Newport Folk™ presentsBlack Prairie / Kristin Andreassen / Frank Fairfield
Black Prairie is a band with its own character, momentum, and style though describing that style has become increasingly difficult. “I gave up a long time ago,” says guitarist Jon Neufeld of the Portland, Oregon-based band, which formed in 2007 when Chris Funk gathered local musicians for a chance to write music and play instruments he wasn’t utilizing in his role as guitarist in the Decemberists.
Black Prairie’s recent material adds a dose of Led Zeppelin-inspired rock energy to its Americana roots.
Watch a music video for Black Prairie’s “Let It Out” here:
Kristin Andreassen is a diverse musician who has toured three continents, playing festival stages as big as Bonnaroo, living in rooms smaller than a train car, and everything in between. The influence of traditional music is still strong Andreassen’s writing. Her catchy song “Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color For Your Eyes,” which opens her solo album Kiss Me Hello, was inspired by an old-fashioned pattycake rhythm. “Crayola” won the John Lennon Song Contest Grand Prize for Children’s music, has been covered by choirs and marching bands, and remains a favorite on kids’ radio.
Watch Kristin Andreassen’s music video for “Crayola” here:
Fresno, California native Frank Fairfield is a banjo-picker, fiddle-hummer, and song-singer. Grayson Currin of Pitchfork writes, "Fairfield is worthy of your consideration, even if you’ve never heard or considered the old-time music. He plays with a rare integrity, offering up his life in a way that does exactly what folk music must do– it relates the world as the singer sees it, mixing sadness with sweetness, excitement with low-down and miserable depression. This has nothing to do with genre; hip-hop, jazz and rock all feel this way, too. Like the best of it all, Fairfield’s music seems inexorably real and entirely necessary."