The Newport Folk Festival opened Friday with killer sets from Old Crow Medicine Show, JD McPherson, and more. The rest of the weekend expands on that promise.
KUNC & NPR Music are streaming the fest live all weekend. Since we're in Colorado and not in Rhode Island, here's our picks for the weekend so you can plan accordingly.
Avett Brothers - Scott and Seth Avett began their music careers in high school playing punk rock. Since then their music has evolved into an eclectic blend of folk, bluegrass, Americana and straight-ahead Rock and Roll. Their live sets are legendary demonstrating the unique ability of having everyone on their feet, singing in unison to slowing the pace to a standstill forcing the crowd into silence and connect with them like no other band can. The Avett Brothers most certainly have one of the most anticipated sets at this year’s Newport Folk Festival. (The Avett Brothers show is archived here)
Beck - Beck began performing in his teens playing folk and delta style blues. His headlining appearance at this year’s Newport Folk Festival demonstrates the artist has come full circle. You never know what you are going to get from Beck. One moment it could be a hip-hop influenced dance number the next, a sensitive alternative country love ballad. Check out Beck’s performance to see what surprises happen. (streaming here at 4:15 p.m. MST Sunday)
Michael Kiwanuka - Michael Kiwanuka’s music is stripped back, beautifully highlighting the soulful phrasing of his understated folk-blues. Not only is Kiwanuka’s music something special, but oh - his voice - full of soul and emotion.
Born in North London to Ugandan refugee parents, Kiwanuka played with different rock bands in high school, but felt that he never really fit in. An epiphany came when we was introduced to the music of Bob Dylan and Otis Redding. While working as a session musician, Kiwanuka started writing songs for his own enjoyment, songs that lead to recordings which, to his surprise, were very well received. 2012 was a seminal year for Kiwnauka. He won the prestigious Sound of BBC 2012 poll and was asked to support Adele in her UK tour. (streaming here at 2:00 p.m. MST Sunday)
Bonus picks: You're going to want to hang out after Michael Kiwanuka's set on Sunday - he is immediately followed by Beth Orton at 2:30 MST and Colorado's very own The Lumineers at 3:00 p.m. MST.