Make Room For The Suffers


The Suffers, a ten piece soul band from Houston, kicked things off at Newport Folk Festival’s second day. Their arms raised in a collective holler, they got our stiff morning bodies moving with their huge, layered, and infectious sound, drawing on influences that include latin, reggae, and soul. With the powerhouse Kam Franklin on vocals pulling it all together, she’s a conduit for their collective energy.

They released their EP Make Some Room in January and have a new LP on the horizon. I had the pleasure of talking to trumpet player John Durbin about the band’s start, how they write music, and the complicated nature of genres.


5 Rockin’ Reads

Whether you’re crammed into a subway car, stuck in traffic on the BQE or just lounging around in your underwear on your couch, nothing beats a good read such as Greil Marcus’ The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll In Ten Songs.

With that in mind, here are five rockin’ books Riffraf thinks you should check out:


Freedy Johnston’s First Concert

There are songwriters and then there are novelists with either a guitar strapped to their back or straddling a piano bench. You know who I’m talking about. The usual suspects: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Josh Ritter and Steve Earle.

And then there’s Freedy Johnston.


Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”

On July 20, 1965, Bob Dylan released the highly acclaimed single “Like a Rolling Stone.” Five days later, as the headliner at the Newport Folk Festival, Dylan unsettled some of his devotees when he strapped on an electric guitar and launched into his most recent single.

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