Tickets went on sale, I wrote up my first "who I want to see" article (HERE), and now I am thinking back on the past few years of the greatest musical event on earth and wishing that July would get here quicker. While I can openly admit, most every second I spend at Fort Adams is a memorable one, there are those certain moments that stick with you clear as the reflection of boat masts in the water of Newport harbor. Those truly special moments that choke you up a bit, clear you from your daily woes, and make you just happy to be alive and able to enjoy all that this beautiful festival has to offer. Here is a recap of 9 of those moments for me from the 2013 Newport Folk Festival (in no particular order)...
2) Mariachi in a tent in the rain - Feist was one of the acts my wife wanted to catch the most this
weekend and just like that, the skies opened up when she was about to play. That's alright though, we found a tent towards the back and settled in to listen from afar, that's when it happened. The gals with the instruments showed up to play the rain away (figuratively, that is... I mean the rain kept coming, they just made us happier about it). There must have been 50-60 folks crowded under a tent that no more than 30 could comfortably fit, but as the mariachi ladies sung and played it didn't matter. Your neighbor touching shoulders with you was your best friend for all you cared. It was a nice change of pace from my usual train ride when someone rubs against you and a perfect example of why NFF is so special and inviting.
4) Ramblin' Jack all by his Lonesome - I tell you, seeing Ramblin' Jack up there on that big stage, playing and telling stories to multiple generations of fans was really something. Top it all off with the fact that I got to watch with one of my best songwriting buddies, Ian and when I looked to my left Alynda from Hurray for the Riff Raff was hanging out and tossed me a "yes, I agree that this is pretty amazing" smile, it was a truly magical moment. Not to mention I got to shake the man's hand backstage and tell him how much I appreciate his storytelling. Whoooo weee, someone slap me.
5) Newport Loves Lamb - The outpouring of love for Dave brought tears to my eyes. It was wonderful, it was beautiful, it was just such a great example of how the fans really do love the performers at this festival and it is something special that is untouchable by other events. We love you Dave.
6) Bombino and my pal Avi - Avi is another one of these guys who just makes you smile. If you
look up "good vibes" in the dictionary, there is a picture of Avi's smiling face. I came across the harbor stage to hear some wonderful noises and look up to see his mop bouncing around on stage, blowing his harp along with Bombino. That lifted my heart right up and made me smile as wide as the 138 bridge coming into Newport.
8) Joe Fletcher in the Museum - Thank you Joe for introducing the Newport family to so many
amazing people and artists. I truly hope this is something that NFF adopts for all years going forward. Some sort of midday spanning collection of artists from Newport, Nashville, the Northeast...wherever. It was simply a wonderful way to introduce a lot of great artists in one big sweep. One place, one seat all day if you want, you get a ton of incredible music...I am sure one local music community advocate wouldn't mind putting something similar together, if you catch my drift.