Though most of the music world’s attention was focused on Grant Park last weekend, there was another, more storied festival happening on the east coast. The Newport Folk Festival is now in its 49th year; a remarkable achievement considering the number of festivals that have come and gone over the same amount of time. The site of the famed ‘electric Dylan’ controversy, as Jim James said this year, is like “playing on top of ghosts who are playing on top of ghosts.” This year’s festival was dotted with a number of quasi-mainstream musicians and one very mainstream actress.
NPR Music, in its infinite wisdom, did something very cool for all of us taking in the different sounds coming out of Chicago last weekend. They recorded a number of the concerts and are streaming them on their site right now. I listened to the Jim James show yesterday to wind down my afternoon and it is another special performance by this growing figure in music. On top of James, they have a Trey Anastasio solo set and a performance by She & Him. Follow the jump to see what else they have for you.
With a total ten concerts from the weekend — with more to come — one can really get a feel for what seemed to be a very special two days. NPR does a really nice job with these shows; the sound quality is always very crisp and even. I’ll probably take in the Trey show later today. Here are links to a few standouts, I hope everyone enjoys the sets.