Bringing back the banjo and rockin’ a huck-a-billy ‘tude, Abigail Washburn is the thinking-man’s folk artist with a voice of pure caramel.
“I’m not going down with the rest of you” chimes Abigail on standout track ‘Burn thru’, taken from her second album City of Refuge released on Rounder Records earlier this year. Coming straight out of Illinois, this 31-year-old true talent has no desire to take the path of so many American female musicians before her, compromising substance in favour of style. Abigail’s focus is fixed on doing what she adores, playing her banjo and making authentic Western folk music, liberating the lesser listened to alternative wave of nu-folk which has been creeping up in popularity since her arrival to the scene. Each stage show she throws down is about voice and instrument only; her gaze fixed upon every member of her audience. This is intelligent music for intense listening.
Abigail’s mesmerising, rich, dulcet tones cascade over fellow band members from her Sparrow Quartet instrumental chorus, falling delicately as rain drops upon a windowsill, meandering but full of purpose. Accompanied by a violin, a cello and two banjos the sound is distinctly grass-roots and her greatest fan is Led Zepplin’s bassist John Paul, who produced the first album after being smitten with Washburn’s sound upon the very first listen.
Click here to download the track ‘City of Refuge’, the title track from her second album. Now coming to the end of her US tour Abigail took time out with band members Béla Fleck (banjo), Casey Driessen (violin), and Ben Sollee (cello) to make some sweet music for i-D online’s eyes and ears only. Enjoy.