Brandi Carlile's songs are emotional and heartfelt, yet they never feel mawkish, thanks to her thundering voice and lyrics that describe complicated relationships with simple, powerful elegance. During her Saturday-afternoon set at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival, the folk-rock powerhouse performed music from her album The Firewatcher's Daughter, released earlier this year. "Beginning To Feel The Years" and "Wherever Is Your Heart" tell intimate stories of trust, parenthood (Carlile and her wife welcomed their first daughter in 2014), growing older and muddling through life together with those we love. At Newport, those songs' intense candor mingled irresistibly with Carlile's gracious, cheerful stage presence and radiant smile.
Carlile has collaborated with her bandmates "the twins," Tim and Phil Hanseroth, since the three of them were playing together in Seattle clubs in the early 2000s, and on the Newport stage, the creative and personal bond they share was palpable. Hearing their voices united in pristine harmony made it easy to understand why Carlile claimed, upon introducing "The Eye," that in their band, "There's no such thing as a lead singer."
Audio: Joshua Rogosin, Suraya Mohamed, Monique Mizrahi; Photography: Adam Kissick
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