It seems I’m a little late to this self-titled album by Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, though still glad it happened to cross my path this evening. I was lucky enough to see Béla Fleck and the Flecktones (including Victor Wooten on bass, and Roy “Future Man” Wooten on Drumitar) back in 1995 and even have their three signatures on a Muppet shirt that I have never worn since. He is a legitimate banjo virtuoso. More interestingly, Béla’s playing with Abigail has many more subdued moments and is more elegant. Each of the three pieces shared here display versatile styles and a thoughtful balance between the two performers.
The piece that drew me in, “Am I Born To Die” is a bit somber, and though its lyrics may paint an uncertain picture, its a gorgeous demonstration of this charming duo. It has survived some 250 years originally written by a British minister, Charles Wesley. The two works that follow are equally alluring yet completely different, and this is all achieved with fairly simple arrangements. Sunday is near its close and something about these songs feels like just right finish to this week. Many things are unknown and unexpected, but thankfully there is always some kind of music to help us reflect and ease the tension of our wound up lives. Though we cannot answer many of life’s questions, for each question there is a tune that lays it gently to rest and helps to send us on our way once again.
“And Am I Born to Die” performed by Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
“Little Birdie” performed by Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
“Railroad” performed by Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn