Foo’s Day of Tunes

Lightning_bolt_live_showImagine for a moment the wonder of going to the circus for the first time as a child. Now imagine that instead of a ringmaster and elephants, there were noise bands and Jewish drag queens. That sense of wonder, my friends, is what you can expect from the 22nd iteration of AS220’s Foo Fest.

Many are familiar with the storied history of the Fool’s Ball, the original incarnation of the Foo Fest back in 1995, though the culture and music of the 12-hour festival has evolved over time. Recently, this evolution stood front and center when AS220 dismissed headliner Sharon Needles back in May, due to her transphobic and racist media stunts that drew outrage in the Providence LGBTQ community.

While some debated whether AS220 was stomping on free speech, the seas calmed quickly when Jewish drag queen Annie B. Frank stepped up to emcee the evening and previous headliner Lightning Bolt, was asked to return.

And the vivacious Annie B. Frank and Lightning Bolt’s noise pollution certainly are major draws; however, the undercard is where audiences need to keep their eyes and ears for the next big act. With 22 bands appearing throughout the 12-hour span of 1pm to 1am, you may find yourself running down Empire Street to try and catch as many of these musicians as possible.

Glorified MVP and the best acquisition of the festival, Cakes Da Killa, is sure to be high priority for any music aficionado attending this year’s festival. Known for his raucous rapping style, wonderfully eclectic mixtapes and support of the LGBTQ community, Cakes Da Killa has garnered attention from Vice and MTV, making his RI appearance even more fabled to both fans and newcomers to his music.

Looking for unapologetic feminism with a dash of badassery? HOTT BOYZ is here to silence all naysayers with a supergroup collaboration between Roz Raskin of Roz and the Rice Cakes, Kate Jones of The Sugar Honey Iced Tea and Sarah Greenwell of GYMSHORTS. Adding to this feminist dynamic is Jodi Jolt and The Volt, an electrifying ensemble fronted by the one and only Jodi Jolt, a gender-fluid individual who has given greatly to Providence’s queer community.

For those like myself who want to connect to their indie and alt-rock roots, Foo Fest will not disappoint. The Neutrinos, a quartet out of Attleboro, Massachusetts, are one of the many hidden gems in this year’s lineup with their early 2000s garage rock tone that is addictive as hell to witness in a live setting, especially at AS220. “AS220 is run by a bunch of people with their eyes and ears open all year long, whether it’s from playing in their own bands, booking their own shows or just plain being around the scene,” states a representative from The Neutrinos. “They’re probably playing close attention to which bands are getting people stoked, which obviously changes from year to year.”

Midriffs is also a personal favorite of mine from this year’s lineup due to my fascination with psych rock bands, though Midriffs throws this sound around and delves into a poppy atmosphere that feels ethereal upon first listening.

If you like to live outside the grain of indie rock and pop, you might succumb to the waves of rap or other percussive styles of music that speak softly to your auditory orifices. Tying into this, The Funk Underground brings Brooklyn underground rap to Li’l Rhody with big sounds and flair that is massive enough to fill a room. Speaking to worldly issues, The Funk Underground is rising like a phoenix and is bound to explode out of their basements and into clubs around the country. “We’re really happy Foo Fest continues to support artists of color and LGBTQ voices, and we’re here to show our state and our nation what kind of city Providence is,” said Sydesho, half of The Funk Underground.

Additionally, the Blackout Drum Squad enters their 3rd year of existence in a big way with a soulful take on New Orleans funk that is sure to have everyone on Empire Street getting down.

So whether you stay for an hour to catch your friend’s band or are looking for a family-friendly event that puts music front and center, Foo Fest is the epitome of parties and believe me, when this circus comes to town, you won’t want to miss it.

