Yesterday, the 59th-annual Newport Folk Festival began, taking over Newport, Rhode Island’s Fort Adams State Park. The festival has long stood out as one of the premier music events in the Northeast, consistently curating one of the most expansive and highly anticipated lineups of the summer. For Friday’s lineup, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit headed the bill along with Sturgill Simpson, Lucius, Margo Price, St. Vincent, Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, The Wood Brothers, Amanda Shires, and others.
During Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit’s set, which closed down the Fort Stage on Friday evening, the band had a special surprise collaboration planned. While the beginning of the group’s set drew heavily on newer material off 2017’s The Nashville Sound as well as 2013’s Southeastern, toward the end of the performance Isbell and friends invited out the legendary folk and rock icon David Crosby to join them. Crosby first emerged for a rendition of his own “Wooden Ships”, which was featured on Crosby, Stills & Nash‘s self-titled 1969 release.
From there, per the Providence Journal, Isbell took a moment to address the crowd, acknowledging “It is important for this generation of musicians to be connected to those 30 or 40 years ago who tried to change the world.”
After this statement to the audience, Crosby helped Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit in a rendition of the iconic fan-favorite 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young track “Ohio”, a protest song penned by Neil Young following the Kent State shootings on May 4th, 1970. At Isbell’s insistence, the crowd sang along for the ending choruses of the song, before closing the show out in full with “If We Were Vampires”, making for a splendid end to the first day of Newport Folk Festival.
You can watch a fan-shot video of David Crosby’s collaboration with Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit from day one of the Newport Folk Festival 2018 below. With the Newport Folk Festival only beginning to heat up, with tons of additional artists and collaborations planned for the rest of the weekend, you can also tune into a free stream of the event’s musical festivities below.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit With David Crosby – “Ohio” – Newport Folk Festival 2018
[Video: Bob McGrath]
Newport Folk Festival 2018 Radio
[Audio: TuneIn‘s Newport Folk Radio]