Hot off a tour with Appalachian vocal trio Mountain Man (including a stop at this years Newport Folk Festival), Alexandra Sauser-Monnig didn’t waste any time hitting the road again, but this time in support of debut album as Daughter of Swords.
Sixty years on, there continues to be no other festival that promises unity and unforgettable moments as well as Newport Folk Festival does.
Over the course of nine LP's Langhorne Slim (real name Sean Scolnick) has been crafting folk-pop gems that have taken him from small, backroom shows to the stages of the legendary Newport Folk Festival.
On his latest effort, Lost At Last, Vol. 1, having grown weary of the usual recording cycle and the daily pressures of always being connected, the singer/songwriter and his band "...holed up in a friend's house in San Francisco to rehearse about twenty-five songs for five days and headed up to Stinson Beach to play 'em live in a room all together and press record."
The result? Nothing less than one of the best albums of 2017. An album that feels spontaneous yet lived in, with songs that are just the right salve at just the right time to help heal the spiritual wounds that this year has set upon us all.
This week the gang takes a break so Kevin travels back in time all the way to March of 2013 to bring you an interview with Kingsley Flood front-man Naseem Khuri, who reveals the genesis and deeper meaning of his band’s music and more. Plus hear Khuri perform stripped down versions of two of Battles best tracks, “Waiting On The River To Rise” and “Sun Gonna Lemme Shine”!
Day two of this year's Newport Folk Fesival left behind the weather miseries of the day before. It dawned clear, bright and warm and made the wet and cold endurance test of the previous day feel like another lifetime.
Kicking the day off at the Harbor tent stage, Sarah Jarosz’s soft voice coaxed early visitors and long time devotees alike to hush first and listen second. She alternated between banjo, acoustic guitar and octave mandolin and was accompanied by a cellist and a violinist. Her selections alternated from her own creations, including cuts from the new album, to covers of artists like Tim O’Brien and Joanna Newsome. She ended her set with a fabulous cover of Tom Waits’ “Come Up to the House,” asking everyone to join in.
Shovels & Rope, a husband/wife team, Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst from South Carolina, turned the volume up in the middle of the day. Cary Ann wore a wonderful gingham blue dress, but said she hadn’t counted on the wind. “If it blows up, don’t take pictures.” she asked the audience, “It’s not that kind of show!” The couple frequently traded instruments and rapid-fire lyrics to create a raucous sound that got the crowd in the Quad tent to jump up and dance. “Hail Hail” rang out with distortion and bass, a perfect foot-stomper for the crowd.
All photos by Joy Asico (firstname.lastname@example.org/www.asicophoto.com)
On Friday afternoon, under a cloudy and drizzly sky, Kingsley Flood kicked off the Newport Folk Festival from the Fort Stage to a crowd that couldn't wait to get started. Almost as soon as the band began to play, the crowd began to dance along. "Sun's Gonna Let Me Shine," "Pick Your Battles," and "The Fire Inside" were a perfect antidote to the damp weather. It was the perfect way to begin a festival and created pretty high expectations for the rest of the weekend.
The six-piece band hailing from Boston and Washington, DC, kept the momentum strong throughout the set, even while pausing to dedicate "Battles" to a friend, or ask if anyone liked country music, because "Devil's Arms" was a country song for people who don't like country. Lead singer Naseem Khuri and Jenée Morgan, on violin, saxophone and vocals and occasionally tambourine, were almost never still, radiating an energy from the stage that the crowd picked up on and echoed back. People put small children on their shoulders to dance in front of the stage. "I Don't Wanna Go Home" closed the set on a rowdy note, and a perfect sentiment for the rest of the festival day.
SOUNDS LIKE: A 60s James Bond movie theme played over the credits, backed by an Americana band
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Oh, you’ve been there, asked yourself this very question. This song just makes it prettier.
SOUNDS LIKE: Allison Kraus’ musical younger cousin breaking out on her own
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Sarah could make Banjo in pop music the next big thing
SOUNDS LIKE: Death Cab for Cutie with violas and cello for added texture …
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: A positive, un-alloyed song of devotion infused with wistful optimism will sway even the hard-hearted with its charm
SOUNDS LIKE: A New Orleans parade, trombones and shimmying parade down the street
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Husband & wife team could sound like every other Americana/Folk band but clever lyrics and creative approach to instruments keeps it fresh.
