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Folk Alley Presents: Béla Fleck And Abigail Washburn

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn have just released their first album together. Fleck says its main conceit was that "it would just be the two of us all the way" — and not just in the studio, either. They also wanted to tour the project properly, honorably, as a duo. But, as musicians are wont to do, Fleck says, "We really wanted to have different colors."

The resulting soundscape is painted with cello banjos, ukulele banjos and even a bass banjo borrowed from Victor Wooten. Still, Fleck says, "We ended up with a lot of songs about doom and death."

"Shotgun Blues" is a perfect example — a vengeful guilt trip of a tune, written by Washburn in response to all the old-time murder ballads that, mostly, end with a woman's death. "I've noticed that, when I'm in a bad mood, I actually find murder ballads quite uplifting," Washburn says. "Because at least I'm not the one hanging from a tree or drowning in a river."

Recorded at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, N.Y., by Beehive Productions.


  • "Shotgun Blues"
  • Watch Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn's full Folk Alley session here.

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    Kelly McCartney