Ryan Adams Does Bluegrass Covers of Black Sabbath and Slayer at 2016 Newport Folk Festival
Ryan Adams' 2014 self-titled album, his most recent collection of original material, was comprised of straightforward singer-songwriter electric guitar rock. But at the Newport Folk Festival Saturday (July 23), he did the reverse-Bob Dylan and unplugged. Adams played a set with a bluegrass band that saw him cover Black Sabbath and Slayer.
NPR, which streamed the set and you can listen to below, note that he opened with "South of Heaven," the title cut to Slayer's 1988 record (see the Instagram clip below) and closed with "The Wizard," a song from Black Sabbath's 1970 debut. In between, he played favorites like "Oh My Sweet Carolina," "New York, New York" and "Gimme Something Good." But he also improvised a song that NPR called "I'm Frightened and I'm Rabid" after someone in the crowd mentioned Frightened Rabbit, who were playing on a nearby stage.
Backing him up were the Infamous Stringdusters, an acclaimed five-piece bluegrass band that was formed by students at Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music. They've released seven records since 2007, with the most recent being Ladies & Gentlemen, where they worked with female singers like Sara Watkins, Joan Osbourne and Lee Ann Womack, in February 2016. "Magic No. 9," a song from 2011's Things That Fly, was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Country Instrumental category. They were also joined by singer-songwriter Nicki Bluhm, with whom the Stringdusters have worked in the past.
Although Adams hasn't given us any new original songs since Ryan Adams, he gained a considerable amount of press last year for releasing his own version of Taylor Swift's 1989.
Listen to Ryan Adams' Set at the Newport Folk Festival
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