Husband-and-wife banjo masters Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck have announced their first album as a duo, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, which is set to be released on October 7. The two have been playing together since 2005 in the Sparrow Quartet- composed of Washburn’s solid, singsong vocals, the couple’s strong banjo harmonies, lively fiddle, and steady cello- often performing traditional Chinese folk songs and Tibetan music with an infusion of Appalachian blues.
“We didn’t want any other instruments on there, because we’re into this idea that we’re banjo players, and that should be enough,” Fleck said about the upcoming album. “Sometimes when you add other instruments, you take away from the ability of the banjo to show all its colors, which are actually quite beautiful.”
“Railroad,” which premiered on Paste, is the first track on Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn. The twist on an American classic is family-friendly, in that the two recently welcomed their first child, without sacrificing the impeccable musicianship that has come to expected from the pair. Washburn’s tumultuous yet contained vocals are joined with pristine banjo solos, proving this track is a dazzling composition. The duo will be performing on a national tour this fall.