I am pretty sure that I have written on this subject before, but it is one that is near and dear to me and happens at the Newport Folk Festival quite often. I am surrounded by some of the most talented and wonderful people on a daily basis. My friends and folks I meet through the community in and around the North East are some of the most incredibly gifted people that I know. Over the past two years that there has been an open mic run in the Museum stage I have seen many a friend grace the stage there and been extremely proud to witness that all unfold. Last year I stumbled into the Museum because not much else was going on and my buddy Steve Allain was playing, later on that day we caught a couple sets together at the Harbor stage in the rain, and he played a few killer tunes himself.
Later I received a text from a good pal (that pal being Ian Fitzgerald who is officially playing the festival this year with Wildwood Revival) saying he was performing a set at the Late July Tent in a few minutes…so I ran on over to catch him play to a full tent of folks old and young and got to capture the below shot of a young folkster telling Ian he liked that harmonica playing and he wanted to play harmonica some day too. This is still one of my favorite photos that I have ever taken.
One good friend who is constantly popping up all over Fort Adams is my dear pal Dan Blakeslee. You may have seen that gent entertaining folks waiting in line for the ferry to take festival go-ers back to the other side of the harbor while he picks and dances with his octopus guitar. You can see him grinning during sets with his guitar case strapped on his back, watching friends and songwriters he admires, or be lucky enough as I was to catch him not just last year, but also the year before, playing songs during the aforementioned Museum Stage open mic. And here is that gentleman in photos below. Yes, for me, Newport Folk stands for all that is right with music. For me it is all about finding new artists and watching the ones I love and care about most find a new audience and have their voices be heard. That is the best.