An Interview With Newport Folk Producer Jay Sweet

An Eclectic Mix Of Artists Celebrates Festival's 50th Anniversary

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When the legendary Newport Folk Festival started in Rhode Island in 1959, organizers sought to bring together a diverse mix of artists who represented the far-reaching branches of folk music, including gospel, protest songs and the pop music of the day. Half a century later, the festival is celebrating its 50th birthday with another eclectic mix of artists, from towering figures like Pete Seeger and Joan Baez to Neko Case, The Decemberists and Mavis Staples. NPR Music will be there to webcast and broadcast the full slate of concerts, with dozens of live performances starting at noon ET Saturday.

All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen recently spoke with festival producer Jay Sweet about what's in store for the weekend celebration.

An Interview With Newport Folk Producer Jay Sweet

Iron & Wine

  • Artist: Iron & Wine
  • Song: Belated Promise Ring
  • From: Around the Well
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Around the Well
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Iron & Wine
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Sub Pop
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2009

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Elvis Perkins in Dearland

  • Artist: Elvis Perkins in Dearland
  • Song: Chains, Chains, Chains
  • From: Elvis Perkins in Dearland
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Chains, Chains, Chains
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Elvis Perkins in Dearland
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XL
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2009

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Mavis Staples

  • Artist: Mavis Staples
  • Song: Freedom Highway [Live]
  • From: Live: Hope at the Hideout
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Freedom Highway [Live]
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Live: Hope at the Hideout
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Mavis Staples
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Anti
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2008

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Joan Baez

  • Artist: Joan Baez
  • Song: God Is God
  • From: Day After Tomorrow
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Day After Tomorrow
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Joan Baez
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Razor & Tie
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The Avett Brothers

  • Artist: The Avett Brothers
  • Song: I And Love And You
  • From: I and Love and You
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I And Love And You
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I and Love and You
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The Avett Brothers
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Sony
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2009

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Billy Bragg

  • Artist: Billy Bragg
  • Song: I Keep Faith
  • From: Mr. Love & Justice
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Mr. Love & Justice
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Billy Bragg
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Anti
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Gillian Welch

  • Artist: Gillian Welch
  • Song: Look at Miss Ohio
  • From: Soul Journey
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Soul Journey
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Gillian Welch
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Acony
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Pete Seeger

  • Artist: Pete Seeger
  • Song: Shenandoah
  • From: American Favorite Ballads, Vols. 1-5
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Shenandoah
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American Favorite Ballads, Vols. 1-5
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Pete Seeger
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Smithsonian/Folkways
Released
2009

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The Low Anthem

  • Artist: The Low Anthem
  • Song: To Ohio
  • From: Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
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