For over six decades, the Newport Folk Festival has been a key point of Newport’s summer festivities. There have been legendary performances given on its stage and memories made that last a lifetime.
This year, Paul Simon made his Newport Folk Festival debut, joining Nathaniel Rateliff’s American Tune Review to perform four songs, “Graceland,” “American Tune,” “The Boxer,” and “Sound of Silence.” According to StereoGum’s James Rettig, “He was joined by Rhiannon Giddens on ‘American Tune,’ and a whole bunch of performers came out for ‘The Boxer.’
“What a joy working with Nathaniel and his incredible band. The atmosphere at the festival was nothing short of wonderful,” Simon said.
Another legendary performer, Joni Mitchell, who graced the stage of the Newport Folk Festival for the first time in 1967, returned and, according to Ann Powers of NPR “stole the show.” Powers writes:
A woman who believed in a young Joni Mitchell’s music brought her to the Newport Folk Festival for the first time in 1967, and another brought the 78-year-old legend back for a historic set to close the Rhode Island fest this year. The first was Judy Collins, who invited a then-undiscovered Mitchell to join in an afternoon celebrating emerging singer-songwriters in folk music, alongside other future icons like Leonard Cohen. On Sunday night, Brandi Carlile was the force behind Mitchell’s return to the stage. The crowd was beyond elated as the voice behind classics like “Both Sides Now” graced Fort Adams for the first time since an evening appearance there in 1969, in what was her first full-length public concert anywhere since 2000.
Carlile has diligently worked to ensure Mitchell’s place at the center of popular music history for the past five years, performing tribute concerts, writing liner notes for the elder singer’s archival series and becoming a steadfast friend to Mitchell, who has spent years recovering from a 2015 brain aneurysm. The Newport set was a new high point in their ongoing personal and artistic collaboration. Billed as Brandi Carlile and Friends, it evolved from a supportive celebration of a beloved elder into a bona-fide Joni Mitchell concert.
Your Survival Guy was there too, on the water, enjoying the music with other boaters.
Action Line: Come visit me in Newport. You’ll love the city, and we can discuss how to build a retirement portfolio that will give you the chance to chase what excites you, whether that’s folk festivals by the sea, fishing trips, or hiking in the mountains. You can contact me here to set up a meeting. Until then, click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter to keep in touch.
P.S. I received this in an email this morning while writing this post.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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