Tom Morello/The Nightwatchman: Newport Folk Festival 2009 Though the former Rage Against the Machine guitarist's solo work under the name The Nightwatchman leans on percussive acoustic-guitar sounds, his old band's left-swerving politics survive.
NPR logo Tom Morello/The Nightwatchman: Newport Folk Festival 2009

Tom Morello/The Nightwatchman: Newport Folk Festival 2009

Tom Morello/The Nightwatchman At Newport 2009

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When he played with the band Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello's explosive, militaristic guitar was a crucial building block in helping the group meld funk and hip-hop with hard rock. Though Morello's solo work under the name The Nightwatchman leans on percussive acoustic sounds, his surprising guitar work and his old band's left-swerving politics survive. A quote on Morello's MySpace page reads -- in an abbreviated version, anyway -- "You don't gotta be loud, son, to be heavy!"

Tom Morello performs at the Newport Folk Festival. Michael Weintrob Photography hide caption

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Michael Weintrob Photography

Tom Morello performs at the Newport Folk Festival.

Michael Weintrob Photography

One Man Revolution, Morello's debut album as The Nightwatchman, was released in 2007, and last year he put out a well-reviewed follow-up called The Fabled City. Morello has also played guitar in the band Audioslave, collaborated with rapper Boots Riley as Street Sweeper Social Club and played with Bruce Springsteen and Perry Farrell. He'll perform at a number of festivals this summer.

Set List

"One Man Revolution"

"The Fabled City"

"Flesh Shapes the Day"

"Saint Isabelle"

"Whatever It Takes"

"Dog of Tijuana"

"The Garden of Gethsemane"

"The Road I Must Travel"

"This Land Is Your Land"

"Rise to Power"

"Maximum Firepower"