Last summer at Newport Folk Festival a large group of artists came together in the spirit of the great American folk tradition to deliver a set of protest music called Speak Out. Now on April 21, the live recording of that set will be released on vinyl as a special Record Store Day release. The album features Beau Bedford, the Berklee Gospel and Roots Choir, Billy Bragg, Jim James, Kevin Clark, Kyle Craft, Lucius, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Nick Offerman, Olivia Chaney, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rayland Baxter, Shakey Graves, Sharon Van Etten, Stephanie Hunt, Zach Williams and a house band made of Carl Broemel, Casey Neill, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, John Moen, Nate Query and Patrick Hallahan.

“(Newport Executive Producer) Jay Sweet had contacted me, having this concept and rough sketch of musicians, the idea being a set of protest music that wasn’t polarizing, but brought our humble audience together,” said The Decemberists’multi-instrumentalist and Speak Out’s musical director, Chris Funk in a prepared statement. “My concept was a George Harrison / Songs for Bangladesh band, so two drummers, two bass players, loads of keys, horns and too many guitars. Basically, it was My Morning Jacket meets The Decemberists dancing with Preservation Hall drinking coffee with Kyle Craft, while Casey Neill juggles knives,” Funk said of the house band.

Photo Credit: Josh Wool

“From it’s inception, we wanted the Speak Out set to reflect the long tradition of artists speaking truth to power at Newport Folk. I’m thrilled to see this transform into a Record Store Day release; supporting independent record stores is just as vital as the support we receive as a small, independent festival, said Newport Festivals Executive Producer, Jay Sweet in a prepared statement. “This has been a true folk family project from beginning to end; we are grateful to all of the artists for joining in. This record really shows that collaboration is the core of our Folk DNA,” says Newport Associate Producer, Brittany Ryan.

From Margo Price and Zach Williams of The Lone Bellow’s stirring rendition of Steven Van Zandt’s “I Am A Patriot,” to Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” covered by Jim James and Nick Offerman, the music on Speak Out is more urgent and vital than ever. Fans can find Speak Out on Record Store Day, April 21st, at independent record stores across the country.

All proceeds are benefitting the educational initiatives of the Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.®. Newport Folk Festival returns July 27-29 in Newport, Rhode Island.

For more information visit www.newportfolk.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.