Bridging the Gap with BridgeFest

Whether you align with the folk camp or the jazz camp, any music fan can agree that Newport is the place to be at the end of July, with Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival creating a rich, cultural atmosphere. Many make the pilgrimage to this sacred holy land of music, though the week off between the two festivals may make some feel left as high and dry as Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

Luckily, the Newport Festivals Foundation is bringing back the week-long block party that is BridgeFest. Set to take over Newport from Monday, July 31 to Thursday, August 3, BridgeFest will celebrate local art and cuisine. And, of course, music.

In 2016, the Newport Festivals Foundation took over the ownership of BridgeFest from the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County in hopes of establishing the four-day extravaganza as its own full-fledged entity.

In an interview with Motif last year, Jill Davidson, festival director of the Newport Festivals Foundation, said, “The Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival have contributed to Newport’s narrative as an ultimate summer destination throughout the years, and BridgeFest aims to do the same by keeping the festival spirit and excitement going strong during the week between the festivals.”

Returning this year is BridgeFest’s signature Busking @ Bowen’s, which features local music on the Bowen’s Wharf nightly. RI steel drummers Panoramic View will kick off the festivities on the Wharf on Monday night, with appearances throughout the week from jazz duo Impromp2, folk rockers Bubble Visor and rising guitarist Thatcher Harrison.

Can’t get enough music? Wednesday is your slice of heaven with four different venues hosting a hodgepodge of live performances. Aside from Bubble Visor at the Wharf, Judy Hestnes is hosting a musical afternoon at the Aquidneck Grower’s Market while Jo’s American Bistro is hosting an exquisite evening of jazz with Joanne Rodino, John Monllos and more jazz musicians. The best part? All three shows are free.

Looking for more of a festival vibe? BridgeFest is hosting a festival within itself on Thursday called the Live Local Music & Arts Festival at the Great Friends Meeting House. Headlined by Camden Murphy, this festival will showcase local artists, music and food trucks. Be on the lookout for some Motif Food Truck Award winners while you groove to the music.

If music isn’t your thing, The Artful Lodger Inn is hosting a mother of all garden parties on Tuesday with provided refreshments. Attendees are invited to bring their favorite boozy drinks. Wake up Wednesday and head over to the Newport Art Museum for a gallery show of jazz photos featuring a discussion with none other than the executive director (and hero) of the Newport Festivals Foundation, Jay Sweet.

And don’t forget the Newport Jazz extra, “A Bridge Together.” Starting at 6:30pm at Fort Adams State Park, this cultural activity will feature a celebration of music and dance from the American jazz movement to Indian carnatic music, as well as the beats of Africa. The two-part event will feature 17-year old twins, Riya and Sara Kapoor, as they explore the evolution of music and dance from the earliest incarnations of rhythm to the swinging jazz pieces of today.

Whether you’re staying in town for the week, or simply looking to liven up your weekday, BridgeFest has you covered.

To view the full BridgeFest schedule, visit newportbridgefest.com.

The United Folk Festival Arrives in Westerly

uff-fbsizedfull2-crop-u17707The United Folk Festival, a modern day representation of the folk music scene with a signature RI twist, runs all day on Saturday, July 1, in Wilcox Park in Westerly. This latest addition to the South Shore music circuit promises a day full of traditional and contemporary folk stylings while providing a variety of activities to keep both parents and children entertained. In its second year of existence, this free festival (did you catch that?) has managed to pack in music from Noon to 9pm.

Wondering who’s playing?

For starters, headlining are two of the most foot-stomping, impassioned folk groups that have paved new directions for the scene, Blitzen Trapper and The Barr Brothers. Seeing these two performers for free is improbable anywhere except at the United Folk Festival.

The undercard also is something to marvel at as bands such as psych-folk patriarchs Woods, Providence’s premier folkers The Low Anthem, and folk-rocker Elvis Perkins sprinkle that mystical aura that makes this one-day festival so enticing. It’d be a sin not to recognize that Langhorne Slim will be also making an appearance, which is a treat considering his Newport Folk Festival after-party performance later this month is sold out.

So whether you are getting your only fill of folk music this summer or looking for something to satisfy your fix until Newport Folk Festival, the United Folk Festival is a rare dime of a festival that you shouldn’t miss.

