Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet

While driving to work a couple of weeks ago, I heard a promo for a program on NPR in which they played a little clip from a new album by Abigail Washburn (a clawhammer banjo player). I don't normally write about music here other than the occasional piece related to learning to play an instrument. But, when I heard the clip I was instantly enthralled and wanted to share. It was as if the Appalachians had been settled by the Chinese along with the Irish and Scotts. She was singing in Mandarin but the music had a definite old-timey feel to it.....yet the Asian influence was there. The album is Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet.

I went home that night and downloaded several songs. I have since gone back and purchased most of the album (and her previous one too). I tracked down the NPR segment on World Cafe. Listen to the interview to learn more on how this all came about. It's a hard album to classify. It's a melding of several styles and cultures. Interesting. Beautiful.

Abigail Washburn Home Page

YouTube video of group performing Kangding Qingge live in China.

Here is a short video of the quartet playing with some Chinese musicians at the Airport

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