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      Bluegrass / Folk Rock
      Abigail Washburn never set out to be a songwriter or a recording artist. So when she found herself on stage in a smoke filled Beijing club playing her banjo and singing old time Appalachian mountain music in Chinese to a packed house, she was as surprised as anyone. “During my Freshman year at... read more

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      Abigail Washburn never set out to be a songwriter or a recording artist. So when she found herself on stage in a smoke filled Beijing club playing her banjo and singing old time Appalachian mountain music in Chinese to a packed house, she was as surprised as anyone.

      “During my Freshman year at Colorado College, I joined a summer program trip to China,” Washburn recalled. “It had a profound effect on me. I discovered a Chinese culture that was so deep and ancient; it changed my perspective on America.”

      On her return to the States, Washburn began to explore American culture, a journey that led her back to her native country’s traditional roots. When she heard Doc Watson playing “Shady Grove” on the banjo, something clicked and the connection that eventually led to Song of the Traveling Daughter was made. On Song of the Traveling Daughter, Washburn sings simple haunting songs and plays the banjo. Musically, the album is one of the most bare bones debuts in recent memory. Washburn and fellow producers Reid Scelza and Bela Fleck keep the focus where it belongs: on the singer and the song. The arrangements were built around Washburn’s evocative vocals and clawhammer banjo style, and Ben Sollee’s cello, an instrument that brings a dark, primeval feel to songs that sound like they’re hundreds of years old. The sparse instrumental work of guitarist Jordan McConnell (of The Duhks), upright bass player Amanda Kowalski, fiddler Casey Driessen, percussionist Ryan Hoyle (of Collective Soul), keyboard and accordion player Tim Lauer, along with Fleck’s national steel guitar and banjo, add subtle grace notes to Washburn’s timeless tales.

      Categories: Music | Folk

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