All photos by Joy Asico (email@example.com / www.asicophoto.com)
Day three dawned warm and sunny at Newport Folk Festival as the early crowd ambled in and made their ways to various vendors and stages. For many, it was a perfect morning to check out the Paste Ruins — a small stage in the depths of Fort Adams sponsored by Sennheiser and Paste Magazine — where festival goers could catch intimate sets from most of this year’s performers
Long before her set proper, Beth Orton took the “ruins” to play three songs, and as water dripped from the ceiling, she and her acoustic guitar created moody, atmospheric sounds. Contrasting with the much more rowdy mood outside, particularly on her song “Magpie”, her voice rose and cracked a bit with the emotion of the song. As one of the few completely solo artists (that is, no backing band) to play the festival, she later proved she could hold her own on the Harbor Stage, with humor and just two guitars.
One group who did not have a lack of band members was Black Prairie. Featuring artists from the Decemberists: Chris Funk (guitar), Nate Query (bass), John Moen (drums) and Jenny Conlee (accordion) and joined by Jon Neufeld (guitar) and Annalisa Tornfelt (violin), the Harbor stage was full, and their choice of songs varied to highlight each player resulting in a triumphant set from this minor super group.