Song of the Traveling Daughter

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Less astringent than Gillian Welch but coming from a similar place -- an imaginary zone somewhere between the Civil War and WWI -- Abigail Washburn makes a striking debut with Songs of the Traveling Daughter. Playing clawhammer banjo and singing in a pure, mountain voice of aching beauty that's a dead ringer for the young Emmylou Harris, Washburn who also plays with the acoustic outfit Uncle Earl fashions music of spare and haunting delicacy. Her collaborators are well schooled in inventive acoustic music -- unsurprising, given that one of the disc's co-producers is the visionary Béla Fleck, who adds his rich sound signature on National steel and banjo as well. Washburn ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Less astringent than Gillian Welch but coming from a similar place -- an imaginary zone somewhere between the Civil War and WWI -- Abigail Washburn makes a striking debut with Songs of the Traveling Daughter. Playing clawhammer banjo and singing in a pure, mountain voice of aching beauty that's a dead ringer for the young Emmylou Harris, Washburn who also plays with the acoustic outfit Uncle Earl fashions music of spare and haunting delicacy. Her collaborators are well schooled in inventive acoustic music -- unsurprising, given that one of the disc's co-producers is the visionary Béla Fleck, who adds his rich sound signature on National steel and banjo as well. Washburn leans toward a sound that is at once rootsy and progressive, even while it sounds ancient. The album opener, "Sometimes," starts off like a jolly mountain hoedown, but suddenly, between verses, in comes a cello outburst that wouldn't have been out of place on a Beatles record. On the lilting, tender "Rockabye Dixie," the acoustic guitar and steadily plinking banjo are joined in the choruses by a droning accordion chord that suggests a church organ humming in the midst of a lullaby. Emmylou -- or rather her spirit -- is all over "Who's Gonna Shoe," which, given its ethereal mood and classical-folk fusion of cello and banjo, could pass for a Wrecking Ball outtake. The musicians show restraint and a heightened sense of drama, all the better to keep the focus on Washburn's mesmerizing vocals and quirky tales. This one will sneak up on you and stay around for a long, long time.
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Abigail Washburn was busy during the first half of 2005, laying down tracks for her first solo album on Nettwerk and serving as a member of Uncle Earl on Rounder. Song of the Traveling Daughter is an apt title for the type of folk music Washburn makes: acoustic, easygoing, and tuneful. Songs like "Sometimes" and "Rockabye Dixie" give the impression of being traditional, and Washburn's simple, old-style banjo accompaniment deepens this impression. However, these and the other songs on Traveling Daughter are mostly originals, and when they're backed by offbeat arrangements, it's clear that she wasn't born in Appalachia. These fresh elements, especially on cuts like "Coffee's Cold" and "Eve Stole the Apple," present Washburn at her best. The jazzy guitar and banjo work, catchy upbeat melody, and harmony make "Coffee's Cold" a jaunty, fun bit of nonsense, while heavy bass, percussion, and sassy fiddle add a sonic blast to "Eve Stole the Apple." "Who's Gonna Shoe" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine," on the other hand, sound rather blasé in comparison. Taken at a lackadaisical pace, both are pleasant, but less essential. Even here, though, Washburn is a good singer, capable of bringing an airy quality to neo-traditionalism. Song of the Traveling Daughter is a good first album that will appeal to fans of the Be Good Tanyas and Uncle Earl.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/2/2005
  • Label: Nettwerk Records
  • UPC: 067003042321
  • Catalog Number: 30423
  • Sales rank: 114,979

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Abigail Washburn Primary Artist, Banjo
Béla Fleck Banjo, Steel Guitar
Tim Lauer Accordion, Keyboards
Ben Sollee Cello
Casey Driessen Fiddle
Ryan Hoyle Percussion, Tom-Tom, Djembe, Shaker, finger cymbals
Jordan McConnell Guitar, uillean pipes, Low Whistle
Amanda Kowalski Upright Bass
Technical Credits
Béla Fleck Producer
Traditional Composer
Reid Scelza Producer
Ben Sollee Arranger
Jordan McConnell Arranger
Abigail Washburn Arranger, Composer, Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Folk at its best

    For anyone who loves banjo or folk music. Some of the songs in Chinese, which is different.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Blue grass

    This is the first album I purchased of A. Washburn. I subsequently purchased a second one. The purchases were stimulated by my new interest in Blue Grass. I really like the
    Chinese language in some of the music. The purchase was made blind but no regrets.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I WANT TO TRAVEL WITH HER!

    If anyone had ever told me I'd become a Bluegrass fan, I'd have bet a million bucks against it---and lost every penny! This young woman creates music and lyrics that stir my soul and make me hunger for more. She even includes two Chinese tracks, and, although I don't understand a word, they fit...beautifully. Her words are both fun and moving--"Life isn't easy, and truth's a dreadful beauty...." The cello accompaniment adds a depth that draws me in. I am totally dazzled can't wait to hear her in person! This CD will be my Christmas present to everyone this year. What a stunning debut! Thank you, Abigail.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews