The Newport Folk Festival will return to Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island on July 26th-28th this summer. The historic folk-based music event has already started to gradually roll out its 2019 lineup, with previously announced performers including Gregory Alan Isakov, Jade Bird, Jeff Tweedy, and more recently, Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band. On Thursday, Newport Folk Festival organizers announced that emerging bluegrass-folk guitarist Billy Strings and award-winning singer/guitarist/banjo player Molly Tuttle will also perform together at this year’s event.
With the announcement of every 2019 performer, the Festival continues to make donations to various charities picked specifically by each artist. Strings and Tuttle chose to go with The Nashville School of Traditional Country Music, with the donation from NFF going to help launch a new class teaching bluegrass-based flat picking guitar styles beginning in 2019. The class is projected to be open for enrollment for children, as well as their parents, according to the two performers’ page on the event’s website.
“We chose The Nashville School of Traditional Country Music because we believe Country music is worth preserving,” Strings and Tuttle said in a joint statement about their involvement in this year’s Festival. “The only way that’s going to happen is by teaching the next generation what it’s all about and giving any kid that wants to learn the opportunity to take lessons – regardless of his or her economic background.”
The Nashville school’s founder, Meredith Watson, also chimed in, stating, “This exciting recognition by two such prodigious rising talents encourages us to persist in our mission of passing on and preserving Traditional American Country Music for many generations to come.”
Strings, whose real name is William Apostol, released his Turmoil and Tinfoil LP in September 2017, and has kept a busy performance schedule in the year-and-a-half since, often joining national tours as support for bands like Greensky Bluegrass. Speaking of Greensky, Strings will join the popular jamgrass band again later this year when they return to Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre in September.
Molly Tuttle also released a new album in 2017—her self-released Rise EP. More recently, she shared a new single just last Friday with “Take The Journey”. Tuttle is also scheduled to perform at the 2019 Telluride Bluegrass Festival this June.