Gillian Welch performs at the Newport Folk Festival.
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As it approaches its 50th anniversary next year, the Newport Folk Festival is expanding its focus in 2008, showcasing an impressive array of not only folk music (Richie Havens, Gillian Welch), but also indie rock, including Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), Calexico and She & Him. NPR.org webcast performances by all of these and more, live from the Newport Folk Festival on Aug. 2-3, 2008. WFUV's Rita Houston hosts along with Bob Boilen from All Songs Considered.
Since 1959, the Newport Folk Festival has been an American institution. It was founded by folksingers and managers such as Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand, Pete Seeger, George Wein and Albert Grossman. Some of the most important folk musicians in history have come through the Rhode Island town, including Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, whose controversial plugged-in performance at the Newport Folk Festival was the stuff of legend.