The last day of the first of two (half-capacity) Newport Folk Festivals began with a morning sprinkle – and ended with a thunderstorm – of talent.

The big surprise of Day 3 at Newport Folk was an appearance by R&B legend Chaka Kahn. The ten-time Grammy Award-winning singer joined the thematic set “Allison Russell’s Once and Future Sound,” a performance that included several leading artists. Among them were Kam Franklin, Sunny War, Celisse, Margo Price, Adia Victoria, Brandi Carlile, and Yola. (Carlile also made an appearance earlier during Yola’s set.) The set was a celebration of the history of African American women in popular music.

The theme of social action was prominent as always at NFF, with vendors promoting positive change to artists like Tre Burt and The Dimmer Twins (stripped down Drive-By Truckers) carrying the message in song. Other memorable sets included a tribute to the late John Prine led by Nathaniel Rateliff, and an explosive bluegrass set from Billy Strings. Devon Gilfillian brought down the house with a song by song tracking of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” and Yola rocked the house, in her triumphant return to Newport. (Look for Yola at “Newport Jazz Presents” next weekend.)

Photographers Rick Farrell and Ken Abrams were there to document Day 3 – check out their photos below. Photos by Rick Farrell below:

Photos by Ken Abrams below:

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines. Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse,"...