The United Folk Festival takes place at Wilcox Park in Westerly on July 1 from noon until 9pm. unitedtheatre.org/united-folk-fest.html

Celebrating Dear Old Dad

Family Father Walk Children Daughter Son Dad

You may have cracked a cold one with the boys on Saturday, but on Sunday, the opportunity arises to take a sip with your old man or that father figure in your life. While you can always throw a cookout with charred burgers, there are plenty of Father’s Day alternatives that will ensure your dad will always remember (or not remember; I’m not judging), that one day of the year set aside for him. Here are 5 options for different types of dads:

Catch a game: What’s better than bringing your pops to a Paw Sox game where he can wash away the sorrows of his work with overpriced Narrys and cheap-ass hot dogs? Once he’s enjoying himself, coax him into buying you a couple of beers; it’s the little things that count.

Go fishing: I’m sure you’ve heard the line, “Whoa, looks like we have a big one,” dozens of times if your dad thought himself a bass pro when you were younger. On Father’s Day, bring him to his favorite fishing spot and enjoy as he spends his whole afternoon cursing that he can’t catch anything.

Act sophisticated in an art gallery: Go to any of the numerous artsy streets in Providence and I guarantee you that there will be a gallery on display that your art-guru of a father will want to tour. When you’re done being pretentious there, go get a macchiato and all-organic muffin from some solar-powered bakery that only uses “farm-fresh” ingredients from one small town in Oklahoma.

Tee time: To cap off a great Father’s Day after a good cookout with Nance, the kids and the pooch, take your old man out for a round of golf on the green. If the day is not on par, you guys can just settle your losses and drink the night away. If you’re feeling lucky, buy a round of shots with your dad’s credit card. Just make sure he isn’t looking.

That does it for Father’s Day. If your old man is discontent with the ideas on this list, do the ol’ “threaten to put him in the nursing home when he’s older” gag. I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of it.

The Newport Yachting Center Lives on in East Providence

Let’s throw the clocks back and reminisce about the Newport Yachting Center, which became the epicenter of music and cultural activity on the Newport Waterfront. Unfortunately, in September 2014, the center was sold due to various complications within the community, specifically noise.

The following summer, Waterfront Productions, which previously operated the Newport Yachting Center, came up with the ingenious idea to bring a similar experience to the people of Providence at India Point Park in Fox Point.

“Our whole goal was to find a venue where we could do something similar, even if it was a smaller season,” said Michele Maker Palmieri, founder and president of Waterfront Productions. “We wanted something where we could have a lease on space and have some flexibility to have a little bit of a semi-permanent situation.”

However, India Point Park is a public place and Waterfront Productions only had a lease for the property to conduct a few major events per year, including the Waterfront Reggae Festival and the Blues & BBQ Festival. So the India Point solution didn’t create a permanent performance venue.

In 2015, Palmieri glanced across the river and saw prime, undeveloped waterfront property in East Providence. This property, Bold Point Park, was to become Waterfront Productions’ new home for the next three summers. In a 18-month process, Waterfront Productions acquired a three-year lease for the space from East Providence.

“Both are very similar in terms of views and accessibility,” said Palmieri when comparing India Point Park and Bold Point Park. “What Bold Point Park has for us is more flexibility in terms of … having a venue set up for a week.”

The goal with Bold Point Park, for Palmieri, is to create an experience around the events, utilizing the property to develop a sort of three-dimensional assault on the senses that will have fans coming back for more.

This summer, the events outnumber those of last year at India Point Park, with the return of both the Reggae and the Blues & BBQ Festivals, as well as Oktoberfest! and appearances by The Beach Boys on August 9 and Railroad Earth on August 24.

However, for next year, Palmieri is going full steam ahead with plans for a bigger and badder season. “The goal for next season is to be booking shows and starting as early as Memorial Day weekend, if possible,” said Palmieri (this year’s season runs from August to October). “[We want] to get it to the level we were at in Newport when we had a summer concert series.”

