Abigail Washburn Takes “Refuge”


Originally to be self-released, Rounder
picks up the album, which includes Bill Frisell, Rayna Gellert, Chris Funk,
Carl Broemel and others.


Blurt Staff


songwriter and clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn spent 2009 and 2010 prepping
her third album, ‘City of Refuge, which was
produced by Tucker Martine (the Decemberists, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens). It
marries lush orchestrations to Washburn’s classic songwriting style, striking
voice and old-time storytelling aesthetic.


the album was originally intended as a self-released record for late summer,
but then Rounder Records got a whiff of it and it’s now been rescheduled for
Jan. 11. IN a statement, Rounder’s John Virant explained, “Rounder has been
wanting to work with Abigail again.” (Rounder had released Washburn’s former
band, Uncle Earl.) “When we heard this beautiful new solo project, we know this
was the one.”


the guests on the album are songwriting collaborator Kai Welch, guitarist Bill
Frisell, fiddler Rayna Gellert, guzheng (the ancient Chinese zither) master Wu
Fei, with string arrangements by Jeremy Kittel of the Turtle Island String
Quartet.  Chris Funk from the
Decemberists and Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket also appear on the record.


past summer, Abigail opened a West Coast run for Steve Martin & the Steep
Canyon Rangers before heading to China (her “second home”) where she
represented the USA at the World Expo in Shanghai as well as performing in
Beijing and other cities in China. In the fall of 2010, Abigail and her band
did a short tour of the US
previewing the material from the new record. They will tour extensively in
early 2011.




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