My Morning Jacket Toast Levon Helm, And Other Highlights From The Newport Folk Festival

Wilco turned in a masterful, sonically adventurous headlining set on Friday; if you’re still on the fence about the material off their latest album, The Whole Love, you probably won’t be after listening to this performance. Listen with a good pair of headphones.

My Morning Jacket brought Alabama Shakes’s Brittany Howard out to celebrate the spirit of the late Levon Helm — together they tore up The Band’s “It Makes No Difference,” a MMJ set list staple.

(Go to minute 47 for “It Makes No Difference”)

Conor Oberst played up his folk side with a gripping acoustic performance that included guest spots from First Aid Kit (two Swedish sisters) and Jim James. Later, Dawes joined in to help the Bright Eyes frontman (and former “next Bob Dylan”) go electric at Newport.

Speaking of Dawes, Jackson Browne borrowed them for his abbreviated but highly satisfying closing set (Cali musician Jonathan Wilson joined in as well). That wasn’t rain that stopped the show; that was God getting misty over Jackson Browne.

And singer-songwriter Ben Sollee, who backed up My Morning Jacket and others on the cello, launched his Road From Newport bike tour today. Go see him if you can, and keep the love going.

Listen to many of the performances from the 2012 Newport Folk Festival at NPR Music.