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Lunch » Tags » Music » Reviews » Abigail Washburn: City of Refuge » User review

Abigail Washburn makes blue grass music sound fun.

  • Jan 17, 2011
Rating:
+5
Abigail Washburn is the new star of blue grass music. Her voice is very soothing. She plays the banjo better than anyone I have heard in a long time. The title track "City Of Refuge" is a song about escaping to a city of refuge. Abigail is accompanied on the keyboard and vocals by a musician named Kai Welch. "Chains" is an upbeat song about the things that hold people back. This song features good percussion playing by Kenny Malone. The fiddle playing by Rob Hecht is excellent too. The subtle reflective tone of the track "Bring Me My Queen" puts my mind at ease. Abby's voice reflects a person who is warm and wise here. Jared Engel provides a deep lovely tone on his bass instrument. All the musicians in her band are very talented.

Abigail duets with Kai Welch on the song "Ballad Of Treason". This song is about the price people pay for freedom. She hits the high notes effortlessly on this tune. I like it very much. Burn Thur is another favorite tune of mine on this disc. This song is about having a fighting spirit and sense of defiance. This song is very uplifting.

There is a spirtual quality to Abigail's music. "Dreams Of Nectar" is a song about facing a person's mortality. This song is very thoughtful and deep. "Divine Bell" is an upbeat gospel tune. Abigail's banjo plucking is absolutely delightful here. Abigail Washburn makes me like blue grass music again.

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January 22, 2011
Sounds wonderful! This would be a nice change of pace. Intend to sample this online.
 
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Robert Yokoyama ()
Ranked #39
I love to read new books and talk about them. I also like to listen to different kinds of music and talk about that. I am a friendly guy who likes to meet new people. I love to read books that teach me … more
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Wiki

In her relatively short musical career, Abigail Washburn has covered a lot of ground; both physically and metaphorically. Bouncing between China and Appalachia has informed much of her musical output and influenced a body of work that goes far beyond the usual claw hammer banjo repertoire. Her Rounder debut, City of Refuge is a sublime marriage of old-time and indie-pop. On the album Washburn pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody's ever heard before. The album features My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel, The Decemberists' Chris Funk, Turtle Island Quartet's Jeremy Kittell, atmospheric jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, veteran Nashville studio percussionist Kenny Malone, Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor and Morgan Jahnig, Wu Fei, master of the guzheng, and the Mongolian stringband Hanggai, who managed to contribute ambient throat-singing from halfway around the world. The album was produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Tift Merritt, Mudhoney) and features the talents of multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, Kai Welch (Tommy and the Whale). City of Refuge offers an expansive palette of supple and modern textures resulting in a remarkably harmonious piece of art.
 
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