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21 octobre 2005

Abigail Washburn

Song of the Traveling Clawhammer

Banjo Player [21 October 2005]

Twenty-seven-year-old Abigail Washburn is something of a contemporary troubadour, a musical traveler on a fascinating voyage of self-discovery. She reflects on the two worlds that inform her art with PopMatters.

Asked -- somewhat unfairly -- to describe her own music in just one word, the best Washburn can do is "Alternative folk. But that's two words." So we agree to hyphenate, and then she ponders the appropriateness of the label.

"For one word, one hyphenated word, I think alternative-folk is the best I can do. My style is very much based in the old-time American music, like the Appalachian traditions and the blues. A love of the music from the '20s and '30s inspired a lot of the music on the record. But so did a lot of my experience living in China and studying the culture and the language so maybe some people will see it as interesting hybrid.

"I'm not quite sure [what] world music is or how I would fit into it, so I don't know if that's a good descriptor, but I would certainly like to be seen as an artist or have a career where I'm involved in an international community of musicians."

When I mentioned that I could certainly see Washburn involved in something like the WOMAD festival, she confessed ignorance of the WOMAD phenomenon so I explained a little about the now truly international World Of Music And Dance organization founded by Peter Gabriel in the early '80s.

"How cool! That's exactly the sort thing that I would like to be participating in. I would really like to be part of the larger musical dialogue that's going on between musicians who do consider themselves international and are interested in collaborating with people around the world. I think that's a really exciting new frontier and I'd like to be a part of that."....

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