Newport Folk Festival 2015: Saturday Highlights

Sunday, July 26, 2015

 

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James Taylor Played Newport Folk Saturday

Saturday was another historic day at the Newport Folk Festival. The surprise guest was superstar James Taylor, who returned to Newport to "finish" a set he started in 1969. It was also a day to showcase many of the newer acts in Folk, Rock, Country and Americana. GoLocalProv Music Critic Ken Abrams was there along with Photographer Rick Farrell of Mojo Photography to capture all the action in our slide show of Day 2 at Newport Folk.

 

Related Slideshow: Newport Folk Festival 2015: Saturday Highlights

Saturday was another historic day at the Newport Folk Festival. The surprise guest was superstar James Taylor, who returned to Newport to "finish" a set he started in 1969. It was also a day to showcase many of the newer acts in Folk, Rock, Country and Americana. GoLocalProv Music Critic Ken Abrams was there along with Photographer Rick Farrell of Mojo Photography to capture all the action in our slide show of Day 2 at Newport Folk.

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The Suffers

The Suffers got things rolling as the first band on the Fort Stage with a powerful performance Saturday. They’re a ten piece R&B band from Houston, overloaded with energy behind their horn section and lead vocalist Kam Franklin. They played several from their new EP, Make Some Room, including "Stay," "Giver," and the title track. (Photo: Ken Abrams)

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Spirit Family Reunion

One of the more popular roots bands at Newport, Spirit Family Reunion played a super spirited set in their 3rd appearance at the festival. They featured several from their recent album, Hands Together, including “Once Again” and “Wake Up, Rounder.” Good news: The band plays in the area again this week, opening for Trampled by Turtles at the Columbus Theatre Thursday July 30th. (Photo: Rick Farrell)

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The Barr Brothers

The Montreal based Barr Brothers are a modern folk quartet led by Providence natives Brad and Andrew Barr. They've gained noteriety in recent years for their sound described as "a dusty journal of hushed Americana, West African grooves, and voyeuristic lyrics." They played several from their new album Sleeping Operator. (Photo: Ken Abrams)

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Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell is perhaps the best songwriter in America right now. He brought his band, the 400 Unit to the Fort Stage for a great set of southern rock. Switching between acoustic and electric guitar, he led the band through songs that spanned his career including "Stockholm," "Alabama Pines" and "Decoration Day." He also brought out a couple from his brand new album, Something More than Free. (Photo: Ken Abrams)

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Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett is a tour-de-force on stage. She's also an incredible songwriter and her new album Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Think is already considered the best album of the year. She played many from the album at Newport including "Elevator Operator," "Avant Gardener," and "Pedestrian at Best." (Photo: Ken Abrams)

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Langhorn Sim

Langhorne Slim and the Law returned to Newport Folk with a high powered cowpunk vibe that got everyone on their feet. The band played several from the recent album The Spirit Moves. Standouts included  the opener "Spirit Moves," "Changes" and "Someday." (Photo: Ken Abrams)

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Nikki Lane

South Carolina native Nikki Lane brought a pumped up set of outlaw country to the Harbor Stage Saturday afternoon. She’s gotten a lot of attention since the recent release of her second album, All or Nothin', produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Her set featured several from the new album including “Right Time” and “Seein’ Double” as well as the Bob Dylan classic “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” (Photo: Rick Farrell)

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Sturgill Simpson

Sturgill Simpson brought a honkey tonk country show to Newport, noting "50 years ago, all you souls would have booed us offstage." They'd be in good company. Their Quad Stage set was a major crowd pleaser with hits like "Life of Sin" and "Listening to the Rain." (Photo: Rick Farrell)

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Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile brought her high octane alt-country to Newport for the 2nd time in as many years. She played several from her new album The Firewatcher's Daughter including "The Eye" and "Whatever is in Your Heart." (Photo: Ken Abrams)

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James Taylor

Even though news that James Taylor was Saturday’s special guest broke a day earlier, there was no shortage of anticipation for the legendary songwriter’s afternoon set. Taylor “finished” a set he started in 1969 when Producer George Wein interrupted him with news of the first moon landing. His brief set featured classics like "Sweet Baby James," "Fire and Rain" and "You’ve Got a Friend." Taylor noted that he was the luckiest person on earth when he met the Beatles, was signed to Apple Records, and watched the creation of the White Album in 1968. He was a little homesick in London when he wrote “Carolina in My Mind,” a tune he played Saturday.  (Photo: Ken Abrams)

 

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