Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Newport Folk Festival 2014: Who do you want to see at the Fort?

Well, I got my Newport Folk Festival tickets today and figured it was as good a time as any to start 2014’s coverage here on the Red Line. Every year I anticipate that slow roll out of artists, each day seemingly holding a new pot of gold in the form of an artist I already love or know I am going to love. Today, I bring you my list (though I had to keep it somewhat short, otherwise I would go on all day!) of folks I hope to see on stage at this year’s folk fest.

Jason Isbell – A repeat offender, perhaps. But his performance blew me so far out of the water last year that I am still sailing through the air. I would even love to see him solo in the Museum (I left before he joined Amanda Shires last year for an interview and am still kicking my own ass!). I think that would be absolutely incredible. Isbell singing 'Elephant', his acoustic ringing through that reverberant room, while 100 people are in tears at the beauty. That to me would be a win.

Todd Snider – I have been a fan of Snider since I picked up a guitar. The man is the epitome of folk music. A traveling minstrel weaving tales, engaging crowd with or without his band, telling stories, and pulling you into the songs. Up on the fort stage or on a smaller, more intimate setting he would be positively an embodiment of NFF and what it stands for.

Aoife O’ Donovan – When I put this gal’s newest record on my “top 2013” list, I wasn’t lying. She has something about her that I can’t quite explain, but I am absolutely entranced by. Maybe it’s the bluegrassy thing, or the pretty girl with a guitar, a killer voice, and amazing songwriting thing…either way, the addition of this gal and her band to the fort this year would be a welcome one that I am sure folks would be calling their best surprise of the weekend.

Dan Blakeslee – You may have seen my buddy Dan toting his guitar around the grounds last year, singing in the museum at the open mic, or serenading the crowds as they boarded the ferry. Blakeslee is one of the most dedicated, hard working, and wonderful people and songwriters I know. His performances are energetic and enchanting. If you don’t know him, this man IS the Newport Folk Festival, or at least all of the good that it stands for. He is already a very engrained member of this family, but I would absolutely love to see him grace the stage this year.

Ian Fitzgerald and Courtney Gallagher- If you have ever read this blog, chances are you have seen
these names before. Good friends of mine and also two of the most gracious and talented people I know. Ian writes songs like no other songwriter I have come across and the way that he and Courtney compliment each other vocally is just beautiful. Their release this year “No Time To Be Tender” was number 2 on my favorite albums of 2013 and quite honestly was more like a tie for the first one (see above, Jason Isbell). Another example of wonderful people who would do the Newport stage justice.

Ok…I have one more pick that is fully, completely and totally self indulgent. A Red Line Roots presents Red Line, Red Dirt in the Museum stage. Basically, just a bunch of songwriters from the Boston area copying exactly what Joe Fletcher did last year with Nashville to Newport... Thanks, Joe. Getting a bunch of songwriters in for the price of one more or less…come on Newport, you know I love you!

Did you get your tickets yet? Who do you want to see this July at the Fort???


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