The line-up for this weekend's Newport Folk Festival features some particularly great artists, with an absurdly strong and steady bill front start to finish. With an array of artists from indie newcomers to singer-songwriter legends, here's who you should check out.

Angel Olsen

Following Angel Olsen's lustrous 2016 album My Woman, the St. Louis, Missouri native has expanded on her past of lo-fi antics and transformed into an indie rock powerhouse. Her descriptive - and oftentimes bewildering - lyricism is at the heart of Newport Folk Festival, and her muffled on-stage banter makes her (and her backing band) more than capable of putting on a steaming hot afternoon show. Kicking off the last leg of her 2017 North American tour, Olsen's arrival is one of the most buzz-worthy sets of the festival.


When it comes to on-stage chemistry, Whitney are masters of their craft. With only one studio album under their belt - 2016's Light Upon the Lake - and less than two years of touring together, the Chicago natives blend of psych-pop and jam-band ethos is otherworldly. As Newport's premature lineup began to bulk up on traditional folk-rockers, the addition of Whitney was a stroke of genius, keeping the spirit high and alive for a festival that ends well before supper-time.

Jim James

After a few appearances at Newport, My Morning Jacket's mastermind Jim James has often been referred to as the spirit animal of the annual festival. With some seriously lengthy sets in the past and a surprise performance with Roger Waters, James' tour following his brilliant 2016 solo project Eternally Even lands him on Newport Island at the perfect time. With all of the madness happening within the American political system, who could bring thousands of people together better than Mr. James? Not to mention that My Morning Jacket's lead guitarist Carl Broemel is scheduled to play a solo set following his 2016 LP 4th of July the day before James, and no festival is more well known to bring together bandmates and friends alike than Newport.

Big Thief

Maintaining the momentum from their breakthrough debut Masterpiece, Brooklyn folk-rockers Big Thief went above and beyond on their latest album Capacity. Front woman Adrianne Lenker delivers twisted images of her past with a dauntless approach, and the thrashing instrumentals behind her prove that Big Thief are indie rock A-listers. While Big Thief take the big stage along some of contemporary folk-rock's biggest names, their past of dive bars and mini-festivals is sure to dissipate, as Lenker brings her haunting cries to the big leagues.


Pinegrove's debut album for Run For Cover Records, Cardinal, brought the New Jersey natives a surprising amount of critical acclaim, capturing a mix of new-americana and old rock n' roll quite impressively. Although Pinegrove found themselves mixed in with a scene of emo-revivalists and post-hardcore bands, they've built a heavy following with their "old soul" spirit and roaring live performances. Frontman Evan Stephens Hall's gut-punching lyricism will strike a chord with Newport vets and new.