There was certainly a lot of girl power at the Newport Folk Festival this weekend. Not only did it include the first-ever live set by the Highwomen, but it also featured a surprise appearance by Dolly Parton for an all-female collaboration set, which wowed the crowd.
First off the Highwoman – Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby – took the stage Friday night, backed by a band that included Jason Isbell (Shires’ husband) and Brandi’s band members, the Hanseroth Twins.
The Highwomen’s set included songs from their upcoming album, including “Cocktail and a Song,” “My Name Can’t Be Mama,” “Heaven is a Honky Tonk,” their first single “Redesigning Women” and more.
But the big surprise of the weekend was Saturday’s surprise headlining act. It was billed simply as “♀♀♀♀: The Collaboration,” and it turned out to be an all-female jam session curated by Brandi, including the surprise appearance of Dolly, as well as Linda Perry, Sheryl Crow, the rest of the Highwomen, Maggie Rogers and more.
Dolly joined the Highwomen for “Jolene,” “Just Because I’m A Woman,” and “Eagle When She Flies,” and also teamed with Brandi for “I Will Always Love You,” while everyone came out for a rousing performance of “9 to 5.”
It also featured Sheryl Crow and Maren performing Sheryl’s “If It Makes You Happy,” and Sheryl, Yola and Rogers performing “Strong Enough,” Perry, Jade Bird and Highwomen singing Perry’s 4 Non Blondes hit “What’s Up?” Judy Collins and Brandi performing, “Both Sides Now” and more.