Friday, July 31, 2009

Premier Folk Festival Turns 50

It's all about Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and co. I caught a few songs from the Pete Seeger birthday celebration on PBS last night. I've never seen Pete live, but he exudes happiness. Here is a guy who has held on to his convictions and it hasn't made life easy for him, but it's obvious he's happy with himself. Like Paul McCartney, he seems to find so much joy in the music and it can't help but be infectious.

Pete and Joan will be part of this years George Wein's Folk Festival 50 (legal issues prevent him from using the Newport Folk Festival name), which is celebrating it's 50th year and starts tomorrow. Joan talks about being a shy 18 year old and walking on stage in front of more people than she had ever seen. George Wein who created the Newport Jazz Festival as well as the Newport Folk Festival is still at the helm. (Vanity Fair has a Q&A with George.) Each performer, no matter who they were, received $50 for their performance in that first festival. This year's festival is rounded out with newer artists such as the Decemberists, Tift Merritt, Deer Tick, Neko Case and Iron & Wine. For more info, check out the festival's offical site.

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