At this year’s Newport Folk Festival, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ben Sollee got a reputation as the guy who would, and did, sit in with anyone and everyone. No stage was left un-graced by the 28 year old Lexington, Kentucky native, and many were better for it. Beyond Sollee’s virtuosity on the cello, he has an uncanny ability to shuffle though genres and styles as if they were all sides of the same coin and if you couldn’t pick up on that live (though, how could you not) then rest assured, this musical chameleon’s ever shifting colors are on full display on his latest effort Half Made Man.
Trading idiosyncrasies for a sound that leans closer to pop than he has ever before, Man is Solee’s most focused effort to date and one that leans heavily on the more jam friendly sounds of fellow Kentuckians My Morning Jacket to deliver the same soulful tales of love, life and social consciousness that his fans have grown accustomed to. Whether it’s in anthemic lilt of “Whole Lot To Give,” the jazzy optimism of “The Healer” or the stadium rock by way of Andrew Bird chorus of “Unfinished” Sollee is utilizing everything in his rather sizeable bag of tricks on Man, and the result is an undeniably soulful record that will please without fail on first listen, but will reward greatly the more time one spends with it.
This Saturday Ben will bring the songs of Half Made Man, along with songs from the rest of his ever impressive, and ever expanding, catalog to U Street Music Hall in Washington DC, and tickets are still available right here! So come find out for yourself why so many people are honored to share the stage with this remarkable musician. It’s going to be a great night of music. We’ll see you at the show!
In a story whose weirdness rivals that of site favorite Jim Sullivan, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, or simply Rodriguez to his fans. Despite widespread critical acclaim, Cold Fact, Rodriguez’s 1970 release didn’t manage to achieve much commercial success and the soulful Michigan songwriter quickly faded off into obscurity. And then things got weird.
As chronicled in the film Searching For Sugarman, in select theaters now, Rodriguez’s music lived on despite the numerous and sometimes grisly reports of his demise. Cold Fact became a rallying cry in the youth of South Africa’s fight against apartheid, and twenty years after the fact Rodriguez found that he had achieved international fame. More importantly his songs had achieved the social relevance that he had always hoped for.
Touring in support of the soundtrack to Sugarman, Rodriguez lands in DC tonight at the historic synagogue at 6th and I. The event is sold out, but if you can manage to hunt a ticket down, it might be in your best interest. We caught a glimpse of Rodriguez’s set back in July at the Newport Folk Festival, and all we have to say about that is “whoa.” Check out the trailer for Searching For Sugarman below, and we’ll see you (hopefully) at the show tonight!
The soundtrack for Searching For Sugarman, as well as Rodriguez's other albums, are available to buy everywhere, or stream via Rdio or Spotify right NOW. Shotimes of the film can be found via the link below.
There's so much we could say here but we're gonna save it for our coverage of the festival. Suffice to say The Newport Folk Festival is not only one of the oldest fesitvals of it's kind in the country, but one of the most respected. Last years lineup was enviable for even the most shrewd of concertgoers and the question that was on everyone's lips was "How are they gonna top that?"
Well the answer to that question was revealed when they released the lineup today, and it it seems to be simple: They're gonna go big. REAL BIG.
With acts like My Morning Jacket, Jackson Brown, Punch Brothers, Iron and Wine and more on the bill, this is sort of a no brainer. So make with the ticket buying (link below) because it WILL sell out, and then you'll be sad.
Check out the press release below for all the details. We'll see you by the sea at the end of July!
Congratulations to Benjamin! We'll see you at the show!
We were lucky enough to to make it up to the Newport Folk Festival this year and one of the best acts we saw was The David Wax Museum. That shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with the band as NPR has been all over them for quite a while, and in fact they personally thanked Bob Boilen for their ENTIRE career at Newport.
While that might be an overstatement (we like to think they got where they are on their talent) what isn't an overstatement is that the band puts on a hell of a show. So obviously we're thrilled that they'll be playing the 9:30 Club next Wednesday.
But we don't want to be at the show all alone, which is why we're giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky winner so they can join us for what is sure to be a fantastic night of music.
All you have to do to enter is answer the following question in the comments section below:
"If you had to spend the rest of your days stuck as an exhibit in a wax museum, who or what would you would prefer to be stuck as and why?"*
Be as brief or creative as you like, but you have to enter to win.
We'll pick the best entry over the weekend and announce the winner Monday morning. Couldn't be easier!
Good luck and we'll see you at the show!
*All entrants must provide a VALID email address that they can be contacted at.
