Vanguard - 9225- 1967
Cover Design: Jules Halfant, Photo: Michael Harvest

Newport Folk Festival 1965

Liner notes (unsigned):

Sometimes it's misty in the mornings and the fog blows in off the slow swells of the sea, sometimes the sun hangs in a sweltering haze over the roofless Festival grounds, sometimes the wind hits the microphones with a steady sweep that makes it hard to hear what anyone is saying; but for the five days late in July when the Folk Festival is held at Newport the small Rhode Island resort city becomes the center of the world of American folk music. Because of its size and success the Festival has been able to bring to Newport folk music of every style, and on the front porch of an old rooming house there will be a traditional fiddler from Kentucky warming up his bowing arm, in an ornate Victorian hotel lobby a Mississippi blues man will be putting a new string on his guitar, under a tree in one of the town's small parks a ballad singer from Arkansas will be giving the words of one of her songs to a beginning singer. Even in 1965, when the Festival moved to its new grounds just outside of town, there were still the slow moving crowds along the main streets and the same young city musicians playing and singing in every style from Bluegrass to Rhythm and Blues along the beaches and sidewalks.

There are two distinct sides to American folk music today, the traditional singing and instrumental styles and the new music of the folk professionals, but while other festivals tend to emphasize one or the other, at Newport it's also possible to hear something else -- the close relationship between the two. Some of the music at Newport is almost a "document," a half-forgotten style, or a little known mountain banjo tuning, but the traditional performers have often as immediate and enthusiastic appeal for the audience as any of the more commercial city artists. And at Newport, with its wide range of music, it's easy to hear the root sources for the professional folk singers who also play an important part in bringing crowds to the evening concerts and workshops. Most of these singers, no matter how much they've changed or interpreted the music, are still close to the folk traditions from which their own personal style has sprung.

This first album from the '65 Festival was programmed by Jim Kweskin and David Gude as their personal choice for a festival "cross-section." Further volumes are in preparation.


Paul Butterfield
The Lilly Brothers
Bill Keith
Geoff Muldaur
The Chambers Brothers
Don Stover
Eric Von Schmidt
Jim Rooney
Tony Glover
Maria D'Amato
Son House
"Spider" John Koerner
Tex Logan
Mel Lyman
Fritz Richmond


Side One
  1. MELLOW DOWN EASY 3:35 (Willie Dixon; Arc Music, BMI) The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  2. BLACK MOUNTAIN RAG 3:00 (Public Domain) The Lilly Brothers with Tex Logan and Don Stover
  3. SUNDOWN BLUES 6:20 (Son House; SonDick Music Co., BMI) Son House
  4. WASHWOMAN 2:35 Ishangi Dance Troupe
  5. BEEN IN THE STORM SO LONG 2:30 (W. Johnson, G. McFadden, T. Brooks; Blackhawk Music, ASCAP) Moving Star Hall Singers
  6. MY LOVE COMES ROLLING DOWN 6:05 (E. von Schmidt; Stormking Music, BMI) Eric von Schmidt with Fritz Richmond, Mel Lyman, Geoff Muldaur and Maria D'Amato
Side Two
  1. BANJO MEDLEY 2:48 (Public Domain) Bill Keith and Jim Rooney
  2. DUNCAN AND BRADY 6:20 (John Koerner; Nina Music, BMI) John Koerner with Tony Glover
  3. TRICK AIN'T WALKIN' No MORE 6:25 (Clarence and Spencer Williams; MCA Music, Inc., ASCAP) Maria D'Amato with Geoff Muldaur, guitar
  4. DEATH LETTER BLUES 2:50 (Son House) Son House
  5. BOTTLE MUSIC 0:50 (Public Domain) Chambers Brothers
  6. I GOT IT 3:15 (Public Domain) Chambers Brothers
  7. ROCK OF AGES 5:05 (Public Domain) Mel Lyman, harmonica