If you've got your ticket for the annual Newport Folk Festival this weekend, you're probably counting down the minutes until you can see Roger Waters, the Decemberists and Hozier. But with dozens of other acts scheduled to perform, how do you prioritize? Here are our picks for the can't-miss acts among the non-headliners.
Last year's "Burn Your Fire for No Witness" brought Olsen her best reviews yet. While this may not be the "can't stop dancing" stop of the festival, it is the "feel your feelings super hard" stop, which is a just as vital. Olsen swings from mournful to enraged, often with only an electric guitar to accompany her. Catch her Friday.
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Bridges seems to have been transplanted straight from the 60s soul scene to the modern day. Bring your beau and dance to his slow jams on Friday night. Bonus points for wearing period-appropriate clothing. And don't tell anyone he's figured out how to time travel. We'd like to keep him and his music firmly in 2015.
If it's folk music you're determined to hear (this is a folk festival, after all), you'd do well to check out Aussie duo Luluc. Singer Zoe Randell has one of those effortlessly tuneful folk voices, and her gently twangy accompaniment from bandmate Steve Hassett seems designed for a soothing listen on a porch in the summer. They're on the schedule for Saturday.
Jon Batiste & Stay Human
Batiste, a jazz musician and bandleader from Louisiana, got a bit of a career bump this year from a minor celebrity you may recognize: Stephen Colbert chose him to be his bandleader for the new "Late Show." Get an early taste of what you can expect from the show, and see him perform on Sunday.