We were fortunate to be one of the first american groups to perform in Tibet, sponsored by the Chinese and US governments in tandem. Abby and I have played as a duo since we first met, trying impromptu duets at picking parties, doing a few tunes at benefits, and occasional radio shows together, but we never took our act on the road – til now.
With the birth of our little boy Juno, we decided that the best way to stay together more would be to play together more.
We were forced to be intimate and discuss all of the things that were difficult for us. But I would definitely encourage people, if they’re thinking about starting a new project, do it before the baby comes out, and not after.
[Laughter] Most of the community learns by sitting and listening, so in that sense, yes, it’s still very much an oral tradition.
7PM / 1869 TAP ROOM Join musicologist Daniel Guberman for a discussion about the evening’s performance.
What can I say about my wife Abby, except that the first time I listened to a CD of her music, I started driving so fast that I got pulled over for speeding and was made to walk the line by the men in blue!
Washburn’s journey to making music has taken a highly unconventional path, from studying Chinese language and law to — just weeks ago — winning her first Grammy Award for Best Folk Album with her husband, bluegrass icon Béla Fleck.
To celebrate, we caught up with her to get the story of how she got here.
At the same time, back in the United States, I was also dating a guy who played bluegrass music. Through bluegrass, I started learning about old-time Appalachian music.And it warms and invigorates both of us that people actually want to hear us play together.One complication was adding an infant to the whole scenario — not for the faint of heart!Meanwhile, people I was meeting China would ask, “Tell me about American culture — what is it, anyway? I hadn’t spent a whole lot of time thinking about the heritage of America, having grown up in suburbs of DC and Minneapolis and Chicago.What I knew of as culture was the radio and my public schools and strip malls and working at a pizza place.