Wilco, Beth Orton, Steve Earle Set For Newport Fest

This year's legendary Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island will have a decidedly modern twist with the addition of contemporary artists Wilco, Beth Orton, and Steve Earle to the lineup.

Scheduled as well are first-timers Patty Griffin and Susan Tedeschi, who will be joining old hands like Joan Armatrading, the Indigo Girls, and Suzanne Vega. Other performers will include Dar Williams' Cry Cry Cry, Ireland's Mary Black, South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Brazilian folksinger Tico Dacosta, and other, more traditional fare.

Tickets went on sale Thursday for the event, which takes place August 6-8.

Earle, the formerly hard-drinking Southern rocker known for hits like "Copperhead Road," is booked to perform with bluegrass legend Del McCoury and his band. Earle and McCoury have been supporting a bluegrass crossover album they recorded together called "The Mountain," inspired by the late Bill Monroe. Also on board at Newport will be Earle's sister,

Stacey.

According to the "Boston Globe," the festival organizers have been trying to land Wilco for three years and only just this year managed to do so. The critically-lauded group will be sandwiching the Newport festival between dates with R.E.M.; the band pegged Wilco as its opening act for selected European dates as well as a leg of its North American tour.