Not even the threat of thunderstorms, intermittent downpours and bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-95 could stop the Newport Folk Festival from ringing in its 55th year - or soul icon Mavis Staples her 75th. "Thank you to [festival founder] George Wein for letting me celebrate my birthday for three days!" she said during her closing set on July 27 at the historic Fort Adams. One noticeable absence at the event was genre pioneer Pete Seeger, who died in January.

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