Sunday, May 18, 2014

field trip: Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

I occasionally tell Anna we're going somewhere, but I won't tell her where, or what we're doing. So a month ago I planned last night, and we went to see Béla Fleck perform alongside his wife, Abigail Washburn. Abigail is a well-known old-time banjo player and bandleader, and seemed like most of the audience was there to see her; they got a bit of a surprise when Béla was unleashed a couple times, because he is almost certainly the greatest living banjo player, and possibly the greatest ever.

Just to give you a sense of the difference, this is Abigail with her band, playing a typical one of her songs:

She's a great songwriter and singer. But Béla plays like this, when he's just jamming and improvising by himself:

And then this is his band:

So that's interesting, to see a very comfortable rapport between two people with unequal gifts on the same instrument (they focused on Abigail's music). And they are completely adorable--actually reminded us a lot of us.

There was jumping up and down with joy. It was satisfying.

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