After the three-year leasing period is over in Bold Point Park, Palmieri wants to create a semi-permanent, seasonal event complex that would host concerts on a regular basis, similar to the Newport Yachting Center. This would include leasing a tent and creating the illusion of an established location. “We left it that if all is going well at Bold Point Park, and it’s working for the city and it’s working for us, the residents, and the community, we would consider renewing that lease and having something a little more long-term,” said Palmieri.

You can find the list of RI Waterfront Events at newportwaterfrontevents.com.

Big Nazo Rockets into PVD Fest

“Oh look, there’s a human-fly wearing a tutu.” “Did you miss the bio-mech giraffe?” “How about the rat-faced comedian, Ratso, with a larger-than-life personality?”

These characters aren’t a result of a bad acid trip, rather, a creative renaissance called Big Nazo for filmmaker and performer Erminio Pinque. Established in 1987, Erminio has built an empire around his creatures, which has expanded to include live music, daredevil stunts and comedy.

In the theme of breaking creative barriers, PVD Fest will once again host the Big Nazo creatures, which will be doing something unprecedented this year: holding down the FirstWorks Plaza Stage, the largest stage at the festival, with what has been dubbed the Big Nazo Intergalactic Creature Dance Party.

During the dance party, the Big Nazo Intergalactic Creature Band will play their assortment of space-rock-funk for what will be a multifaceted expedition through the cosmos to entertain us earthly mortals. The band will be joined by Alien Go-Go Dancers, Rowdy Robots, and a collective assortment of various interdimensional beings that can’t wait to beam dancers up to their party in the sky.

The event is scheduled to kick off at 5pm at Kennedy Plaza right after the parade on June 3, which will feature only the best interplanetary antics from the Big Nazo creatures.

DOT AIR Lands in Pawtucket

dotairSociety tends to explore music at a surface-level, focusing on the listenability and melodic components of the art rather than the artistic expression and genuine craft behind each bar of music.

In Pawtucket, an exploration of sound will come alive on Saturday, August 20, when the DOT AIR experimental music festival lands with a roster of its most eclectic lineup, including everything from improv vocalization to psychoacoustic percussions and every other musical genre you probably never knew existed.

DOT AIR’s roots are in its inaugural iteration in 2014 with its mission to “explore sound, art and performance in ways that push boundaries and utilize creative spaces that are constructed or left behind by modern and post-modern technology and culture.”

Deterring from the norm of traditional music festivals, DOT AIR structures its yearly lineup not around the most popular musicians, but around those performers who add a sort of eclecticism and best exemplify the foundation of sonic architecture and its stability over the past century.

Since its inception, the festival has hosted 29 musicians as well as various film and art installations, and this year, DOT AIR hosts more than 10 more musicians that all have their own stake in the realm of noise-centered music.

Headlining the festivities will be the prolific Hailu Mergia, the Ethiopian instrumentalist who merges modern technology and classical instrumentation to rise above his dictatorial past under the Mengistu Regime. Just imagine if the Sun Ra Arkestra went electronic and toned down on the psychedelics (but not too much) and poof, you have Mergia’s smooth stylings.

The undercard of DOT AIR is just as commendable as the headliner, with a wide array of genre bending and unique improvisation.

MEMi, a husband and wife duo out of LA, mixes the elegant melodies of their cellos with modern DIY technology to create one of the most original sounds that certainly deserves anyone’s ears at the festival.

However, the pinnacle of noise music transcends with the sounds of Providence-based, WORK/DEATH. I’ve been following Scott Reber for the past year as he’s explored new avenues with noise music and WORK/DEATH’s material is paving the way for a noise music renaissance in Rhode Island.

Other notable musicians are trumpeter Forber Graham, composer and percussionist Sarah Hennies and guitar duo F/I/P.

If you count yourself a fan of the visual arts, DOT AIR has you covered with a roster of experimental architects and painters as well as dancers, including the supremely talented Elm City Dance Collective and one of the most adept modern artists in Providence, Alex Hamrick, who incorporates text-based content into his artistic vision.

