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Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn Release 'Banjo Banjo' EP on Vinyl

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Banjo BanjoOn February 5, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn will release the Banjo Banjo EP on vinyl, available exclusively through Barnes & Noble. This collection of unreleased music marks the follow up to the couple’s self titled, 2016 Grammy-nominated debut (Best Folk Album & Best American Roots Performance for “And Am I Born to Die”).

The previously unreleased studio songs are arrangements of age-old Chinese folk, Bartok and metal. “Hao Hua Hong,” (“Beautiful Red Flower”), sung by Washburn in Mandarin (she’s near-fluent), is adapted from the Buyi people who live high in the mountain forests of Guizhou (the video premiered on NPR Music for Chinese New Year). Béla honors his namesake with “Evening in Transylvania,” and the centerpiece for the EP might just be their instrumental of Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” arranged for the A.V. Club’s Undercover series. “I never heard this song before,” Fleck tells the Onion. “Because I was really busy in the '80s.”

"Béla Fleck has been experimenting with the banjo for decades, taking the instrument into many genres, from rock to jazz (with the Flecktones and in duets with Chick Corea and others) to classical,” writes The New Yorker. In the process, he’s won fifteen Grammy Awards. A few years ago, he married Abigail Washburn, a similarly freewheeling musician. She is a gifted clawhammer banjo player, a seraphic vocalist, and an uninhibited songwriter…”

Banjo Banjo track listing:

  1. “Banjo Banjo” (live) (Fleck / Washburn)
  2. “Hao Hua Hong” (“Beautiful Red Flower”) - Sung by Washburn in Mandarin, the song adapted from the Buyi people who live high in the mountain forests of Guizhou. The video premiered on NPR Music for Chinese New Year in 2015 (February 8, this year).
  3. “Shotgun Blues” (live) (Fleck / Washburn)
  4. “Evening in Transylvania” (Bartok)
  5. “Railroad”
  6. “The Final Countdown” (Tempest) - Dual-banjo version for The Onion’s A.V. Club Undercover Series

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