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Old 07-27-2019, 07:53 PM
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islandguitar islandguitar is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Rhode Island
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Default Newport Folk Fest this weekend (some lengthy thoughts/reflections)

Hi folks,
Well, we're in the midst of a Rhode Island tradition here in the Ocean State.....of course it could be better stated that it's now an American Music tradition, but we Rhode Islanders hold on to our own traditions like festivals, "chowda", "Saugies (local hotdogs to die for!), Dels frozen lemonade, clam cakes and a host of other great stuff! LOL!

there are recent memorable years when we've gone over as attendees, but many more when we take our boat over and join the fleet off of Ft. Adams and listen to great music right out on the water. We did that yesterday and heard a fabulous set by Sheryl Crow.....wow that band sounded great!! The festival site is amazing and I'm sure the performers are "wowed" by the thousands in front of them right on Newport Harbor, joined by hundreds in anything that floats.....from little inflatable boats just a few feet long, to 100+ footers making their way through the fleet. Tour boats casting about among the crowd, some under full sail making the tricky approach through hundreds of boats and doing it gracefully. The weather has been a "10" for all three days....ending tomorrow with a great line-up.

Back in the day, it wasn't this way..........as young guy in high school, I attended a bunch of Folk Festivals, but back then the festival grounds were not on the water, but still located in Newport. You could sit in on small workshops by legendary artists and take it all in........just feet away.

While I didn't know all of them at the time, some would go on to super stardom, Odetta, PP&M, Dylan, Baez, Seeger , all of whom had staring roles on the big stage in the evening. And then a few luminaries who were not well known at the time, but found their way to a lot of acclaim for their music and talent. One I recall was Jaime Brockett who offered up "the ship Titanic" which was an instant hit with the crowd. I think the whole thing lasted like 17 minutes...part "rap" story, melody and high energy with great guitar and singing which had to have exhausted Jaime each time he performed it! I got to meet him a few years later......he wanted to buy my D-18 on the spot!

Of course these many years later, I'm thrilled to say I "was there when Dylan went electric". What a crazy night! All of the footage you see today is in black and white, so you don't get the full essence of that moment, but I recall to this day being a bit mesmerized by not only what was happening on stage and all around me, but that Dylan was bathed in this amazing purple stage light when he transitioned to that set with the new style. I really think this contributed to the enormity of that moment.....at least for me it did!!

So, it's a nice tradition here in the state and I'm just reflecting on it all after so many years and thought I'd put some things out here on AGF. At a certain age it's fun to "look back".....thanks for following along and reading this lengthy post. I'll be back on the water tomorrow working for our local marina getting folks just across the bay to take in the final day of this great event! Should be a fun time here in the Ocean State!!

Best,
Fred
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