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ALBUM STREAM: Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, ‘Banjo Banjo’

Aug 17, 2015

Hot off the heels of their debut duo release, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn are at it again with a companion EP. On Banjo Banjo, the pair of pickers throw down live versions of several songs off the eponymous set, along with their interpretation of “The Final Countdown” which recently took the Internet by a bit of a storm when their video for The Onion's A.V. Club came out. But don't expect more of that any time soon. “That completes our quota for ‘80s rock covers,” Fleck says. “The music is fine, but the wigs are too expensive for us to sustain. We’re moving on to 12th-century Gregorian.”

They are also moving onto Chinese folk music on Banjo Banjo with the inclusion of “Hao Hua Hung.” Washburn is fairly fluent in Mandarin and Fleck says the music posed minimal challenges. “Actually there is much common material, with the heavy pentatonic aspects to both. When you first try to play Chinese music on banjo, it feels very strange but familiar. As you get to really know the music, it just turns into, well, music!”

Banjo Banjo will be released digitally on August 21 via Rounder Records with CDs to follow on October 2 and vinyly still to come on October 30.

Tour Dates
Sept 9 – Milwaukee, WI – The Pabst Theater
Sept 10 – Madison, WI – Union Theater
Sept 11 – Champaign, IL – Ellnora Guitar Festival
Oct 6 – Goshen, IN – Goshen College
Oct 8 – Bethlehem, PA – Artsquest Center at Steelstacks
Oct 9 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
Oct 10 – New London, CT – Connecticut College
Oct 11 – York, PA – Strand-Capitol PAC
Oct 22 – University Park, PA – Penn State University
Oct 23 – Carmel, IN – Palladium at the Center for Performing Arts
Oct 24 – S. Joseph, MN – College of St. Benedict
Oct 25 – Skokie, IL – North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
Nov 3 – Vienna, Austria – Porgy & Bess
Nov 4 – Sofia, Bulgaria – Music Club
Nov 5 – Bucharest, Romania – Sala Radio
Nov 7 – Prague, Czech – Republic Palace Akropolis
Nov 8 – Budapest, Hungary – Palace of the Arts
Nov 10 – Milan, Italy – Blue Note
Nov 11 – Barcelona, Spain – Jazz Festival
Nov 13 – Leeds, ENG – Yorkshire Howard Assembly Room
Nov 14 – London, ENG – EFG London Jazz Festival
Nov 15 – Bristol, ENG – St. Georges
Nov 16 – Gateshead, ENG – Sage
Nov 18 – Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street

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