Buffett plays the Newport Folk Festival

August 3rd, 2008

Jimmy Buffett and a stripped-down version of the Coral Reefer Band performed at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon. The Providence Journal reviews the show:

Jimmy Buffett’s concert to close the Newport Folk Festival was perfectly good as far as Buffett concerts go (though by the necessity of the festival context it was shorter than average), but it was far from the acoustic performance that had been billed.

True, there’s always been more than a bit of the singer-songwriter in Buffett’s oeuvre, anyway. And last night’s show included such examples as “A Pirate Looks at 40” and a mostly acoustic “Come Monday,” and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (who had played earlier on the main stage) joined him for Welch’s traditional-based “Elvis Blues.” He also pulled out a skillful, straightforward acoustic encore of Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind.”

While Buffett reminded the Boston Globe this spring that he came up as a folk singer, said he might bring only one other musician and that “it won’t be a Parrothead show,” it did a pretty good approximation of one, with favorites such as “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Brown-Eyed Girl,” “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” “Fins” — you know the drill.

Festival associate producer Jay Sweet said that there had been a miscommunication of some kind with Buffett’s management — “it was a surprise that he brought the heat” — but maintained that “he put together a set list and a band that was appropriate for the Newport Folk Festival. … Was it a folk show? No. Was it a stripped-down version of a Jimmy Buffett show? Yes.” The band was somewhat smaller — Buffett left the horn section at home — but the electric guitars and drums still pounded away. And the audience (announced at 7,500) didn’t seem to mind.

Read the entire article here.

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Tagged in Concerts, In The News