It was fifty years ago that Bob Dylan set off a firestorm at the Newport Folk Festival when he “delivered an electric jolt to the acoustic folk faithful” with a Fender Stratocaster.
Some thought that guitar was blasphemous. Pete Seeger threatened to pull the plug. Fifty years later, the cheers and the boos Dylan received that day continue to be hotly debated. “The problem was not simply electricity,” said guitarist and music historian Elijah Wald. “It was a broader confluence of conflicts: pop music versus roots music; commercial confections versus communal creations; escapism versus social involvement.”
There’s an edge to that folk music folks. Don’t be fooled by a few banjos and harmonicas. Or the ravishing Rhode Island waterfront and the 3,000 bicyclists. Consequence of Sound called this year’s festival legendary.
Into that maelstrom we boldly exhibited our famous US-made rain capes. We stood proudly in the Maker’s Market alongside Blackwing Pencils, Humble Pie, Kyser Capos and Ziggy of Fox Point Pickles. The crowd reacted favorably to our Classics.
But just like Dylan in ’65, we had something new for the folks. Something fresh. Something to sling over your shoulders like a crazy Stratocaster. Sweatshirt capes! The crowd went wild.
Cut and sewn in nearby Fall River, this streetcape is a different sort of Cleverhood. But don’t think twice, it’s alright if you’re looking for something soft and warm with style.
And for shelter from the storm — the ultra-lightweight Kitty Garden Party rain cape! A hard rain’s gonna fall sooner of later if you’re lucky.
The times they are a changin’ we thought as we packed up. It sure ain’t easy being the outspoken rain cape of a generation.