Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn Recording Album Together
World-renowned banjo player Bela Fleck is married to fellow banjo player and singer Abigail Washburn. But while the couple have been married for a few years, and are the proud parents of almost one-year-old son, Juno, they say the time was never right to record an album together, until now.
The two are in the studio, recording their first project together, which Washburn says will be unlike anything else that has ever been released in the past.
“We’re keeping it to two banjos and vocal, live,” she tells Straight.com. “That is our commitment. We don’t know of another album out there that is just two banjos and vocal, so we need to do it — and that is what we do with our lives, so there is going to be no broader perspective.”
The songstress, who has posted several videos of her performing with her famous husband online, says the new set of tunes will incorporate a wide variety of songs, including showing off her fluency in the Mandarin language.
“It’s a range of material that pushes each of us,” she explains. “Some of it is songs that I started that Bela is finishing with me, and some of it is old traditional songs that we’ve always loved, and then some of it pushes me in new directions with the Chinese material I’ve always wanted to explore.”
This isn’t their first time working together professionally. They were also in the Sparrow Quartet, where they combined their two banjos with a cello and a violin to create one unforgettable sound. The four-piece band, which released one album in 2008, was the inspiration for the new record she is making with her husband.
“A lot of those instruments, the main part of their range is in the same place, so we had to be very creative so that each instrument could be heard,” Washburn recalls. “That’s when I first started learning that even if you have two instruments that have the same range and that don’t usually play together, you can make a beautiful sound.”
Washburn and Fleck are spending much of the next several weeks on the road together, including stops in Washington and Canada this weekend. See a list of all of their upcoming concerts here.