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Newport Folk Festival Preview: Wilco, My Morning Jacket, tUnE-yArDs, More

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Wilco (clockwise from upper left), tUnE-yArDs, Rodriguez, Dawes and Charles Bradley
Courtesy of the artists

More than 50 years after it first started, The Newport Folk Festival continues to represent a broad range of American folk music and its many branches. This year, tickets for the two-day event in Rhode Island disappeared a record three months in advance of the festival. It kicks off this Friday with full concerts by Wilco, Blitzen Trapper and Megafaun, and continues through the weekend with shows by Iron & Wine, Jackson Browne, Alabama Shakes, Conor Oberst and many more.

On this edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen talks with festival producer, Jay Sweet about the extraordinary talent that makes the annual music celebration so special.

This is the fifth year in a row NPR Music will be at the Newport Folk Festival to live webcast full concerts, along with WFUV, mvyradio, Folk Alley, and WUMB. You can see the full lineup of artists and watch live video from the festival at our Newport Folk page.

This year Newport will celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of Woody Guthrie. All Songs Considered shares music from some of the "disciples" of Guthrie: from Wilco to the supergroup, New Multitudes (consisting of Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, and Jim James). But the festival is not only about paying tribute and traditional folk artists, but re-defining what folk means today. Every year has a curve ball, and Sweet says this year's sharp elbow is tUnE-yArDs.

An exclusive mix of songs from the artists performing at the Newport Folk Festival is available here. A mix celebrating the Woody Guthrie centennial is available here.

Newport Folk Festival Preview

Cover for New Multitudes

New Multitudes

  • Song: Talking Empty Bed Blues
  • From: New Multitudes

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Song
Talking Empty Bed Blues
Album
New Multitudes
Artist
Jay Farrar/Will Johnson/Anders Parker/Yim Yames
Label
Rounder
Released
2012

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Billy Bragg & Wilco

  • Song: Jolly Banker
  • From: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions

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Song
Jolly Banker
Album
Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
Artist
Billy Bragg & Wilco
Label
Nonesuch
Released
2012

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Charles Bradley

  • Song: The World (Is Going Up In Flames)
  • From: No Time For Dreaming

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Song
The World (Is Going Up In Flames)
Album
No Time For Dreaming
Artist
Charles Bradley
Label
Dunham Records
Released
2011

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Cover for Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Rodriguez

  • Song: Sugar Man
  • From: Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Song
Sugar Man
Album
Searching for Sugar Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist
Rodriguez
Label
Sony Legacy
Released
2012

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My Morning Jacket

  • Song: Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
  • From: Circuital

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Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
Album
Circuital
Artist
My Morning Jacket
Label
ATO Records
Released
2011

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