I spent this past weekend in Newport, RI with my family, but that didn't mean a pause in the action. The annual Newport Folk Festival was going on (or off!), and it's long been a family tradition to sit out on the lawn of Fort Adams, enjoying the music.
This time, though, I was only able to attend the Friday night opener, which meant seeing Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers play again. (I will re-post my review of their stellar Red Butte Garden performance, so it's available on our new site.)
Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers were fabulous as before; perhaps even better. Rhode Island's Friday night saw balmy weather and starry skies, a far cry from the stormy cold rain during Martin's Utah performance earlier this summer. So that likely had something to do with it. The crowd was more vibrant, laughing more at Martin's quick-flying jokes and hooting and whistling, stomping their feet along with the music.
But yes, Steve Martin and his band shined with their tight, harmonied amazingness. After attending the Salt Lake concert, I really expected nothing less. The night's opening act, Sarah Jarosz did surprise me, however. Somehow we missed that there were two openers and were expecting longtime singer/songwriter Tim O'Brien (who was fabulous when he did play, by the way). But Jarosz opened things up with her parents and friends in the crowd (among the hundreds of others) and had everyone on their feet, delivering standing ovations after her lovely, hearty bluegrass songs.
So who is Sarah Jarosz? The Austin, Texas native is like the Justin Beiber of Bluegrass--just recently turned 19 years old. In fact, she officially became an 18 year-old adult just weeks before her debut album Song Up in Her Head was released. Her rich voice carries you with her story-telling lyrics, and her classic 'grassy intonations lend a cool hee-haw element to the whole experience. Jarosz is definitely one to watch.
Here, she sings Tell Me True on the Music Fog Bus: