2011 was a huge year for the Newport Folk Festival. By playing fast and loose with the "folk" part of its name, the organizers put together a stellar lineup that joined artists both old and new in a giant celebration of music, and the payoff was that for the first time in the festivals HISTORY it SOLD OUT! So how do you follow up what many consider to be the best year in the festivals history?
GO BIGGER of course.
This year heavyweights like of My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes, Dawes, The Head and The Heart, Conor Oberst and JACKSON FREAKING BROWNE sit on top of the bill - not to mention WILCO if you want to throw in the fests expansion to include a Friday night show. But you already know this. Again this year, you bought up every last ticket to be had. You're already planning on seeing Punch Brothers, Tune-yards, and Charles Bradley. You've got your run of Deer Tick, Sharon Van Etten and Iron and Wine mapped out down to the minute. But that's just one side of the weekend.
In a large part it is the smaller bands that make this festival. Newcomers, oldcomers...it doesn't matter. These are artists that might float under the general publics radar, but its safe to say, nobody makes it to the Newport stage without good reason. With that in mind, here's a few of the "little guys" that we think are well worth your time checking out this weekend when you get the chance.
Last years Salt for Salt was one of the more criminally underrated releases, but you wouldn’t know it by the performance that this duo delivered 2011’s Newport Folk Festival. With a sound that lies somewhere between a darker vision of American, prog rock and METAL (yes you read that right), they stunned the crowd at the Alex and Ani tent in 2011. This year the group makes the well deserved move up to the main stage, so make sure you get there early, because our money is on David [Lamb] and MorganEve [Swain] to provide one of the most talked about sets of the weekend. No pressure guys.