“Home Is Not Places”
It’s easy to get excited about certain acts as I explore the Newport Folk Lineup. This Nashville band in particular seems to really ROCK the folk, and I’m betting they’ll be a blast to see live!
The Decemberists – “Calamity Song”
Maybe I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m continually surprised at how much I love The Decemberists. After their Newport Folk performance this past summer, I said something to my boss about being shocked at how much I enjoyed them… he responded with something like, “What do you mean, Jess? You love The Decemberists…they seem to be one of your favorite bands.” And I took a second, and realized…yea, they actually are.
I first discovered this band when they played Newport Folk this past summer…and I’m thrilled to see a live session with them on Daytrotter. It sounds flippin’ fantastic. Lots of members in this band create a really full and gorgeous sound, but I think ultimately I’ve fallen in love with singer Kyle Morton’s voice.
Breaking the silence…
First off, I apologize. It’s been an entire week since my last post and I’ve felt like a slacker. But I have an excuse! Newport Folk Festival 2011 rocked my world. In my last post, I explained how I’d be spending the festival…mostly working my tail off, and enjoying whatever I could catch here or there. Well, the entire experience was quite stunning…and left me somewhat in a state of shock (and exhaustion). So it took me a week before I could bring myself to log on here, click ‘new post’, and attempt to get my feelings across to you. And here we are.
The strongest feeling I’ve come away with is a sense of pride and accomplishment. I was part of an awesome team who kicked ass covering the festival…bringing the main stage acts LIVE across the radio airwaves in Newport (96.5FM) and on the Cape & Islands (92.7FM) as well as posting recordings of nearly every set of music performed throughout the weekend on our website along with tons of exclusive interviews and photos (and not to mention our stellar Facebook coverage).
Aside from that, I was also a sponge soaking in every little drop of amazing music that came my way. Even while sitting at my post backstage for almost the entire festival, I witnessed impromptu performances and jams and got to meet many of the artists who came to our tent to be interviewed. I could also hear the Quad stage quite clearly (especially when the louder bands rocked it), plus there was a pair of headphones right next to me with the main stage feed coming through, so I put those on and blissed out pretty frequently. With all of that and a few jogs to catch a song here or there while my files were saving, I experienced quite a bit of musical magic. Here are some highlights:
*photo by Scott Wurster
Meeting Amos Lee was probably one of the best moments of the festival for me. He was super super sweet and SO striking in person. You hear the word SOUL used a lot when talking about music these days…but I think this man is the real deal…his voice is the epitome of SOUL. Listen to Barbara interview him HERE. And listen to his amazing set on the main stage HERE.
*photo by Scott Wurster
I got to hear a good portion of The Decemberists and their set was just dynamite! They played a perfect mix of new and old songs in their catalogue to please every fan. Colin Meloy was hilarious too! I can’t be sure, but I’d like to think that this picture was taken right as he was telling the crowd to scream like they were being eaten by a whale, haha… definitely check out their performance …LISTEN HERE.
*photo by Scott Wurster
Mavis Staples is such an incredible performer AND person. While she’s on stage of course, but also anytime you see or talk to her, she just exudes a light that makes you smile and feel good about the world, and you can really hear that in her interview with Barbara…LISTEN HERE.
*photos by Scott Wurster
Although they were probably the farthest from ‘folk’ at the festival, performances from Delta Spirit and Middle Brother were exceptional. I think Delta Spirit has long been one of my new favorite bands and their rockin’ set really sealed the deal for me. Then, put the singers of Delta Spirit, Dawes, and Deer Tick together and you’ve got Middle Brother – one of the best supergroups I’ve seen in several years. LISTEN TO DELTA SPIRIT. LISTEN TO MIDDLE BROTHER.
*photo by Scott Wurster
When you hear just a few minutes of stage banter and half a song and then you include that in your list of highlights, that’s when you know The Civil Wars are really something special. I was bummed they were playing on the stage furthest away from me at the festival, but when I ran over there quickly I really was struck by how they commanded the stage and the audience’s attention. You could hear a pin drop in the tent as their intoxicating harmonies cut through the quiet, hot air. Hear part of their performance and Barbara’s interview with them in OUR ARCHIVES.
There was a whole lot more over the course of the weekend, but I’ll leave it at that for today. Now that I’ve had some time to process the experience, I hope to keep sharing it with you here. I’ve said it before, and here I go again…Fort Adams is a magical place, and Newport Folk is one of the most incredible festivals I’ve ever attended. The history, the gorgeous setting, the knowledgeable and well-behaved festival goers, the talent, the collaborations…it all makes for such a special, peaceful place to enjoy the music.
*photo by Jess Phaneuf
If you’ve yet to click on any of the above links to the mvyradio archives,
CLICK HERE TO STREAM & DOWNLOAD LIVE SETS FROM NEWPORT 2011
Well, after months of planning and organizing and anticipating, Newport Folk Festival 2011 is upon us! This year is by far the best Newport Folk lineup yet (I can say that with certainty because there’s proof – tickets sold out weeks in advance for the first time in the festival’s history!), and I’m beyond excited to attend the event with mvyradio.
Realistically, I won’t be seeing much music at all. Just like last year, I’ll be at our mvy tent in the Quad area backstage with several computers and a lot of responsibility. However, this is something I’m going to enjoy immensely…I’ll be editing every live performance to ready it for posting on our website and I’ll also be heading our Facebook and Twitter coverage.
Regardless of the fact that I won’t be strolling around enjoying the music from in front of the stage, I’m still psyched to just be in the presence of some amazing artists and to hear their performances from a distance (or through my headphones shortly afterwards).
Here are the artists I’m MOST excited about seeing/hearing:
The Civil Wars
Tegan & Sara**
Chris Thile & Michael Daves
Justin Townes Earle**
**With luck, I’ll be able to catch a portion of these sets since they’re on the Quad stage…the closest to our tent!
Make sure you check in with mvyradio either on your computer or your mobile phone to follow our coverage…we’ll be STREAMING SETS LIVE FROM THE MAIN STAGE! Also visit us on FACEBOOK where we’ll be sharing our entire Newport experience!
Freelance Whales – “Hannah”
Wow. I think my co-worker, Barbara said it best today when she asked, “Isn’t it a little overwhelming?”. The lineup at Newport Folk is incredible this year, and there is no doubt that whatever you end up seeing/hearing from the festival will be amazing. As I continue to absorb myself in all artists Newport-related, I keep finding more awesome tunes… like this one from New York City-based Freelance Whales: