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American rock band Dawes returned to the Newport Folk Festival to perform their debut album, North Hills, on the 10th anniversary of its release. The performance was an anticipated highlight of the festival and a great representation of what makes Newport Folk Fest special: collegial collaborations with fellow musicians, a sense of collective belonging between the music lovers and the music makers, and the heightened energy and sense of specialness of these only-at-Newport happenings.
Billed as “Dawes and Friends,” the set featured an augmented band. Tom Petty bandmate Benmont Tench was on keyboards, North Hills producer Jonathan Wilson was on guitar, and the set was studded with guest appearances by Jason Isbell, Yola, Lake Street Dive, MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mike Viola and John McCauley of Deer Tick.
Toward the end of the set, leader Taylor Goldsmith told the audience that the embrace of North Hills 10 years ago marked the first time he had a sense of making a life and career out of music. Under a tent filled with people who knew every word of the record, he shared the credit: “These are our songs.”
This photo essay is part of On the Road, a series of visual essays that explores the creative lives of notable musicians, onstage and off.