Newport Folk Festival//
For the second year in a row Kylie and I had the great pleasure of attending the infamous Newport Folk Festival. For those of you that don’t know it’s musical and historical significance let us educate you.
Around this time 46 years ago, July 25, 1965 to be exact Bob Dylan went electric at Newport Folk Folk Festival. Consequently, Dylan was booed off the stage. That event is not only etched in history, but is also what makes the festival so definitive. Proof of it’s historical significance is that legends such as Levon Helm Band, Sharon Jones. Emmylou Harris, Wanda Jackson and Elvis Costello have chosen to participate in the last two years.
The photos above depict some of our favorite moments with Gogol Bordello swigging wine on stage and telling all the lounging festival goers that this “Is not the kind of band that you listen to while sitting down.”
Middle Brother rocking out and bringing on guests, Mountain Men to sing along. M. Ward rocking so passionately it nearly made us cry and shout and Elvis Costello. What is there really to say but, LEGEND.
The performance that stood out the most was by far Wanda Jackson. She’s a legend in her own right, but we all agree that she has been revived by that fateful call from Jack White asking her to cut a new album with him as producer. On stage she said that when people ask her to describe what it’s like to work with White she replies, “Jack is like a velvet covered brick, he knows the exact performance he wants from the artists and doesn’t stop until he gets it. But he’s so soft spoken and gentle about it.”
She also did a heartfelt dedication to Amy Winehouse covering “You Know I’m know Good” which appeared on her newest album The Party Ain’t Over. Also mentioning that she was reluctant to cover the track at first because the second verse was to racy, but then White rewrote it for her and it ended up being one of her favorites.
The most interesting stories Jackson regaled us with were from the beginning of her career when she was touring with an unknown Elvis Presley who “Gave her his ring and made her his girl.” Before she sang his song “So Lonely I Could Cry” she gave him a lovely credit to her career saying, “Elvis pushed me to sing rock and roll. I would always tell him I’m a country singer I like it but I can’t sing that. And he would tell me, ‘Yes you can’ so I finally tried it and boy I’m glad I did cause my life has been very interesting since then.”
Festivals with this much history attract celebrated artists like Wanda Jackson and Elvis Costello. In many cases you may never have the opportunity to see them again. In the middle of his performance Costello said, “You know your’re in the right place when you’re standing next to Pete Seeger and you are both watching a legend like Wanda Jackson perform in front of you.”
Check out our whole Newport Folk Festival album on Filckr.
Photos Courtesy of Kylie Tanner