Song of the Traveling Daughter (2005)
One would not expect to hear a combination of old-time music, otherwise known as bluegrass, and lyrics in Mandarin Chinese. However, it works beautifully on Abigail Washburn’s new album, Song of the Traveling Daughter. A student of Chinese in college, Washburn travelled to China, became immersed in Chinese culture, and then returned to learn more about American culture. Her boyfriend was playing in a bluegrass band, and she moved to Nashville and began singing. She wrote the title song for this album after reading a poem by Meng Zhao, Song of the Traveling Son. In 2004 she toured China and shared her music through a cultural exchange program. Below you can see her with students in Chengdu. There are three songs in Chinese on this album, Song of the Traveling Daughter, The Journey Home, and The Lost Lamb. The Lost Lamb is a slow, mournful song with simple instrumentation. The Journey Home has a lighter mood, with a lilting banjo carrying the rhythm along. The title song, Song of the Traveling Daughter, (Younu Yin) showcases a fiddle accompaniment and Washburn’s clear, strong voice.
For more information, see the website, http://www.abigailwashburn.com/
BBC radio program The World featured Washburn on World Beat:
CD Available on Amazon or at the artist’s website
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