The selections on this playlist come from the 1968 and 1969 Festivals, and are a good example of what the Newport Folk Festival continues to do through today: honoring the past through traditional Americana, while also staying a step ahead with the constantly changing definitions of folk music. So close your eyes, picture the ships out in the harbor and a breeze blowing across your face, and enjoy some tracks recorded over 40 years ago at the Newport Folk Festivals.
Here are a few notes to help you navigate through the setlist:
--The tracks by Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Ramblin Jack Elliott, and Mississippi Fred McDowell are all solo acoustic performances.
--Get cooking with electric blues from B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Big Mama Thornton, and Taj Mahal's "She Caught the Katy" (the final track on this mix is a laid-back, spontaneous acoustic performance by Taj and a few friends).
--Stomp along to bluegrass with a Doc Watson-led backstage jam, Ralph Stanley, and the Jenkins, Jarrel and Cockerham String Band.
--Adding some international flavoring to this mix are folk tunes performed by Theodore Bikel (a co-founder of the Folk Festival) and Jean-Bosco Mwenda. Kaleidoscope's "Taxim" also has a strong Middle-Eastern influence.
--Joan Baez goes country with the Charles River Valley Boys.
--Tim Buckley is ethereal.
--Sleepy John Estes and Yank Rachell provide one more example of tasty acoustic blues.