Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn “Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn” (Smithsonian Folkways, 2020)

Abagail Washburn doesn’t leave all the banjo experimentation to her husband Bela Fleck, who has produced this new album. Where Bela has been looking across the Atlantic to the banjo’s origins in Africa, Abigail Washburn has explored, in the company of longtime friend and musical collaborate Wu Fei, a Pacific looking path for the banjo which links up Appalachian clawhammer with the Chinese guzheng. One could lazily classify this as a “world music” experiment, which is a rather quaint term in as much as it is suggests that there is music available from somewhere other than this world, but really it is an album that shows that two very different instruments – the 5 string glory that is the banjo and the 21 string “harp/zither” that is the guzheng – can make sensational sounds together. Continue reading “Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn “Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn” (Smithsonian Folkways, 2020)”