Musings on Newport Folk Festival 2023

Don’t get me wrong…I loved Newport Folk Festival’s music…some of it blew my mind…

For me though the festival’s most magic moments arose from human connection…watching Randee Fox, my spouse,  discover an artist, the security dude who cracked jokes while wanding us, volunteer Ella who walked us to the right stage, hugging former Seattle musician Mongé Whitney minutes after her stellar Black Opry Revue performance, bumping into Tucker Martine — who produced our album “Janus” — and his lady, bumping into Janine Small —an entertainment lawyer I know who introduced me to Chance Emerson, who turns out to be a student of Vicenza American High School classmate Sheila Haggerty — Randee and I’d just had brunch with Sheila — who teaches at Brown — and her husband Paul.

Last night we connected over dinner with Joe Miller, son of college classmate Gale Berkowitz, and Sam, Joe’s friend since childhood. We not only compared festival notes but also celebrated Joe’s recent Yale graduation and new job with yummy food, drink and conversation.  

After Randee and I returned our rental car, I recognized the guy seated across from us on the shuttle, knew I’d seen him at the festival but couldn’t further place how I knew him. After I said “weren’t you at the festival?” He responded, “yes! I’m Jody!” Jody Whelan, head of Oh Boy Records, and son of the late great John Prine. #smallworld 🌍

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