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 clawhammer 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.
- 1. Prelude
- 2. City of Refuge
- 3. Bring Me My Queen
- 4. Chains
- 5. Ballad of Treason
- 6. Last Train
- 7. Burn Thru
- 8. Corner Girl
- 9. Dreams of Nectar
- 10. Divine Bell
- 11. Bright Morning Stars
Sep 26College Park, MD, US Abigail Washburn at Milkboy Arthouse
Jan 25London, UK Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Béla Fleck, and Abigail Washburn at Barbican Centre