Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, Live In Concert Collaborators Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer's album Child Ballads includes early traditional folk songs that still feel accessible. They performed on Friday at the 2014 Newport Folk Festival.

Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2014

Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer At Newport

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Anais Mitchell (right) and Jefferson Hamer perform at the 2014 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

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Adam Kissick for NPR

Anais Mitchell (right) and Jefferson Hamer perform at the 2014 Newport Folk Festival.

Adam Kissick for NPR

There's ambition rooted in the pursuit of personal glory, and then there's creative ambition, rooted in a desire to do what hasn't already been done. Anais Mitchell is a folksinger with a kind, approachable voice. But she also takes on heady and inventive concepts, from an album-length "folk opera" adapting the myth of Orpheus (2010's great Hadestown, represented here with "Wedding Song") to Child Ballads, her seven-song collaboration with singer-songwriter Jefferson Hamer.

Hamer has creative ambition of his own: His work frequently stretches out to incorporate ancient Irish music and the traditional sounds of Appalachia. So he's a nice fit for Child Ballads, in which he and Mitchell take on early traditional folk songs in ways that still feel accessible today.

Hear the duo perform as part of the 2014 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Friday, July 25 in Newport, R.I.

Set List

  • "Willie Of Winsbury (Child 100)"

  • "Riddles Wisely Expounded (Child 1)"

  • "Willie's Lady (Child 6)"

  • "Wedding Song"

  • "Young Man In America"

  • "Geordie (Child 209)"

  • "Clyde Waters (Child 216)"