band I wanted to see.

I just made it over to the Harbor Stage in time to grab a few photos of Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear and hear a few tunes before heading over to the Fort Stage to catch some of Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn.

Next up, Langhorne Slim on the Quad. If you haven't seen Slim and his band, you should, they're a world of fun. My camera had one heck of a time keeping up with Langhorne!  Then about four songs in, he took to the audience. Anyone who wasn't already into the set sure was after that.

My next stop was over to the Harbor Stage to catch Nikki Lane whose set was as fun as her outfit. Then it was off to the Fort Stage to catch Jason Isbell whose set was tight.

I made it over to catch some of Courtney Barnett who has been getting a lot of hype. I wasn't as into her as the rest of the crowd was but I did like her better live than on record.

It was then off to the Fort Stage for the days "Unannounced" set. Just like the previous day, everyone already knew who it was. James Taylor took the stage. His appearance back in the day was interrupted by the moon landing so he came to finish it. Yeah, sure he's been back to Newport between then and now but hey, the story sounded good.  Sadly, there were sound problems which had cropped up earlier in the day but didn't detour Sweet Baby James. While there was a lot of "new blood" at the festival, Taylor and fellow legend Roger Waters were probably the two most talked about sets amongst the audience members I encountered over the weekend.

After taking a little break, I went back to the Fort Stage to catch Sufjan Stevens. Some ladies along the front barrier swooned. I'm not much into him but the few tunes I caught were solid and the swooning ladies were probably glad to have one less photographer in front of them.

Since everything on the Fort Stage was running late, I nearly missed getting photos of Jose Gonzalez. I love his work but I only stuck around for a little bit of his set…so much to see and hear!

My next stop was the Quad where Brandi Carlile closed out that stage for the day.  She rocked a highly enjoyable set leaving a very satisfied crowd.

The Decemberists closed out the day on the Fort Stage. 

Check out more photos in the slideshow below or see the photo album HERE

Newport Folk Festival 2015: Day 2

Friday, August 14, 2015

Newport Folk Festival 2015: Day 1

Friday, July 24, 2015 -- Newport, RI

What would summer be without a music festival or two? My camera and I once again spent the weekend at scenic Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI for the 2015 Newport Folk Festival.  This is what day one looked like.

The day kicked off with the New Breed Brass Band playing some tunes at the gate while the crowd waited for the gates to open.

I made my first visit to the Harbor Stage to catch some of Haunt The House.

Then, It was off to the Quad stage to catch a bit of The Goodbye Girls. With so much to check out, I was off to another stage after a few songs.

Next, I made my way to the Fort Stage where the New Breed Brass Band played a lively set.

Already, that's a fair amount of music but this was only just the first hour!

I dashed over to catch some of Joe Pug's set on the Harbor Stage before making my way back to Quad for a bit of Bahamas before I had a short break.

Up next I caught a few songs from Elephant Revival on the Fort Stage before dashing off to see what Angel Olsen was all about on the Harbor Stage.

The day is only half way done!  Next I headed to the Quad to check out Leon Bridges who has been getting lots of hype and comparisons to Sam Cooke. He was good, worked up a sweat and the crowd loved him. I hate when people are really hyped because I always walk away feeling a little underwhelmed even though I enjoyed it well enough.

My next stop was the Fort Stage to catch The Lone Bellow. While I enjoyed their previous appearance at the festival, this time they really upped their game. They were on-point. They were joined by The New Breed Brass Band for a couple of songs, Sarah Watkins joined them for a bit as did Leon Bridges. They did a nice cover of "When Will I Be Loved" with Lucius, who popped up lending their vocal talents.

Up next was a trip to the Quad for Calexico before taking a break.

After my break, I headed to the Fort Stage to catch some of Tallest Man On Earth before running off to catch Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell. I'm not the biggest Iron & Wine fan and had only heard a little bit of Ben Bridwell so I figured I'd catch a few songs and move on. I found myself staying for more of their set than I initially planned.  Well done fellas.

I made my way over to the Harbor Stage to catch that stages last act of the day Heartless Bastards.

I soon dashed off to catch the weekends "Unannounced" main stage act. By that point, the audience had already figured out who it was and appeared seemingly en masse and packed themselves in for My Morning Jacket who did what they are known to do and was joined by Lucius for a bit.

I made a quick trip to the Quad to catch some of that stage's headliners the Watkins Family Hour which included Fiona Apple who was properly and satisfyingly dramatic.  

The day ended with rock legend Roger Waters closing out the the day with My Morning Jacket and GE Smith backing him.  Of course, the rain decided to join in on the festivities but, at least it was mild! Sara Watkins and Amy Helm joined him for a couple of songs.  I've never been much of a Pink Floyd or Roger Waters fan but he did "Wish You Were Here" one of my favorite songs and that's all I wanted and needed.

Check out more photos in the slideshow below or see the photo album HERE

Newport Folk Festival 2015: Day 1