Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins and Chris Thile started out as child prodigies, then built their band into a Grammy-winning commercial force. At the height of their success, though, the three decided to break up and pursue other projects — albeit temporarily, as the title of 2007's "Farewell (For Now) Tour" suggested.
The hiatus led Thile to form the successful progressive-bluegrass band Punch Brothers, record and tour with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer, and get named a MacArthur Fellow. Sean Watkins worked in several supergroup configurations, one with Switchfoot's Jon Foreman (Fiction Family) and one with a large assortment of roots-pop ringers (Works Progress Administration). Sara Watkins released a pair of terrific solo records, toured as a member of The Decemberists, and dabbled in podcasting.
Nickel Creek recently reunited to put out its first album in eight years, A Dotted Line, which naturally reflects its members' creatively ambitious recent pursuits. As with everything the band does, it blends playful lightness with remarkable musical chops.
Hear Nickel Creek perform as part of the 2014 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Saturday, July 26 in Newport, R.I.
- "Rest of My Life"
- "Scotch & Chocolate"
- "The Lighthouse's Tale"
- "Smoothie Song"
- "Reasons Why"
- "21st of May"
- "When In Rome"
- "Ode to a Butterfly"
- "The Ledge"
- "When You Come Back Down"
- "Somebody More Like You"
- "The Fox"
Equal parts rowdy and loving, the husband-and-wife South Carolina duo Shovels & Rope radiates knockabout charm. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent are equally adept at crooning moonily while locking eyes and tearing through blistering folk-rock anthems without seeming to take a breath. Hearst and Trent often swap instruments, giving their sets a freewheeling, unpredictable quality.
Next month, Shovels & Rope will release a new album called Swimmin' Time. Hear the band perform some of its new songs and some old favorites as part of the 2014 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Saturday, July 26 in Newport, R.I.
- "O' Be Joyful"
- "Kemba's Got The Cabbage Moth Blues"
- "Save The World"
- "Tell The Truth"
- "The Devil Is All Around"
- "Fish Assassin"
- "Coping Mechanism"
- "Lay Low"
- "Hail Hail"
You can bundle it up in MP3s and send it zinging through the ether, but Pokey LaFarge's music still seems as though it has emerged from the dustiest 78 at the thrift shop. LaFarge is a man out of time and a true wanderer, with the vintage clothing to match, but he never seems like a mere novelty act: His songs are too sturdy, with too much infectiously zippy energy, to feel anything but authentic.
The singer and his band now record for Jack White's Third Man Records — a sublime fit if ever there was one — and last year put out a marvelous self-titled album, which LaFarge produced with the aid of Old Crow Medicine Show singer Ketch Secor. Hear the band perform as part of the 2014 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Saturday, July 26 in Newport, R.I.
- "All Night Long"
- "Bowlegged Woman"
- "City Summer Blues"
- "Cairo, Illinois"
- "One Town At A Time"
- "Sweet Potato Blues"
- "When Did You Leave Heaven"
- "Close The Door"
- "The Good Lord Giveth (And Uncle Sam Taketh Away)"
- "Kentucky Mae"
- "Central Time"
- "In The Graveyard Now"
Aoife O'Donovan got her start in a pair of folk-leaning groups, Sometymes Why and Crooked Still, the latter of which became one of the country's top modern string bands. More recently, though, O'Donovan has established herself as a formidable folk-pop solo artist, with a lovely, Tucker Martine-produced debut album called Fossils.
O'Donovan has sung with Chris Thile and Yo-Yo Ma's Goat Rodeo project, and written for Alison Krauss & Union Station. But she was accompanied only by bassist Paul Kowert at the 2014 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Saturday, July 26 in Newport, R.I.
- "Lay My Burden Down"
- "Fire Engine"
- "Thursday's Child"
- "Oh, Mama"
- "Lovesick Redstick Blues"
- "Red & White & Blue & Gold"
- "Bright Sunny South"
- "You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio"
In 2003, Russia arrested the country's richest man, seized his main asset, Yukos Oil, broke it up and sold it. More than a decade later, a three-judge arbitration panel in The Hague ordered Moscow to pay the shareholders of the now defunct oil giant more than $50 billion.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said Yukos was "the object of a series of politically-motivated attacks by the Russian authorities that eventually led to its destruction." The July 18 order called the company's seizure "devious and calculated."
The amount is one of the biggest-ever compensation awards in an arbitration case, but shareholders had sought twice that figure. They had based their claim on Yukos' $100 billion valuation.
The court ordered Russia to pay the judgment within 180 days or begin paying interest. If Moscow fails to comply, shareholders can attempt to seize its assets overseas. But that may be easier said than done. As The Wall Street Journal notes, "[P]laintiffs in similar cases in the past have had mixed results attempting to seize Russian assets overseas."
Russia's Finance Ministry said the ruling was "politically biased," and said it will appeal.
"The ruling adds to tensions between Russia and the international community at a time when relations are at their lowest ebb since the end of the Cold War. Following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, the U.S. and European Union are debating further economic sanctions against Moscow because of its support for rebels suspected of launching the attack."
Late last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch who controlled Yukos. Khodorkovsky was convicted of tax evasion in 2005 and found guilty of embezzlement in 2010. But critics of the Kremlin saw his treatment as punishment for daring to challenge the Kremlin.
The AP adds: "The Yukos takeover was the beginning of a process under which Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, re-took control of the country's energy industry. Yukos' main assets were sold at auction to a shell company. Just days later that company was bought up by state-owned Rosneft, making it the largest oil producer in Russia."
The case was brought by subsidiaries of GML Ltd., the former Menatep through which Khodorkovsky and his partners controlled Yukos.