Mountain Stage Live Webcast Now!

Those who couldn’t make it to tonight’s fabulous, soldout Mountain Stage concert can watch it live online for free right now at Mt Stage’s official site!

Kate Miller-Heidke’s magnificent set of vocal acrobatics is already over, but Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn and Janiva Magness will soon take the stage.

Music, Shakespeare, Books, Art & Nature at Festivall This Weekend!

West Virginians have an exciting weekend of arts-related events this weekend thanks to Charleston’s Festivall. We at Muruch will happily attend the following:

Friday, 7pm: Hamlet by The American Shakespeare Co.
The Scottish Rites Center, Capitol Street
Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students.
Buy tickets in advance at Taylor Books or at the door

Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm: Romeo & Juliet by The Charleston Ballet
The Civic Center Little Theater
Tickets: Adults $20 in advance, $25 at door; students $15 in advance, $20 at door.Group rates also available.
Buy tickets online, Civic Ctr box office or at the door

Saturday, 8am-5pm: Library Used Book Sale
The Civic Center Little Theater
Free Admittance, books 50ยข-$2

Sunday, 1-4pm: Nature Walk w/ Live Music & Art
Sunrise Carriage Trail

Sunday, 7pm: Kate Miller-Heidke, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Janiva Magness & Storyman at Mountain Stage
Culture Center Theater
Tickets: $15 advance, $20 at the door
Buy tickets online, at Taylor Books or at door

Abigail Washburn: Song Of The Traveling Daughter

Abigail Washburn is yet another Mountain Stage discovery. Her banjo fueled sound falls somewhere between Appalachian folk and bluegrass. Her 2005 album, Song Of The Traveling Daughter, is a 14-song collection rooted in Americana yet inspired by Washburn’s time in China. Her time away from and return journey to America moved her to embrace the most traditional instruments of the country: the banjo. Accompanying the three varieties of banjos that Abigail plays on the album are fiddle, cello, guitars, upright bass, whistles, Uillean pipes, finger cymbals, djimbe, drums, tambourine, accordian, and a steel guitar courtesy of guest player, Bela Fleck.

The album opens with “Sometimes”, a whirling and upbeat bluegrass tune laden with banjo and fiddle. The softer “Rockabye Dixie” shows off Abigail’s pretty voice, which hints at a yodeling range on the chorus.

“Coffee’s Cold” is my favourite song on the album. No one who knows me would be surprised. It’s a jaunty tune that combines an old fashioned, depression era story in song style with a bluesy sound.

“Red & Blazing” is a more traditional sounding folk ballad. The song was partially inspired by Buell Kazee’s 1928 recording of “The Dying Soldier”. “Single Drop Of Honey” features Abigail Washburn and Megan Gregory singing acapella. Though the lyrics are of a lost love, the song has a gospel element to its melody.

“Eve Stole The Apple” brings the strings into focus for most of the song, with a strong drum beat pushing forward toward the end. The song was inspired by “Doc Boggs and the singing of Vera Hall”.

“Who’s Gonna Shoe” is a traditional song also known as “Green Valley Waltz”. It was a southern folk ballad originally taken from the Scottish “The Lass Of Rock Royal”. Washburn learned this version from Woody Guthrie and put her own touch on the arrangement.

“Backstep Cindy/Purple Bamboo” is a banjo instrumental and another traditional song rearranged by Abigail. “The Lost Lamb” is slowed down and anchored with strings, with Abigail singing in Chinese.

“Nobody’s Fault But Mine” is a cover of the traditional tune probably best known as sung by Nina Simone. Other than the banjo, it’s a standard take on the song. The album ends with its pretty and mellow title track, which was inspired by Meng Jiao’s “Song Of The Traveling Son”.

I was not granted permission to share an mp3 here, but you can stream songs at MySpace.

Abigail Washburn’s Official Site

Buy the album