With technology progressing at breakneck speeds during the 21st century, DOT AIR aims to showcase the dynamic strides that this technological revolution has had in the domains of the visual and performing arts. Though as we dive further into this era ruled by technology, we must ultimately remember to use this technology to our advantage and hopefully not create Skynet in the meantime.

Emeline Easton Captivates Motif Theater Award Audience

emmyThink back to when you were 18. Maybe you were watching your GPA fall in your first semester of college (sorry Mom and Dad) or working hard in order to purchase that used 1992 Cutlass Ciera from that shady car dealership two towns over.

Though for Emeline Easton, a singer-songwriter and actress from Providence, being 18 is another step into the realm of stardom.

Releasing her first single, “Inside Out,” back when she was 14, Easton has quickly grown to prominence in the alt-pop scene of Providence.

Easton’s quirky and fiercely enigmatic vocals provide the distinctive element to her live performances and prove that charting on the Top 100 on iTunes with her single, “You,” wasn’t accidental.

Case in point was her performance at this year’s Motif Theater Awards, sharing the bill with Kaya Stewart, daughter of The Eurythmics’ David Stewart.

Easton came out with purpose during her 20-minute performance, which included various pieces from her upcoming self-titled EP, set to release in January 2017. Quite noteworthy about her appearance was her cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” which was beautifully haunting coming from the pipes of an 18 year old.

Don’t think that is impressive enough? Easton has already starred in independent films and shorts, including Siren and Band Girls, and is in the process of filming a brand new short.

Easton also is no stranger to local theater, with appearances in productions ranging from The Gamm Theatre to the Trinity Repertory Company. Not bad for a girl who played the lead role of “Annie” at 9 years old.

Keep up with Easton on social media to find upcoming local shows and possibly a single or two before the release of her upcoming EP this January.

12 Hours of Music at Foo

12 Hours.

To any sane person, 12 hours of anything is enough to have you running for your pillow and good night of rest. Though for the adventurous (and musical) at heart, AS220 will transform Empire Street in Providence into a landscape of eclecticism and solid sound for the 21st incarnation of Foo Fest.

Beginning in 1995 as Fool’s Ball (see story previous page), AS220 established Foo Fest as a medium to celebrate the arts of Little Rhody while bringing in both local and international musicians for a 12-hour festival of massive proportions.

This year’s festivities are to be headlined by techno mastermind and sonic aficionado, Dan Deacon. With the release of last year’s Glass Riffer and recent stint opening for Arcade Fire’s Reflektor tour, Deacon has established himself as a rising pioneer for modern techno and EDM artists. While the headliner traditionally closes the festivities, you simply cannot miss this set. Look out for the dance-offs, too.

Looking for something more local? Foo Fest has a reputation for nurturing rising local talent and this year’s lineup is without exception. The Quahogs, who have rocked the Providence hard rock circuit since 2011, are my pick for the local spotlight of this year’s iteration.

“AS220 was the second show that the name ‘The Quahogs’ played,” said guitarist and vocalist Steve Delmonico who says AS220 is a large morale booster for up-and-coming bands. Delmonico said when he started out, his band had a lot of maturing to do, however, “they will facilitate a space for you no matter what.”

“AS220 was an outlet for me,” added Donovan.

The group recently released their newest record Sunny Waste only months ago, but their presence in Providence has been heard loud and clear.

“Everyone that plays in town is super welcoming [and helps] you get in a direction you hope is right,” said Delmonico.

Other local artists I highly recommend include the goth-folk stylings of Leiko the scientifically electric Xr-Tabs and my favorite punk rockers, Hussy.

I am a huge Potterhead and can’t wait for the literary heroes of Harry and the Potters to cast a spell over the audience with their dizzying genre-crossing and comical take on the Harry Potter series. Descending from Massachusetts, Harry and the Potters have spread their magic from Norwood to Surrey since 2002, never straying from their nerdom formula.

