Margaret Glaspy, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017


08 August 2017 |  Rachel Horne | NPR Music

Another gem from this years’ Newport. Margaret Glaspy’s Emotions and Math was one of the single best albums released last year, a brilliant mix of Lucinda Willams-ballsy lyrics and Neil Young-grunge-guitar. JP

“Folk festival” is a bit of a misnomer for the current form of the event where Bob Dylanshocked crowds by plugging in five decades ago; the Newport Folk Festival now warmly embraces talent that leans toward the louder, more electrified end of the folk-rock spectrum.

Still, Margaret Glaspy and her biting, guitar-driven rock might have seemed a little out of place at Newport — until you realized that Glaspy once played old-time fiddle competitively and has toured with artists like Ricky SkaggsAoife O’Donovan and Del McCoury.

And her straightforward songwriting sensibility, defined by an ability to tell full stories in few words (“My shoes are untied / And I’m an adult / There’s a baby crying / And it’s my fault,” from “Black Is Blue”), is pure folk.

For her first Newport performance, Glaspy played songs from her debut, last year’s critically beloved Emotions And Math. She also threw in a tantalizing couple of new tunes, including a slow-burner called “Mother/Father” and another that doesn’t yet have a title.

A late-set highlight was “Memory Street,” which boiled over into a seething solo before a final verse that had Glaspy repeating a disjointed phrase over and over, to the point of uneasiness — a compelling imitation of the skipping record her lyrics invoked.


  • “Pins And Needles”
  • “Emotions And Math”
  • “Love Like This”
  • “Parental Guidance”
  • “No Matter Who”
  • “Situation”
  • “Black Is Blue”
  • “You Don’t Want Me”
  • “Mother/Father”
  • (Untitled)
  • “Memory Street”
  • “You And I”


Technical Director: Josh Rogosin; Audio Engineers: Steve Remote, Jon D’Uva, Steve Kolakowsky (Aura-Sonic Ltd.); Producers: Marissa Lorusso, Jenna Li, Suraya Mohamed; Photography: Adam Kissick.

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