DAWES at the Newport Folk Festival, 2012
Dawes at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival
Photography and Review by Bluebird
This year, the Newport Folk Festival was sold out for months in advance of the show. It drew tens of thousands to Newport, Rhode Island, from all over the Northeast US and beyond. Some of these people have been attending this annual event for generations. There was a time when the budget for this global talent gathering was scarce. During these droughts, the loyal music aficionados, rock snobs and bluegrass historians, still came to support local regional music and folk traditions.
In mingling with the crowd this year and talking to fans at this event, I learned it is this core culture that keeps the bar for the acts as they come through. They talk about each band in great detail, including their connections with folk and music history, as well as regional presence. There are many terms that I learned Folk Festers use, to describe if they approve of an artist's music to be in the line-up of the Newport Folk Festival: "appropriate," "in the folk tradition," "in line with the history of folk," and, of course, ~ "Dylanesque."
Simultaneous to the folk and bluegrass that frames the permeable boundaries of this art, is a new wave of younger, Folk Fest revelers, who are jumping right in to hear their contemporary favorites. 'My Morning Jacket" "Deer Tick" and "Conor Oberst" to name a few. In a myriad of harmonies, the generational Folk followers that I spoke to, said they approved of these bands too, and hailed them as fitting into the storytelling chapters that would dawn the days to come. "Eclectic" the generational Folk Festers say of these new infusions of sound, "a fresh perspective."
And then there was DAWES!