Denver's Nathanial Rateliff spoke with New York Chapter at Newport Folk Festival 2017 about his influences and favorite protest songs. "I appreciate the history and the things that have happened in the past and people trying to protest, but I feel like there needs to be a rebirth of that now," Rateliff said, singling out Kevin Morby's song "Beautiful Strangers" as a protest song that is "current and appropriate for our times." It addresses recent shootings in Paris, and he especially praised the lyric, "Pray for Paris, they cannot scare us or stop the music." Other contemporary performers Rateliff admires are Big Thief, Laura Marling and Angel Olsen. "There's a lot of great songs out there right now," he said. "It's kind of a cool time to be a part of." His favorite older influences are The Band, Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt. "I still think folk music has the power to be a part of what is happening in our lives and to help us be more present than we are," Rateliff sums up.