Banjoists B??la Fleck and Abigail Washburn have mastered the deceptively intricate art of the duet. Their performances embrace a diversity almost unthinkable – coming from just two banjos and one voice. Washburn’s beguiling composing, playing and singing blend with Fleck’s riveting and virtuosic musicianship to create music both unique yet familiar in texture. Fleck, a 15-time Grammy winner, has collaborated with Chick Corea, Oumou Sangare, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, Dave Mathews, Earl Scruggs, and the entire Cleveland Orchestra for his Banjo Concert ‘The Impostor’. Washburn’s banjo has taken her far beyond the usual old-timey comfort zone, musically and geographically. An alumnus of Uncle Earl, the powerhouse all-female stringband, Abby’s adopted second homeland is China, and her music resounds with echoes of Appalachia and the tidal wave of emerging Chinese cultural influence. Together, Fleck and Washburn employ the relatively rare 3-finger and clawhammer banjo duet to create an explosion of musical white heat. No wonder that they are married and have a new baby.
Friday, March 24, 2023