Pics & Thoughts from Newport 2014: Pt. I

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hi all! I returned from Newport post-festival last evening, and wanted to share a few photos I took with my iPhone. I have more on my camera, but I'll need to transfer those to my laptop later today. I guess I'll share those in another post.

Follow below the fold for all of the exciting details!

The drive down, alas, was endless. It's normally a 75-80 minute trip from Boston to Newport, but I knew it would take longer, since it's a Friday in summertime and there would be a lot of Cape Cod traffic that slows down the initial third of the trip. 

My guess was it would take closer to two hours, but that turned out to be wildly optimistic. Instead, it was nearly four hours, thanks to a backup that apparently had begun well before 10:00 AM. 

I arrived at my hotel around 3:30 PM. After checking in and tossing my bags into my room, I drove as close to downtown as I dared, then hoofed it to the water taxi to the festival.

I wound up missing most of the initial acts, alas. :-/ Fortunately, though, I got there in time for the two acts I most wanted to see: Band of Horses and Ryan Adams. I was so far back it was pointless to take photos, but both were terrific. 

As I mentioned in my previous post (I think), none of my usual friends who usually attend were able to make it to the festival this year.  So this year was a bit strange.

Happily, though, another group of friends, a lovely family from Texas, were attending. I apologize if I wrote about this already, but I am a bit punchy today. (Thank goodness I took off until Thursday!)

The first person I met was D, several years ago here at the Festival. She and I struck up a conversation while chatting before the day's acts began, and by the end of the day we were all friends. (Little did they know what they had let themselves in for! :D)

Last year D had reached out to ask me if I was going. It was the first time I went as myself for an entire weekend (it is hard to believe it was only a year ago!) so of course I wanted to let them know I would be attending as Cass and that I would understand if they were uncomfortable with that.

Her response was immediate: you're our friend. Period. We are all thrilled we will get to meet Cass.  They couldn't have been nicer. And this year was no different. I feel very fortunate to have met them. 

(On a personal note: thank you again for the Brad Boyer CD! I listened to it again on the drive home, and have already downloaded his first album from eMusic! :D)

I will write a bit more about my favorite acts in the next post, but I will mention the new (at least new to me) acts that really stood out. 

First was Shakey Graves, a genuinely eccentric - but brilliant (and very funny) - singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Austin TX. He has a unique setup that is much easier to show (see the video below) than to explain, but suffice it to say that he really is a one man band (although he brought out a drummer - whom he promptly tormented by refusing to tell him what songs he was going to play. lol) I'll be hunting down his albums in the days to come.

Here he is performing "Roll The Bones," the title song of his first full-length album (he has a new one coming out in October):

Next up: Gregory Alan Isikov, from Boulder CO, who played a terrific, quietly intense set on Sunday. His band was terrific, and they shone when they all unplugged and played gathered around a single microphone at the front of the stage. 

After they finished the two songs they played that way, he said that were talking about how Newport was the only festival he could imagine where they could do that and know that the entire audience would listen.

Here's one of the songs they performed unplugged, a lovely song called "Suitcase Full of Sparks":

And finally, I was very impressed with Leif Vollebekk, a young singer/songwriter from Montreal who opened Sunday's show on the Quad Stage, inside Ft. Adams. He has a folk sound with a heavy jazz bent to it, that worked well with his literate lyrics. 

And while he professed to being terrified, he was completely nonplussed when Jay Sweet, the festival organizer, was forced to interrupt him after only one song to warn the crowd about the possibility of violent thunderstorms in the area. (We received torrential rain for nearly an hour, but no lightning, thankfully.) 

In fact, he joked about "going electric" as soon as he started up his set again, and carried on as if nothing had happened. Again, I will be checking him out too.

More on the acts I was already familiar with in my next post! :D


BTW, NPR Music already has a number of the sets from the weekend posted to their site, with more to come in the days ahead, so you can check them out if you are so inclined. Band of Horses and Ryan Adams are already up there. (Hopefully those links work for those of you not in the States.)


Most of my photos of artists are on my camera, so for this post I'll just share a few of my non-stage photos.

For some reason I wasn't very hungry during the day; I guess it was the humidity. It wasn't planned, but my lunch each day wound up consisting of this: a homemade root beer float with a twist (that is, chocolate and vanilla ice cream). It was as yummy as it looks. :D

I thought I would post a few shots of your humble blogstress as well, just to prove I really was there and not just listening at home on the radio. ;-p 

The photo at the top of the post is my favorite. I took it at my hotel room after arriving back from the festival one evening. I really like the light.

Here's another, taken on Saturday morning. I mentioned that it was humid; proof, you ask? Look at this photo! lol

(The necklace is new, btw. I purchased it on Friday, along with matching earrings - but I was too zonked by the time I got back to the hotel to put them in. The last thing I need to do is inadvertently give myself new ear piercings because I'm exhausted!)

The skirts in the next two photos both come from a small company called Rocks & Salt. (I received several compliments for them, and I promptly gave credit where it was due. (All I was doing was wearing them, after all! lol) 

In addition to their way cool skirts, they make wonderful hats; I own one of their winter caps, courtesy of my friends T & J. Anyway, here are a few shots:

I was under a tent for most of Saturday and Sunday, so I didn't really need to wear the sunhat I bought last summer. Well, I was determined to rectify that, so I made sure I wore it on Monday while I was out and about in downtown Newport. 

Although I was at the festival without the standard cast of my fellow folkie fanatics, I nonetheless carried on a Newport tradition that morning and had breakfast in downtown Newport - blueberry pancakes, to be precise.

I couldn't eat a thing for nearly 10 hours after this; holy cow, are these filling!!!

I think I've posted photo or two of this previously, but it's so beautiful I am going to do it again. This is Trinity Church, in downtown Newport, taken on Friday afternoon post-festival.

It was founded in 1698, and constructed in 1726. It still operates to this day. (And while George Washington didn't sleep there, he *did* worship there.)

And last but not least, a completely unintentional shot, but one I love:

I must have inadvertently snapped this while attempting to sit down on Saturday afternoon to watch Jack White's closing set. I had to be extra careful to observe the well-known equation Cass + beverage + short skirt + task requiring a modicum of coordination and grace = likely disaster. Fortunately, the worst was averted for once. :-p

Anyway, it was a total accident, but I like it a lot. The clouds are so cool, and I love the floating red head lurking at the bottom of the photo!!! lol

More to come!


Lastly, NPR has a clip of Ryan Adams from his closing set on Friday. This will give those of you who have never attended some idea of how beautiful the setting is:


Jenna on August 12, 2014 at 1:04 AM said...

Sounds like you had a really good time at the festival.
Thanks for the name of company where you got your outfits. Just been on their etsy site and they have lots and lots of hats in styles I like. I have a feeling I might be ordering a couple of things :-)

Cassidy on August 12, 2014 at 10:24 PM said...

You're welcome, Jenna. As I mentioned, I'm going to order at least one of their winter hats when I can afford them. They're really cute, so cute that I want one even though I don't look good in hats. Then again, in the winter who cares, I suppose?

== Cass

bashashhazbaz on August 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM said...

you look very pretty in your outfit choices! also, those pancakes look scrumptious!

Cassidy on August 22, 2014 at 9:44 PM said...

Aww... thank you! :#) That's very kind. I also agree with you that blueberry pancakes trump all in terms of scrumptiousness!!! :D

== Cass

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