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Lucius, Jimmy Cliff and More Added to Newport Folk Festival

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

In the past two weeks, some incredible groups were added to the bill. Here’s a quick rundown!

Lucius, Jimmy Cliff and More Added to Newport Folk Festival

It's been too long since we've checked in on what's been happening with the 2014 Newport Folk Festival lineup, but in those two weeks some stellar additions have been made. Some of them you probably know, some you probably don't know, but you should definitely know all of them. Let's take a quick look and see how the lineup is shaping up for the July festival.

Jimmy Cliff

Jimmy Cliff is a reggae legend who maybe most notably put out his version of "I Can See Clearly Now" from the film Cool Runnings but has made waves much more powerful than that. He is behind the tremendous protest song "Vietnam." He has put out songs like "Many Rivers to Cross" and "The Harder They Come" that have energized audiences all across the globe. The inclusion of Cliff adds to the wonderful, harmonious diversity of music that the festival breeds and fosters. Cliff is an incredible performer that is going to captivate the Newport crowd on Friday, July 25 this Summer. Check him out below:


When I found out Lucius was on the bill for Newport, I released an audible "YES!" I'm so excited that more people will get exposed to the incredible music that this band makes. Lead singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig are powerhouse vocalists up front, and their soaring harmonies over quirky, soulful and timeless pop music is really something that can't be described. It needs to be heard, and there will be plenty of people that get to hear them this summer.


Reignwolf is the stage name of Jordan Cook, a Saskatchewan native whose live show is the stuff of legends. I missed an opportunity to see him last year, but thankfully that will get rectified this Summer. If you need proof of how much the guy shreds, he is currently opening for Black Sabbath on their tour. He's going to be a brash wakeup call to the power of guitar and will cut through the folk sounds like a machete.

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Newport always does a great job at introducing some international flair to the festivities, and Mexico City's Rodrigo y Gabriela are a very welcome addition to the lineup. These two bring such vibrancy to their music that it is palpable from the very first note. These guys are going to fire up the crowd with their outstanding musicianship and intense live performance.

Lake Street Dive

This quartet has a sound and aesthetic that gives me a strong throwback vibe. Lead singer Rachael Price's voice is such a gorgeous alto (and refreshing to hear in a world dominated by sopranos), and with the beautiful combination of upright bass, guitar and drums in the background, it all makes it seem like you're stepping into an old jazz club and hearing four cool cats lay down some really soulful tunes.

Puss'n Boots

I did a double-take when I read the bio for Puss'n Boots, a band I had never heard of, and learned that one of the members of the trio is Norah Jones. Yes, that Norah Jones. Joining her are Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper, and this trio of ladies is a fairly new project, but one that has already earned an entertaining reputation for fun live shows filled with covers, original music and plenty of sassy banter. See what I mean in this video below:

Aoife O'Donovan

Newport taps into its Irish roots with the addition of singer Aoife O'Donovan to the lineup. O'Donovan possesses a stunningly beautiful, delicate voice. And who isn't going to positively swoon over that cute Irish accent? I know I will be.

Willie Watson

Watson was one of the original members of Old Crow Medicine Show, a band whose music inspired the like of Mumford & Sons and many the banjo-toting bands out there today. He will be at Newport this year solo, and he will bring his old school, backwoods folk vibe along with him. He is proof that you don't need a lot of bells and whistles to be compelling. All you need is a sincere approach and a good story to tell.

Leif Vollebekk

Finally, just announced today was Montreal's Leif Vollebekk. I've only just started listening to him, but I can tell there is something very unique about his sensibilities compared to some of his contemporaries. NPR's Bob Boilen introduced Vollebekk on the Newport site, and he hit the nail right on the head with his statement about Vollebekk's phrasing. It's something so subtle, but so very meaningful all at the same time, and those little personal touches really make a huge difference in the listening experience.

The Newport Folk Festival takes place from Friday July 25 to Sunday July 27. Most tickets are only sold out, and only Friday passes remain. Check out www.newportfolk.org for more information on all things Newport Folk Festival, and check back later on for more lineup updates.

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