5 Acts To Catch At Newport Folk Festival

Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Lewis, Conor Oberst, Sarrah Danziger, Nich Thomas.
However you define folk, you’ll find something at Newport ’14 to tickle your grits. While this long-running festival is best known for its pickers and strummers, it’s been eclectic from the get-go. Founded in 1959, Newport emerged in the ‘60s as a taste-making annual showcase for folk, blues, country, and gospel. Bob Dylan made his first big national appearance there in 1963, and two years later, he melted minds by plugging in and rocking out. The fest hit hard times in the ‘70s but returned in the ‘80s, and these days, it’s bigger and better than ever. The 2014 lineup spans old-school reggae to ‘80s synth-pop, with loads of classic rockers and troubadours in between. There’s hardly a dud on the bill, and what follows are our picks for the 5 must-see acts.