Watch Abigail Washburn, B & #233;la Fleck, and the Sparrow Quartet Perform on These Days
We had a great hour of music on These Days this week. Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet played in studio for the entire hour. The quartet's all-star line-up includes banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck , Ben Sollee on cello, Casey Driessen on fiddle, and Washburn on vocals and banjo. & The band was a little punchy when they arrived, having driven all night from Santa Barbara to Solana Beach where they slept only a few hours before getting to our studios for a 9:15am soundcheck. They cracked wise and teased each other a lot, even teasing Tom here and there. & For Washburn, the only woman in the bunch, it must be like travelling with three brothers. &
B ela Fleck was so down to earth, very low key and approachable. & Zach, the band's tour manager sat in the studio with us while we recorded and we talked about the challenges of touring non-stop, especially for someone like B ela, who always seems to be on the road. & He said that even when they have down time, when they are waiting in an airport for example, B ela picks up the banjo and starts playing. & Zach says he plays constantly, that "he lives and breathes his art."
In fact, all of these musicians bring so much to the quartet. Driessen has a unique "chop" style on the five string fiddle, Washburn writes, plays banjo in the clawhammer style, and has a voice that takes you back in time. And Ben Sollee is versatile on the cello, especially when you listen to his newly released solo record Learning to Bend , as I'm doing right now. & The album htas a soul, R&B sound that I didn't expect from a cellist. & He does a cover of one of my all-time faves, A Change is Gonna Come . &
So take a coffee break and enjoy the performance video of Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet...