NPR logo Brandi Carlile At The Newport Folk Festival


Brandi Carlile At The Newport Folk Festival

Brandi Carlile performs at the Newport Folk Festival. Photo by hide caption

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Audio for this concert will be available soon.

Before launching into her second song, "Late Morning Lullaby," Brandi Carlile said, "I've always wanted to come to the Newport Folk Festival. Always." And in her typical fashion, she lit up the stage with her voice — a voice that can rip right through the soul as quickly as it can soothe it. Carlile and her band tore through her small catalog, and surprised the audience with what would become a theme for the day — a tribute to Newport Folk Festival alum Johnny Cash. Rarely has a cello played such a prominent role in such a revved-up version of "Folsom Prison Blues."

The crowd wasn't finished with Carlile yet, so she came back — along with an acoustic guitar — and sang a mesmerizing cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."