Ben Kweller: Newport Folk 2009 After first attracting attention as a teenager, Kweller has grown beyond his early years as an upstart power-pop singer thanks to a developing infatuation with singer-songwriters of the '60s and '70s.

Ben Kweller courtesy of the artist/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
courtesy of the artist/NPR

Ben Kweller

courtesy of the artist/NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Ben Kweller: Newport Folk 2009Folk Alley

Ben Kweller At Newport 2009

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/111364671/111462979" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

After first attracting national attention as a teenager, Ben Kweller has grown beyond his early years as an upstart power-pop singer thanks to a developing infatuation with singer-songwriters of the '60s and '70s. His newest record, Changing Horses, makes good on both its title and Kweller's Texas roots by filtering his sunny, irreverent songwriting through a twang that offers up an acknowledgment of its debt to previous owners. In "Things I Like to Do," Kweller sings, "I like thinking 'bout the people who lived here before us / I like listening to my favorite music when I'm on the bus."

Kweller has said that he'd had plans to make a country record ever since he stumbled into the genre while writing 2004's On My Way, so Changing Horses marks the culmination of a long process. When he's not stretching his boundaries on solo records, Kweller has taken on many collaborations: He joined with Ben Lee and Ben Folds for a 2004 EP called The Bens, and he contributed to the soft-rock band America's 2007 comeback album, Here and Now.

Set List

  • "Wantin' Her Again"
  • "Things I Like to Do"
  • "Walk on Me"
  • "On My Way"
  • "Family Tree"
  • "Gypsy Rose"
  • "Thirteen"
  • "Sundress"
  • "Fight"
[+] read more[-] less

More From Newport Folk Festival

Margo Price performing at the 2018 Newport Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

​Margo Price, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

WFUV

Margo Price gave an authentically rich performance at the 2018 Newport Folk Festival.

​Margo Price, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630615997/687044810" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images

Curtis Harding, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

Harding woke up the Newport crowd with the soul-rock hybrid he calls "slop 'n' soul."

Curtis Harding, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630245957/682012943" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Tajette O'Halloran/Courtesy of the artist

Jen Cloher, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

Jen Cloher came to Newport with a fervor matched only by her volume.

Jen Cloher, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630590575/682317893" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Frederick "Toots" Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals performs at Coachella in 2017. Katie Stratton/Getty Images for Coachella hide caption

toggle caption Katie Stratton/Getty Images for Coachella

Toots And The Maytals​, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

The oldest song Toots and The Maytals played, "I'll Never Grow Old," captured the spirit Toots Hibbert brought to the show. This will warm up your New Year's celebrations like nothing else.

Toots And The Maytals​, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630843648/680751003" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Shakey Graves at the Newport Folk Festival 2018. Adam Kissick/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick/NPR

Shakey Graves, Live In Concert: Newport 2018

Austin singer-songwriter Alejandro Rose-Garcia, aka Shakey Graves, began his Newport Folk Festival set by raising a little hell.

Shakey Graves, Live In Concert: Newport 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630621646/680533174" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Glen Hansard performs at the Newport Folk Festival 2018. Adam Kissick/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick/NPR

Glen Hansard, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

From a Swell Season favorite and traditional Irish tunes to a live collaboration with The War and Treaty, Glen Hansard's performance was enthralling.

Glen Hansard, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630481657/680300609" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jon Batiste led a star-studded cast, including Mavis Staples, through the civil rights-themed set A Change Is Gonna Come. Adam Kissick/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick/NPR

A Change Is Gonna Come, Live In Concert : Newport Folk 2018

Jon Batiste led a star-studded cast — including Mavis Staples, the Dap-Kings, Chris Thile and Brandi Carlile — through the civil rights-themed set.

A Change Is Gonna Come, Live In Concert : Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630204697/679274298" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Adam Kissick/for NPR

Courtney Barnett, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

There's electricity in the atmosphere at Newport Folk Festival as evening begins. As the penultimate performer on the main stage, Courtney Barnett's return to Newport felt like cause for celebration.

Courtney Barnett, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630244520/678382628" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Phoebe Bridgers performs at the 2018 Newport Folk Festival. Christopher Hall/Mixtape Magazine hide caption

toggle caption Christopher Hall/Mixtape Magazine

Phoebe Bridgers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

The 2018 Slingshot artist performed songs that unspool with a sonic ease that feel refreshing, even for an overheated festival audience.

Phoebe Bridgers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630619429/652531683" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Adam Kissick /for NPR

Bermuda Triangle, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

WFUV and Folk Alley

It's not often you find a band with three lead singers who each sound as impressive on their own as they do together.

Bermuda Triangle, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2018

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/630239295/640563794" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top