Tag Archives: Newport Folk Festival

Newport Folk Discoveries

Wow, I’m still processing all the amazing music I witnessed at the Newport Folk Festival this past weekend. As expected, I loved hearing Feist, Beck, The Avett Brothers, Michael Kiwanuka, and JD McPherson. I was incredibly impressed by the Wheeler Brothers, Langhorne Slim, Frank Turner, and The Lone Bellow. And of course there were a few other acts that I had never even heard of, who are now on my radar:


I had heard of this band, but never listened before and they certainly impressed me at Newport! They have a very dreamlike vibe to their sound, yet they can really ROCK out too. Matthew Houck is the main force behind this group, and he’s based in NYC.

“Song For Zula”

Lord Huron

My sister had seen this LA based band earlier this year and told me they were not to be missed at Newport. She was right! Their sound is a wonderful mixture of genres and really SOLID and tight. My co-worker used the word “sophisticated” to describe it, and I think that’s spot on. For fans of Local Natives, Andrew Bird and Fleet Foxes.

“Ends Of The Earth”

Shovels & Rope

I was completely surprised with how much I enjoyed Shovels & Rope. This husband/wife duo from Charleston, SC have gritty harmonies that demand your attention.


The Milk Carton Kids

These guys were probably my favorite discovery of the weekend. At times they sounded like Kings Of Convenience, and at other times they channeled Simon & Garfunkel or The Everly Brothers. Their dry humor between songs kept us laughing and then their music completely silenced us…SEE THEM LIVE if you can! They’ve got shows coming up with Josh Ritter, Sarah Jarosz and Over The Rhine.

“The Ash & Clay”



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“Think I’m In Love”

It’s been a hectic week at mvyradio as we prepare to cover the Newport Folk Festival…and the weekend is guaranteed to be a busy one. This may be my last blog post for a few days. I’d like to think I might be posting from the fest, but from past experience, I can guess I won’t have the energy. What I WILL be doing is covering the festival on mvyradio’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so make sure to follow and like those pages so get the lowdown.


I think the biggest surprise of this year’s lineup was Beck and I’m extremely excited to catch his set! What’s nice is that he’s the final performer on Sunday…and I’m already envisioning me, PJ and Barbara, standing together watching him. We’ll be blurry-eyed and a little delirious after a sure to be unforgettable weekend at the Fort.


Newport Folk Festival

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NEWPORT FOLK: Wheeler Brothers

“Spent Time”

I’ve really been digging what I’ve heard of the Wheeler Brothers lately and something tells me these guys are a lot of fun live in concert. Very psyched to see them at Newport Folk! Check out this wild video:

Wheeler Brothers
Newport Folk Festival

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NEWPORT FOLK: Michael Kiwanuka

“I’m Getting Ready”

Heading into the Newport Folk Festival as a staff member, I have zero expectations of what I will get to see. Working the fest is a whole different experience (that I love) and I consider any music I get to sit and watch an amazing bonus.

That being said, if the stars align and I get to see and hear Michael Kiwanuka perform THIS song live, I think I’ll be able to die happy.

Michael Kiwanuka
Newport Folk Festival

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NEWPORT FOLK: The Lone Bellow

“Bleeding Out”

The time has come for me to get super excited about the Newport Folk Festival. I’ll be at Fort Adams this time next weekend, with mvyradio. We’ll work the festival in conjunction with NPR Music, bringing live performances, photos, and updates to listeners.

Leading up to the fest, I’ll be featuring songs from artists I’m really looking forward to hearing…and at the top of the list is most definitely The Lone Bellow. This Brooklyn-based trio has incredible energy and dynamic harmonies that I cannot wait to see live!

The Lone Bellow
Newport Folk Festival

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SONG: The Lone Bellow

“You Never Need Nobody”

We recently started playing this song on mvyradio and it immediately caught my ear. The Lone Bellow is a trio based in Brooklyn who harmonize beautifully. Zach Williams is the primary songwriter, and it’s clear he connects passionately with the words he has written. After listening to this group perform live, I’m not surprised they were one of the first artists announced for the upcoming Newport Folk Festival.

The Lone Bellow

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I like that I write on my own time and don’t have stressful deadlines, but after a musical event like Newport Folk, I can be stunned into silence for a while – in this case, a whole week! Sorry for the delay but I’ve found it can take me quite a while to process experiences like these. Newport Folk Festival 2012 was incredible in so many ways…it remains one of the top musical events of the year in my eyes. Here are a few highlights for me from the weekend:

For the first time, the Friday night kickoff show was AT the Fort, and WILCO simply crushed their set.

 photo by PJ Finn
Charles Bradley
I think this guy was the big surprise for a lot of people at Newport. His performance was just dripping with genuine emotion and soul.

Maybe you’ve seen a few borderline creepy videos from Tune-yards, but did you know the music is made mostly by just one woman? I didn’t until Newport. Merrill Garbus uses drum loops and pedals to create experimental, tribal-infused, electro-pop that’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before. She’s joined by a bassist and two horn players when she performs live.

The Tallest Man On Earth
Kristian Matsson was one of the only performers of the weekend who took the stage on his own, with just his guitar in hand (he did sit and play keys at one point). I’m still in awe of his commanding stage presence and captivating lyrics. My dad was listening to his set via mvyradio and put it simply – “He’s my new favorite singer/songwriter”


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NEWPORT FOLK: Gary Clark Jr.

“Bright Lights”

Well, Newport Folk is upon us – I’ll be heading down to Fort Adams tomorrow for WILCO! If you can’t make it, tune in to mvyradio for coverage of the festival…starting with a LIVE broadcast of the WILCO show tomorrow night! And now, another artist I don’t know much about who I’m looking forward to seeing…

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this young blues guitar player from Texas and I’m excited to see him live at Newport. His set is sure to be one of the more rockin’ ones.

Gary Clark Jr.
Newport Folk Festival

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NEWPORT FOLK: Sharon Van Etten

“Magic Chords”

This is one of those artists who I’ve heard SO MUCH about, but for one reason or another I’ve never explored her music. That is, I hadn’t until I saw her name on the Newport Folk lineup…and I’m very impressed with the mood and atmosphere she creates in her songs. I’m really excited to see her live at Newport!

Sharon Van Etten
Newport Folk Festival

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“Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine”

I’ve not listened to much of Tom Morello’s project as The Nightwatchman, but this tune sure gets me excited to check him out live at Newport Folk!

Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman
Newport Folk

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