Day 2 of the 2019 Newport Folk Festival picked up where Day 1 left off. Once again, female artists ruled the day with their music taking center stage.
Early highlights included strong sets from Newport first-timers Haley Heyndericxx, Jade Bird and Susto. Illiterate Light woke up the Quad Stage crowd with a powerful set. Jupiter and Okwess brought an afro-beat vibe to the Festival. Strong sets from a couple of other Festival first-timers, Lucy Dacus and Ruston Kelly followed.
“Songs for Beginners” was a special set that featured songs from the classic album by Graham Nash. Members of Mountain Man, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kyle Craft, Amy Ray and others took turns on songs including “I Used to Be King,” and “Chicago.”
Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy brought his penetrating tunes to the Fort, including songs from his new album Warm, along with Wilco classics “Hummingbird” and “I am Trying to Break Your Heart.” Mountain Man, a female trio, put together some of the sweetest harmonies heard all weekend.
The closing sets, Dawes on the Quad Stage and The Collaboration on the Fort Stage were the high points of the weekend thus far. Festival favorites Dawes played the full album North Hills, their debut release from 2009. They were joined by numerous friends including Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Rachel Price and John McCauley of Deer Tick, who sang on “When My Time Comes.”
The mystery of “The Collaboration” was revealed when Festival Producer Jay Sweet took the stage with Brandi Carlile. The special set was about “Newport being on the right side of history,” noted Carlile, who curated a set of music with a female empowerment theme.
Every song was a highlight – From the opener “Big Yellow Taxi,” to the closer “9 to 5.” Judy Collins, scheduled to play Sunday, sang a memorable version of “Both Sides Now,” a song she recorded in 1967. Sheryl Crow, Amy Ray, Yola, Maggie Rogers and Amanda Shires also appeared.
The big surprise was a rare appearance from legendary singer and activist Dolly Parton who joined Carlile on “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” and the sing-a-long finale, “9 to 5.” What a way to end things!
Check out some photos from the Festival from WhatsUpRI photographer Rick Farrell.