Notably enthralling in this year’s lineup is Arc Iris, a local band that skyrocketed in popularity with their song “Whiskey Man.” Jolie Adams, lead vocalist and former member of the Low Anthem, provides addictive lyrics and a relaxing folk-centric landscape that they will paint with many a color at this year’s Foo Fest.

If you’re not into indie or folk, head on down to check out the head banging whiplash of Churchburn and Sidy Maiga, a masterful percussionist from West Africa.

While these recommendations are a diving in point for the vast ocean that is Foo Fest, there are still so many different musical acts, dining options and activities to explore on Empire Street. You’d be a FOO to miss this festival.

Can’t-Miss Folk Festival Acts

Fifty-seven years have come and gone since the internationally acclaimed Newport Folk Festival opened the gates of Fort Adams to folk fans of all walks of life. The balance, however, to respect the historic past and modernize the festival for young Folkers has been at the forefront of the Newport Foundation’s mission. This year is no exception.

With everyone from the electrically boisterous Alabama Shakes to the seminal folk mastermind Graham Nash in attendance this year, the festival has struck that fine balance. This is a festival lineup worthy to stand to the likes of Bonnaroo and Forecastle Festival.

The Newport Folk Festival cannot garner this amount of talent without causing a few scheduling problems for concert-goers, and that is why I am here to tell you which artists folking rock on such a gargantuan lineup. So open your ears, strum your banjos and prepare to be adding a lot of new music to your Spotify playlists.

Friday, July 22

JP Harris (Harbor Stage); 11 – 11:40am

I am somehow always pulled into going to the first set of the festival on Friday and the JP Harris performance is no exception to this rule. With his signature country twang and care-free attitude, JP (as he likes to be called) exhibits the modern spirit of folk fest that continues to bring me into the fort year after year.

The Arcs (Quad Stage); 5:35 – 6:35pm

Dan Auerbach, lead singer of The Black Keys, has been serving double duty as of late with the unveiling of his new project, The Arcs, last year. I caught the group last December at the Orpheum in Boston and I was blown away, which explains their standing on this list. Built with the goal of blending soul and alternative rock, Auerbach breaks new ground in a project that is worth all the praise.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones (Fort Stage); 1:55 – 2:45pm

Damn. That is all I can say about lead singer Paul Janeway’s voice, which bursts with his southern gospel roots and jazzy finesse. Their iteration of big band soul music is addictive as hell and will surely have everyone at the Fort Stage on their feet dancing to their audacious, deep spiritedness.

Raury (Quad Stage); 1:35 – 2:25pm

What do get when you mix folk and rap? One of the most ingenious and genuine artists of this decade, that’s what. Since I saw his performance on Colbert, I was hooked instantly by his ungodly stage presence and way he interacted with his backing band, it was simply otherworldly. I’m calling it right now — this kid will be the undiscovered gem of Newport this year.

Ray Lamontagne (Fort Stage); 4:40 – 5:50pm

Folk superstar Ray Lamontagne has had a hell of a year with the release of his newest critically acclaimed double album, Ouroboros (seriously, go listen to it), and a tour that features the guys of My Morning Jacket, sans Jim James, serving as his backing band. This translates to one hell of an expectation of Lamontagne’s arrival to NFF and who knows, we may get a surprise from James, MMJ frontman and sonic magician.

Honorable Mentions:

Flight of the Conchords (Fort Stage); 6:15 – 7:30pm

Brett Dennen (Harbor Stage); 3:45 – 4:40pm

Case/Lang/Veirs (Quad Stage); 4:10 – 5:10pm

Saturday, July 23

Banditos (Quad Stage); 11:10 – 12pm

I can admit, I had no clue who these guys were when they were announced to play this year, but after listening to “Still Sober (After All These Beers),” I couldn’t take my ears away from that warm bluesy tone. Think of Deer Tick meets The Dead Weather and you have this concoction that will sure have the crowd buzzing with enthusiasm.

