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  • Rich Kassirer

Issue 30: The Heights of Summer

Scenes from our busy day at the Newport Folk Festival

As much as winters are for hunkering down in a small, packed club with a pint of Guinness and a band playing ethereally on the stage, summers are for getting outside, celebrating the nice weather (hot, but not too hot, please), cool drinks, and hanging at multiple-band festivals.

This year, we traveled to the Newport Folk Festival, not only is it the most iconic of festivals (Bob Dylan, of course, plugged in there) but it is also situated in one of the most bucolic spots to see a show. The main-stage musicians look out past a peninsula packed with music fans nestled on chairs and blankets to the pristine harbor packed with more fans on pleasure boats and yachts.

Of course, it would all be meaningless if the music wasn’t great. But that was not a problem – not with the likes of the Avett Brothers, Sharon Jones & Dap-Kings, Swell Season, Levon Helm on the main stage and some great up and coming acts on the smaller ones. We only wish we could have split ourselves so we could have been in two places at once: Tough choices had to be made as to which acts to catch. What we saw and heard was awesome.

' We also spent a really hot summer night with the Stone Temple Pilots and Cage the Elephant courtesy of our teenage son’s love for grunge and heavy music. Scott Weiland and the boys did not disappoint, putting on a “rock show” like it’s supposed to be done.

In the past, we’ve parked ourselves smack-dab in the middle of jam fests and speed metal shows to catch the vibe of music we don’t usually listen to. So we add this experience, all in the name of service journalism. (You can thank us later!) Check out our review of the STP show HERE.

Finally, summer’s usually a slow time for CD releases, but we found one you definitely should check out.

Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers have released a debut album of amazing country-style tunes. Muth is from the Northwest, which is why her music may take you by surprise when you hit the play button on your iPod. Check out our CD review on Page 9. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect album to hop in the car, roll down the windows and blast the stereo … while heading to the next festival.

To read the new issue, click HERE To see all my the photos from the Newport Folk Festival, click HERE; Stone Temple Pilots concert, click HERE


1. “Captain Kirk,” “I’m Good Now

,” Bob Schneider. A sunny-day song. Fun catching all the icon references. 2. “Black Hearted Woman,” “Beginnings
,” the Allman Brothers. It ROCKS. 3. “Fist City,” “Eilen Jewell Presents Butcher Holler
,” Eilen Jewell. A nice version; hearing it live is even better. 4. “Oye Como Va,” “Abraxas
,” Santana. Fanstastic classic-rock, guitar-god awesomeness. 5. “Trying My Best to Love You,” “Acid Tongue
,” Jenny Lewis. When I need a dose of beautiful vocals.

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