Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 Newport Folk Festival Lineup Speculation

My counterpart beat me to the punch with his first Newport Folk Festival post of the year.  But now that the Newport Folk Festival set my expectations for the lineup announcement, speculation time officially begins.

Since I started going to the festival in 2008, it has accounted for probably 80% of my yearly music discovery.  I have such a respect for the way that the lineup is put together because bands go from "research" to "bands I'll listen to forever" more often than not.  So when thinking about acts I would like to see at this year's festival, the ones I seem to come up with are mostly the same acts I've been seeing there for years.

It wouldn't be the Newport Folk Festival without Jim James being there in some capacity.  Whether it's solo again, My Morning Jacket, New Multitudes or Monsters of Folk reunion or even just hanging around as a fan sitting in on a song here and there.  Same goes for John McCauley.  Whether it's Deer Tick, solo, Diamond Rugs or a Middle Brother reunion.  Those two have become part of the festival to me.

Some returning acts I'd love to see are The Head and The Heart.  With lineups as good as the Newport Folk Festival there comes a lot of heartbreaking decisions.  In 2011, The Head and The Heart were evenly matched up with Middle Brother.  I tried to bounce back and forth through the tunnel but ultimately it was probably an 85/15 split in Middle Brother's favor.  In 2012, I was bouncing back through the tunnel to see Of Monsters and Men and a little of Gary Clark Jr.  I have no regrets about any of it but I'd love the chance to see The Head and The Heart again in the hopes of a full set.  They are touring this summer behind their new album, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up.  In 2012, one of the albums I really got in to after the lineup was announced was Apache Relay's American Nomad.  That year I brought (at the time) a two year old and and a two month old so we were a little late getting to their set but those last three or four songs I heard left me wanting more.  I believe they are touring behind an album coming in March, so again, I'm trying not to get my hopes up.  Alabama Shakes, First Aid Kit, Tallest Man on Earth...I could actually go on for awhile.

A band I would like to see and whose album has been on heavy rotation for me lately would be Haim.  I'm seeing them pop up at a few other festivals that have had their lineups announced so that would be cool if they were in the area in late July.  Initially I was thinking they might not be the right fit for Fort Adams since they probably classify more as indie pop/rock but Tegan and Sara were there a few years ago and they fit in quite nicely.

No matter what I know I'm not going to be disappointed but half the fun of committing to a music festival is imagining who you might get to see there. 

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