Rachel Horn

"If you came to this set looking to be cheered up, you're screwed," John Paul White deadpanned from the stage at Newport. The comment drew laughs from the assembled crowd, but there was a wry truth to it: Eerie harmonies and Kelli Jones' fiddle shrouded White's tender songs in a dark, mournful beauty.

"These are my sisters," said Natalie Closner, introducing the song "Wind" during Joseph's Saturday-afternoon set at the Newport Folk Festival. "This is about that."

It's often a sparse crowd that turns up to see an 11 a.m. set at a music festival — but not so at the Newport Folk Festival. When Julia Jacklin took the stage on Saturday morning, she seemed shocked to be faced with a tent full of attentive onlookers. (If it were any other festival, she pointed out, she'd probably be playing to an audience of four — and four hung-over people, at that.)

Folk music is a genre commonly associated with protest, and the performers at Newport this year lived up to that expectation.

"Folk festival" is a bit of a misnomer for the current form of the event where Bob Dylan shocked crowds by plugging in five decades ago; the Newport Folk Festival now warmly embraces talent that leans toward the louder, more electrified end of the folk-rock spectrum.

I heard more than one person at Newport marvel at the fact that Pinegrove had been booked for the smallest of the festival's three main stages. The day before its Newport set, the Montclair, N.J., band had played the main stage at the Panorama Music Festival, where headliner Frank Ocean would perform later that day. For a band that still practices in one member's parents' basement, Pinegrove has accumulated a huge, enthusiastic fan base over the year since it released its latest studio album, Cardinal.

When Fleet Foxes took the stage to close out the first day at Newport, it had been eight years since the band's last performance at the festival. In 2009, the band was picking up steam after releasing its critically venerated self-titled debut, "White Winter Hymnal" was still fresh as new snow in our collective consciousness and then-drummer J.

Sunday evening's final set at the Newport Folk Festival is frequently a triumphant, all-star affair — and John Prine's performance this year proved true to form.

For those looking to hear Americana from Oceania, Newport Folk's Quad Stage was the place to be during the second day of the festival. After Australia's Julia Jacklin kicked things off that morning, it was the 26-year-old Kiwi Marlon Williams' turn. Originally from a tiny New Zealand port town, Williams had just begun to write songs when he first heard Gram Parsons' GP and fell in love with country music.

Moments of unexpected magic are the Newport Folk Festival's calling card. The festival typically sells out well before its lineup is even announced — but the official lineup is more of a rough guideline, anyway, since the weekend is peppered every year with surprise performances and collaborations.

"It's the whole reason I'm here right now," said Brent Cobb by way of introducing his song "Down Home" to the Newport Folk Festival audience Friday afternoon.

Though Alynda Segarra grew up in the Bronx, she left New York City behind as a teenager to chase the romantic allure of America's small towns and wide-open spaces. Those travels, plus her infatuation with the classic songwriting of artists like Joni Mitchell and Townes Van Zandt, have informed Segarra's work fronting the Americana project Hurray for the Riff Raff for nearly a decade.

Which band you encountered upon approaching the Newport Folk stage during Big Thief's set depended, to some extent, on the moment you came within earshot. The Brooklyn foursome can simmer quietly for long intervals at a time, its subdued wash of sound centering the folk-inspired specificity of Adrianne Lenker's poetic lyrics. But at a moment's notice, the band turns volcanic, erupting into aggressive, jarring episodes of release.

When you hear The Wild Reeds perform, you experience an artistic emulsion of sorts. The Los Angeles band's frontwomen — three musicians with three distinct songwriting styles that might not naturally mix — have put in the work to achieve a sound that's unified. Mackenzie Howe, Sharon Silva and Kinsey Lee have spent hours swapping favorite records in their touring van and perfecting their vocal blend, and their efforts have paid off: The Wild Reeds' Friday set at Newport Folk was assured and robust, a testament to potent voices made more powerful when united.

