Guy Clark; for some men, the hard miles on their faces and in their voices just make the songs seem more real…

The Del McCoury Band is always a class act complete with sharp, snazzy suits, some of the best bluegrass musicians around, and the best head of white hair in show biz.

Tim Eriksen and the Shape Note Singers; Eriksen has come a long way from his CBGB days. Today he’s immersed in a sacred musical tradition developed centuries ago.

As the Newport fog started to roll in, we watched them practice backstage in the Fort. The a cappella, four part harmonies were, well, spiritual.

Sarah Knox, one of the Shape Note Singers told me how she got involved, “I was riding my bike by the chapel at Smith College and heard this beautiful sound coming out… I just had to go in. I sat down and listened and saw my 5th grade music teacher, I was hooked.”

Elvis Perkins in Dearland played an eclectic, energetic set mingling original songs with a modern arrangement of Woody Guthrie’s “Gypsy Davy.”

Deer Tick fans managed to get the chairs out of the way and dance, while John pondered the rainy weather and whether or not it would spur some sort of hippie love fest. “Chris and I aren’t wearing any underwear,” he told the crowd for some reason.

Arlo Guthrie; always and forever a master storyteller. Weaving songs together like “Motorcycle Song,” “I Don’t Want a Pickle” and “Alabama Bound” with comical commentary about trying to find Leadbelly’s grave — encircled by a fence in a cemetery in Louisiana, Guthrie noted that the “King of the 12 String Guitar” was still locked up.

Joan Baez performed songs from her new album, including a lovely rendition of Steve Earle’s “God is God,” which Earle considers a “recovery song,” embracing the idea that one must believe in a power greater than oneself. Of course, “When you hit rock bottom, that power can be a door knob,” Joan mused.

Judy Collins stood out amid the gray skies with her flowing blonde locks, magenta accented coat, and dazzling dramatic voice. “The Weight of the World” and “Amazing Grace” sent chills down my spine.

Pete Seeger and friends wrapped things up Sunday night with a foot-stomping, booty shaking version of “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

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