Father John Misty (Quad Stage); 5:40 – 6:40pm

They say Austin Powers is the international man of mystery, but I am here to say that that honor should be bestowed upon Father John Misty. This former percussionist of the Fleet Foxes (ever heard of them?) has made quite a name for himself with a solo career that is as wacky as it is profound, blending a mix of lost love and methodic comedy. Expect the same from his solo performance at the fort.

Patti Smith (Fort Stage); 6:15 – 7:30pm

The godmother of punk is gracing us mere mortals with a headlining performance to be reckoned with Saturday night and I, for one, couldn’t be more ecstatic to see her name on this year’s billing. With the vocal prowess and stage presence of rock deity, Smith will keep the good times rolling as we ride our horses into the sunset.

Lady Lamb (Harbor Stage); 2:30 – 3:20pm

You can always bet on finding the best undiscovered talent here at Newport and the name that resounds the most is that of Lady Lamb. I caught her open for Tallest Man on Earth at the Columbus this month and all i can say is, WOW. Her indie edge will provide a melodic twist to Newport that will have crowds rush the Harbor Stage.

Ryan Adams (Fort Stage); 3:10 – 4:10pm

The Man. The Myth. The Feelings. Ryan Adams may be the most bewilderingly amusing folk musicians of our time with a catalog of music that hits you in every sense you didn’t even know existed. Adams may also be the greatest folk musician to emerge in the past two decades and with The Infamous Stringdusters and Nicki Bluhm backing him up, expect the most talked-about performance of this iteration of NFF.

Honorable Mentions:

Frightened Rabbit (Quad Stage); 2:55 – 3:50pm

Norah Jones (Fort Stage); 4:40 – 5:45pm

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (Fort Stage); 1:45 – 2:45pm

Sunday. July 24

Son Little (Harbor Stage); 1:15 – 2pm

R&B is the name of the game with rising folker, who has opened up for the likes of Mumford & Sons and Lord Huron in the last year alone. Even though he just released his first solo record last October, Son Little has made quite a name for himself in the folk scene and warrants your eyes and ears for his sure to be crowd-pleasing set.

Ian Fitzgerald with Smith&Weeden (Harbor Stage); 11 – 11:40am

Local Rhode Island bands are essentially the heart and soul of this festival as they represent the area while paying homage to the legacy of folk. This certainly continues this year for my most anticipated local performance of the festival, made better by the fact that Smith&Weeden has finally made their way to the fort. Looking for your daily dose of badassery? Then you have come to the right place as Fitzgerald will folk your faces.

Elvis Costello (Fort Stage); 4:40 – 5:45pm

Renaissance man and imposter Elvis Costello has been somewhat of an icon for new wave during the ’70s and ’80s though now, his folk-centric stylings are hitting the Fort Stage for what will definitely be one hell of a show. Costello has even enlisted the aid of Larkin Poe (do yourself a favor and listen to them) for his performance, guaranteeing that the Napoleon Dynamite of music hasn’t aged one bit.

Alabama Shakes (Fort Stage); 6:15 – 7:30pm

Let me tell you, Alabama Shakes has been one of those bands that I always have wanted to catch but somehow miss whenever they come around. Finally though, you and I will be able to catch one of the loudest and most bombastic blues rock bands in the scene. Lead vocalist Brittany Howard’s voice is stuff of legend and certainly deserving of the headlining spot on the last day of the festival.

Middle Brother (Fort Stage); 3:10 – 4:15pm

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the award for the most “Newport Folk Festival performance of the year.” Composed of Matthew Logan Vasquez of Delta Spirit (who will perform solo on Friday), Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, and John McCauley of Deer Tick, this folk supergroup will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of their only record and believe me, this is the performance of the year that you should not miss.

Honorable Mentions:

Glen Hansard (Fort Stage); 1:45 – 2:45pm

Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Quad Stage); 2:45 – 3:40pm

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes (Quad Stage); 5:30 – 6:30pm