The last time the charismatic husband-and-wife duo Shovels & Rope performed at Newport, it was 2014 and Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent were not yet parents. The South Carolina couple has since welcomed its first child and released a new album, Little Seeds, recorded at home while the baby slept.

As it was for many of us, 2016 was a helluva year for Margo Price — except while we were trying to keep our heads from spinning over presidential politics and mourning the deaths of one beloved musician after another, she was also having one of the biggest artistic breakthroughs of the year. After a decade of trucking away with various bands in the East Nashville scene, Price finally released her masterful debut, Midwest Farmer's Daughter, via Third Man Records.

It's finally official: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter gave birth to twins in June, and early Friday morning, Sir Carter and Rumi made their official debut on Instagram.

Beyoncé's caption reads, "Sir Carter and Rumi 1 month today."

As of 6:45 a.m. ET, the photo had already surpassed 4.5 million likes on the social platform.

Adele is again suffering the effects of damage to her vocal cords, she announced in a Facebook post Friday night. As a result, she canceled the final two shows of her world tour. The performances were to take place at London's Wembley Stadium on Saturday and Sunday evenings, and would have capped off a four-date run there.

When you're a group that's performed together for more than seven decades, it might be a daunting task to keep crafting music that feels fresh. No doubt that hill is even harder to climb when you're working within a tradition like gospel, with its well-loved, and well-worn, harmonic and lyrical conventions. Yet the singers who make up Blind Boys of Alabama have always risen to the challenge with utter grace — and the group's forthcoming album, Almost Home, places a capstone on that history.

It was not uncommon, in the mid-20th century, for black American artists and writers to take up more-or-less permanent residence in Europe. Jazz musicians like Bud Powell and Dexter Gordon spent years living in Paris and Copenhagen, enticed by the artistic respect and comparative lack of racial discrimination they found while touring the Continent.

Beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 19, watch Benjamin Booker, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Robert Cray and more perform during the final night of public radio's Non-Comm 2017. The show streams live via VuHaus from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Find Friday evening's full schedule below; all set times are shown in Eastern time and are subject to change.

Friday, May 19

7 p.m. — Holly Macve

7:30 p.m. — The Growlers

Beginning Friday, May 19, at 12 p.m. ET, watch a live stream of the jazz-influenced British singer ALA.NI at noon, followed by former Late Show bandleader Paul Shaffer and his group, The World's Most Dangerous Band. They're performing as part of this year's Non-Comm convention, currently underway at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

The show streams live via VuHaus; find approximate set times (in Eastern) below.

Beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 18, watch Laura Marling, The Mavericks, Real Estate and more perform during the second night of public radio's Non-Comm 2017. The show streams live via VuHaus from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Find Thursday evening's full schedule below; all set times are shown in Eastern time and are subject to change.

Thursday, May 18

7 p.m. — Kyle Craft

7:30 p.m. — Baskery

Beginning Thursday, May 18, at 12:00 p.m. ET, watch a live stream of the sassy vaudeville duo Nancy And Beth (better known as actors Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt) and the pioneering alt-rock band Pixies. They perform as part of this year's Non-Comm convention, held at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

The show streams live via VuHaus; find approximate set times (listed in Eastern time) below.

Beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 17 you can see Ani DiFranco, Blondie, Chicano Batman and more perform during the first night of public radio's Non-Comm 2017. The show will stream live via VuHaus from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

Find Wednesday's full schedule below; all set times are shown in Eastern time and are subject to change.

Wednesday, May 17

7 p.m. — The National Reserve

7:30 p.m. — Brent Cobb

This week, Philadelphia's WXPN and World Cafe Live play host to the NON-COMMvention, an annual gathering of noncommercial music radio station staffers and industry pros. The highlight: three evenings full of performances by some of public radio's favorite artists. This year's featured performers include Ani DiFranco, Blondie, Chicano Batman, Pixies, Laura Marling, Benjamin Booker, Real Estate, Hurray For The Riff Raff and more.

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