Meet 14 Year-Old Folk Singer Sammy Brue

Last week, we had the pleasure of meeting Sammy Brue, a 14 year-old folk musician from Ogden, Utah. Sammy was participating at the Wildwood Revival Showcase at the Museum Stage of the Newport Folk Festival. That’s right, while most teenagers are stressing about final projects and first dates, Sammy is playing a music festival alongside names like James Taylor and Roger Waters.

Sammy stopped by our booth on Saturday and we got to chatting. He dug the pencils and told us the story of how he got into folk music, a story with an unexpected Blackwing connection.

The story goes a little something like this: When Sammy was 8 years old, he composed a handwritten letter to Willie Watson who, at the time, was a member of Old Crow Medicine Show. In his letter, he named Willie as his inspiration for wanting to become as songwriter and asked if Willie had any advice for an aspiring young musician. Willie responded with a multipage letter of his own encouraging Sammy to follow his dream, pick up a guitar and start writing songs.

Since then, Sammy has done just that. He already has two EPs under his belt and was called an “Americana prodigy” by Rolling Stone.

Check out the video Sammy recorded at this year’s Newport Folk Festival and give him a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Levi’s X Fort Lonesome X Blackwing at Newport Folk Fest 2015

The 56th installment of the Newport Folk Festival was a weekend to remember (more on that in our recap post). We met a ton of awesome people (hey Nic, Steve, Amanda and Max!), listened to some great music and forged memories that won’t be leaving us any time soon. We also had the opportunity to share our pencils with the music makers, music lovers, artists and creative folks who flock to Newport every year.

The teams at Levi’s and Fort Lonesome, a custom western wear designer out of Austin, TX, collaborated to bring custom denim jackets to the artists and attendees at this year’s festival. When they reached out to us and asked if we’d be willing to supply them with pencils to create their designs, we answered with a resounding yes (and a bunch of pencils!).

You can check out some photos of the pencils in action backstage at the festival below. You can also read more about Fort Lonesome and their story here.

Levis x Fort Lonesome x Blackwing Levis x Fort Lonesome x Blackwing Levis x Fort Lonesome x Blackwing Levis x Fort Lonesome x Blackwing Levis x Fort Lonesome x Blackwing Levis x Fort Lonesome x Blackwing

Dylan Goes Electric – 50 Years ago Today

If you’ve been following us for the past few months, you probably know the number 725 has some sort of significance. Not only was it the number of our first Volumes edition, July 27th also marked the date of Bob Dylan’s first electric performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Today is the 50th anniversary of that historic performance, and we’re here at the Newport Folk Festival to celebrate.


If you’re attending this year’s festival, come say hi. We’re right next to the Quad Stage in the brand new Makers Market (shout out to our neighbors Taproot Magazine, Cleverhood and Kyser!). 


If you don’t find yourself in Rhode Island this weekend, we’ve left some links and videos at the bottom of this post to tide you over. If that isn’t enough, you can also follow us on Instagram (@blackwing). We’ll be your eyes inside this year’s festival. 

The Electric Dylan Controversy (Wikipedia entry)

Bob Dylan – The Other Side of the Mirror (video)