Live Review: Newport Folk Festival 2022 @ Fort Adams State Park, RI — 7/22-7/24/22


Brandi Carlile welcomes Joni Mitchell to the stage at the Newport Folk Festival on July 24, 2022, her first time back at Fort Adams since 1969. (Photo by Casey Vock)

When musicians themselves hold a place and event so close to their hearts that it becomes sacred, the experience for fans is that much more lasting and remarkable.

The Newport Folk Festival, long considered one of the country’s most influential gatherings of songwriters, artists, and performers, proved to be that and so much more this year — three full days of celebrating music as a communal power and a change agent at a time when the nation feels fragmented by political turmoil and the lingering struggles of the pandemic.

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Live Review: The Felice Brothers w/ Al Olender @ DC9 — 10/14/21

FeliceBrothers
The Felice Brothers (Photo courtesy Yep Roc Records)

Hailing from upstate New York’s Hudson River Valley, The Felice Brothers began in the mid-2000s as the musical project of brothers Ian, James, and Simone Felice. They began their career as buskers, and have referred to themselves (who knows how jokingly)  as “scumbags.”

Their career got a boost from another area resident, legendary Band drummer and vocalist Levon Helm, who invited them to perform at one of his Midnight Rambles in Woodstock. It’s fitting that the Brothers got a break from him, as their music owes obvious debts to The Band and Bob Dylan, in its mix of humor, surrealistic imagery, and ironic gloss on classic Americana. Their early recordings were rough — one was made in a chicken coop — but have grown more refined over the course of their career. As they toured with acts ranging from Justin Townes Earle to Old Crow Medicine Show to the Dave Matthews Band, the Brothers became more sophisticated artists.

That sophistication was on display in their unique brand of folk country-rock/ Americana in a packed house at DC9 recently.

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