The Spirit Family Reunion perform at the Newport Folk Festival, July 29, 2012. (Dylan Stableford)Click on the images for more photos.
NEWPORT, R.I.--It's been almost 50 years since Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival, but his rebellious spirit was alive and well at the sold-out 2012 edition over the weekend, featuring electrifying sets from folk bands both new and traditional--and plenty of indie rock, too.
My Morning Jacket, which headlined the festival on Saturday, took the stage dressed in seersucker suits--a nod to Newport's yacht-fearing style.
"It is a transcendental, beautiful experience that goes way beyond playing a festival," My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, who also performed as a member of the Woody Guthrie tribute New Multitudes, said on the eve of the fest. "There's just something so special about Newport, playing on the main stage and looking out to see the boats on the water. You don't [usually] get a chance to play for a bunch of sailboats."
But their reliably rocking set--which featured James on acoustic and electric guitars--was shortened when a storm blew in off the coast.
The Spirit Family Reunion, a six-piece from Brooklyn, conjured up plenty during a pair of stomping sets on Saturday and Sunday, including one performed inside the "ruins" of Fort Adams. Sharon Van Etten, also from Brooklyn, played refreshingly moody, cerebral rock on Saturday afternoon.
Suzanne Santo, of Los Angeles' Honeyhoney, was a revelation, performing three sets of more or less traditional folk music over two days. Santo also modeled the typical Newport Folk Fest female attire: a billowing dress and cowboy boots. (She played a mean violin, too.)Read More »from Inside the 2012 Newport Folk Festival