It’s the busiest time of the year for music in Rhode Island, so you would think picking the top six concerts would be easy this weekend. Not the case, however, there are just too many great shows to choose from. Hope you can get out and enjoy some live music this weekend!

All Weekend: The Newport Folk Festival is the largest and most popular annual music event of its kind in the state. The festival has come a long way since 1959 when it was first held, it continues to the template for other festivals. Highlights this year include Taj Mahal, who first played the festival in 1968, The Roots, Bela Fleck, Maren Morris, Japanese Breakfast and Brandi Carlile and Friends. Details here.

All Weekend: Official Newport Folk Festival afterparties are sold out but certainly worthy of mention. The festival sponsors two shows per night, Friday night, its Tallest Man on Earth playing at Jane Pickens Film and Events Center, Saturday Lucius brings “Saturday Night Fever” to the Newport Blues Cafe and Sunday Deer Tick closes out the festival with a bash at the Blues Cafe.

All Weekend: Unofficial afterparties will be all over Newport this weekend and surprise guests will show up. Hit up traditional spots like The Parlor, Pour Judgement, Diego’s Barrio Cantina, or stop by Kings Lens & Friends to hear NFF troubadour Dan Blakeslee beginning around 8PM Friday.

Saturday: Speaking of folk greats, head to Pumphouse Music in Peacedale Saturday evening for a CD release show with Jonah Tolchin. Lava Lamp is Tolchin’s 4th album – hear music from it and more. Coyote Island and Vudu Sister open at 7PM. Details here.

Sunday: If you miss Lucy Dacus at the Newport Folk Festival, you can still catch her on Sunday at The Strand in Providence. Dacus, who will be playing the Fort stage Saturday, is a rising star in music circles. The singer-songwriter will be in town on a make-up date from a previously canceled show. Details here.

Sunday: Nimfest is a free outdoor concert series at King’s Park on the waterfront in Newport. This Sunday, bring beach chairs and a picnic for the 3PM show from the always popular Downcity Band. Music runs from 3PM -6PM. Details here.

Next week: Music returns to Bold Point Park in East Providence next week when two popular acts appear. Wednesday, July 27, rock out to Papa Roach with Falling in Reverse and Thursday, July 28, Indie artist Mitski headlines. The “Point” will be busy through August with ten shows scheduled during the month of August. Details here.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.