Thursday, February 6, 2014

First Two Acts Announced for Newport Folk Festival!

The Newport Folk Festival just does things differently. Last year they had a rolling line up announcement, where they took literally months to announce the full line up, band by band. There was a practical reason for this, since Newport is a non-profit and pays artists less than other festivals do, they can't always announce acts right away due to contractual reasons. For fans, this actually works out perfectly since you get to check out each band and get excited about ones you might have missed if it was all announced at once. You know, the way every other festival is.

This year, they've already announced the first two acts: Mavis Staples and Houndmouth. In any other circumstance, I hate gospel music, but in 2011 I decided to check out Mavis's set at Newport, solely for her connection to Jeff Tweedy. I assumed I'd hear a song or two, and then head over to the Fort Stage for the Decemberists. Instead I sat transfixed by one of the most powerful and beautiful voices I have ever heard. This year she's being promoted as "Mavis Staples & Friends," with her 75th birthday being celebrated throughout the weekend. Cue the Jeff Tweedy rumors...

I missed Houndmouth last year. They were on my initial list of "must see" bands, but your schedule always changes at Newport. Instead I opted for Kingsley Flood and Frank Turner. While I don't regret my decision, I'm thrilled they're making a return trip this year. For the last three years, Newport brings back a band that played the previous year. Houndmouth are joining a club that consists of David Wax Museum, Brown Bird, and Spirit Family Reunion. Not a bad group to be in.

For more information on the Newport Folk Festival, including tickets, head over to their website

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