Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Abigail Washburn - City of Refuge


Part of this week I've been glued to PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets. Some might say 'locked away'. My background music of choice has been Abigail Washburn.

Abigail has just released a new album and is touring around the UK at the moment, including small venues like Monday evening at the Slaughtered Lamb. I've followed her through various bands like Uncle Earl and then The Sparrow Quartet as well as her solo music. Her main instrument is the banjo as well as fine vocals and the mix of bands has created quite a fusion of styles.

The City of Refuge album is like a kind of road trip. Parts of the lyrics talk of a border man taking the papers and telling that you are now free. There's burdens left in the towns departed. Where there's rails they don't run in circles, they only shoot straight lines. There's running down the frontage road off of Highway Three and kickin' off the old home soil.

And the optimism of bright morning stars rising.

The music is a kind of progression of bluegrass, in this case with blends of Chinese influences in the way the notes sway.

And in case you think its all too serious, here's an older and somewhat unconventional video of a previous band, complete with early hints of Chinese undertones. As well as a clog-off.

And I've dropped the EPK here too. It's quite interesting how Abigail fell into the music.

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