Rachel Horn

It had been quite the week for Maren Morris: Four days before the 26-year-old strolled into NPR's offices, she'd pulled off a mighty duet with Alicia Keys during the 59th annual Grammys ceremony and taken home the evening's award for Best Country Solo Performance.

When we invited William Bell to the Tiny Desk, we looked forward to witnessing part of a veteran soul hitmaker's journey back to the spotlight. Bell is known for writing and performing several of the R&B classics that emerged from Memphis' Stax Records in the 1960s, "You Don't Miss Your Water" and "Everybody Loves A Winner" among them.

She'd made a brief but memorable cameo in Kris Kristofferson's surprise set earlier in the afternoon, joining the veteran songwriter to perform "Me And Bobby McGee" in one of the Newport Folk Festival's many moments of serendipity. But now, it was Margo Price's turn in the spotlight.

Julien Baker's music speaks to all of your nagging insecurities, the daily worries that nibble away at your well-being even as you try to suppress them. The title of her debut album, Sprained Ankle, hints at that sensibility: An ankle sprain might be a pretty mundane injury, but it's certainly going to keep you off your feet for a while — especially if, as she sings in the title song, you're a marathon runner.

If you were among those who ate up the fierce blues-rock track "Don't Hurt Yourself" from Beyoncé's Lemonade, then you know Ruby Amanfu's voice.

Elvis Costello might be best known for early-career songs like "Alison" and "Every Day I Write The Book" — literary pop masterpieces he wrote and recorded either solo or with his longtime band, The Attractions. But in more recent years, Costello has become a serial collaborator.

Louisville, Ky., singer, songwriter and guitarist Joan Shelley crafts lovely, sun-washed folk songs that she performs with gentle intensity. Her voice has the ineffable quality of being at once familiar and entirely fresh.

Three of the four members of the Asheville band River Whyless met while attending Appalachian State University in nearby Boone, N.C., and their long-lived friendship shows in their band's music. The folk-pop band builds mountains out of sensitive harmony lines and adorns its open-road sound with Halli Anderson's yearning fiddle.

There was barely a cloud in the sky all weekend at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival this past weekend. But the uninterrupted stretch of three gloriously sunny days wasn't the only stroke of good fortune festivalgoers encountered. Each day at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., was filled with surprise guests and moments of serendipity.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats have had quite the year since they played the 2015 Newport Folk Festival last July.

Ryan Adams is well on his way to becoming a Newport Folk regular.

Paul Janeway regularly gives the kind of performance that compels you to pay attention. There's no denying that the man who once trained as a preacher in Alabama was meant to be fronting a soul band. During an early-afternoon set at the Newport Folk Festival, Janeway put St. Paul & the Broken Bones through its paces, storming the stage with electric presence and a thunderous voice that pays tribute to — but doesn't imitate — his idol, Otis Redding.

Even though Violent Femmes played the Newport Folk Festival midway through a bright summer afternoon, the rock band's new song "I Could Be Anything" made the sunny field feel like a packed pub, where beer has made everyone friends, and revelers bellow out drinking songs with arms thrown across shoulders.