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Newport Folk Fest: See ‘Ambrotype’ Photos of Kristofferson, Costello

1800s photography technique captures artists from Margo Price to Nathaniel Rateliff backstage at iconic folk festival

Kris Kristofferson Newport Folk Festival

Kris Kristofferson posed for an ambrotype photo backstage at Newport Folk Festival.

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Since its inception in 1959, the Newport Folk Festival has become that rarest of music events: an undeniable piece of American history. To capture the festival's timeless quality, Nashville photographer Giles Clement asked some of Newport's headliners, from Kris Kristofferson to Elvis Costello, to sit for clear-glass ambrotypes — a mid-19th century photography technique similar to tintypes. The results are stunning, depicting country, folk and rock artists in rich sepia tones reflective of their personalities and music. 

Margo Price Newport

Margo Price

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Margo Price

Country traditionalist Margo Price brought songs from her debut Midwest Farmer's Daughter to the Newport stage.

Elvis Costello Newport

Elvis Costello

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Elvis Costello

With his cocked hat and thousand-yard stare, Elvis Costello's ambrotype pose defines the technique's surreal quality. 

Mary Beth Richardson Banditos Newport

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Mary Beth Richardson of the Banditos

Singer Mary Beth Richardson of Nashville honky-tonkers Banditos strikes a Janis Joplin pose. 

Alex Ebert Edward Sharpe

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

L.A. indie folk-rockers Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, led by singer Alex Ebert, performed songs from their latest album Person A.

Nathaniel Rateliff Newport

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Nathaniel Rateliff

With their vibrant style of soul, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats were a highlight of Newport. 

Kris Kristofferson Newport Folk Festival

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, delivered a 19-song set of classics like "For the Good Times" and "To Beat the Devil."

Charlie Gabriel

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Charlie Gabriel

Preservation Hall Jazz Band member Charlie Gabriel represented jazz at Newport, delighting with masterful clarinet solos. 

Amasa Hines

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Amasa Hines

Arkansas-based Afro-beat ensemble Amasa Hines are influenced by artists as diverse as John Coltrane and My Morning Jacket.

George Wein

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

George Wein

George Wein is the founder of both the Newport Jazz Festival and the folk festival and is credited with helping develop the modern-day festival template.

Larkin Poe Newport

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Larkin Poe

Atlanta sibling duo Larkin Poe is made up of sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, and have toured with Elvis Costello and Kristian Bush. 

Rayland Baxter

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Rayland Baxter

Country-Americana singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter performed songs off his latest album Imaginary Man

Joan Shelley

Giles Clement/www.gilesclement.com

Joan Shelley

Kentucky folksinger Joan Shelley often calls to mind Joan Baez in both her songs and vocal delivery.