It’s taken over week, but we’ve finally got our thoughts in order (you can see all of our pics here) concerning 2011’s Newport Folk Festival. Before we dive in and try to break down each days experience though, I’d like to let you in on a little secret: Without exaggeration, The Newport Folk festival is possibly the best festival running in the country right now.
Sure it’s smaller (only 10K people this year…which was a sell out for the first time in the festivals history) and sure you may not see the biggest, most hyped new favorite band there. But what you will see is music created for people who truly love music BY people who truly love music. You see, unlike other larger festivals that often end up feeling more like a showcase for whatever band is being pushed at the moment than an actual meeting of the musical minds, at Newport the musicians simply came to play.
Sit in’s with other bands abounded and backstage partnerships were made hourly. There was a sense of community, a “we’re all in this together”-ness that permeated each and every set of the weekend, and made for a thrilling 2 days of music. Even better, if a band wasn’t playing, they could often be found watching as part of the audience, and aside from the occasional pat on the back or handshake and congratulation on their set, they were able to simply carry on like any other Festival attendee.
For two days this past weekend, Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI, became an impromptu community of musicians and fans coming together to celebrate the thing that they hold most dear: MUSIC.
Just saying that this festival is special doesn't even begin to do it justice and we will have our take on the whys and hows in the coming days. Until then, we've put together a collection of shots from the weekend that we think will give you a pretty good idea of how everything went down on Saturday and Sunday at one of the most legendary festivals in the entire country.
I only just heard this artist yesterday, but what I have heard I'm pretty much digging, so why don't I let the speak for themselves here for a minute.
"The Asheville, NC native comes from an artistic background (her father is acclaimed puppeteer Hobey Ford, a recipient of multiple grants from the Jim Henson Foundation, and her mother is a performing musician and music teacher). She met the rest of her band in Portland, OR where they’ve made an impact in the Pacific Northwest since their beginnings in 2010. But it was fellow Carolinian Seth Avett who saw the band and started spreading the word, with The Avett Brothers inviting the band to support them on national dates.
Throughout 2010, Sallie and the band recorded and refined Dirty Radio, with engineer Adam Selzer (Norfolk & Western), with a few additional tracks overseen by Mike Coykendall (M. Ward, She & Him, Blitzen Trapper). The band has since been featured onNPR and made a huge splash at the 2011 Bonnaroo music fest. VH1 highlighted the band at #3 in their feature on the “Top Ten Bonnaroo Acts with the Fastest-Growing Fanbases. They raved that the "Portland rock quartet [is] as comfortable playing jazz and blues as it is rock" and cited the band's Facebook fan growth of 151% in the past month alone. Read the story here: http://on.vh1.com/iGbNtM"
Sounds good right? It is, but I'll have a full report on just how good it is this weekend when we catch Sallie and the band on Saturday at the Newport Folk Festival. Can't make it up there? NEVER FEAR! Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside will be performing at Jammin Java in Vienna this coming Tuesday (8/2) so make make your plans now!
In case you haven't noticed, all week we've been showcasing some of the lesser known artists that will be performing at the Newport Folk Festival this year. Today being no exception we bring you Providence's own Brown Bird.
One listen and it'll be pretty clear why they're performing this year, but there's more at work than just traditionalism. There's a complexity and a darkness to this group's music that captivates as much as it occasionally creeps you out. It's dark, lush and intelligent, and I for one can't wait to see what they do in front of a s@#load of people first thing Sunday Morning.
If you're going to Newport, meet us at the Harbor Stage at 11:30, for what is sure to be a fantastic performance. If you're not, why not check out the opening track from their forthcoming album Salt for Salt (out 10/18 on Supply & Demand) and ask yourself some hard questions about why you are missing the Newport Folk Festival this year.
Brown Birds - Fingers To The Bone
A giant little band that you've probably never heard of, Typhoon is racking up the accolades left and right. With their new EP, A New Kind Of House, garnering endorsements from the likes of NPR's Bob Oilen endorsements of Bob Boilen( “absolutely stunning” and “so beautiful, it make’s me want to follow every single thing Typhoon does.”), Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune (the “coolest little orchestra”) and Absolute Punk([A NEW KIND OF HOUSE] “is the sort of album that makes me feel excited about music all over again.”) the group won't be little for long.
The band takes the Harbor Stage at 12:30pm on this Saturday, but if you not lucky enough to be there with us, never fear! They're touring the US right now and will be coming to a town near you soon enough!