Today we’re revisiting a conversation with the royal family of roots music.
On this edition of “Two Way Street,” Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn speak about their new album, “Echo in the Valley.” This is their second collaboration, following the success of their self-titled debut, “Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn,” which took home the Grammy for “Best Folk Album” in 2016.
That award put them on the map as a duo to be reckoned with.
Back before they met, fell in love and were married, Abby and Béla were each establishing themselves as unique performers. He’d become a star with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, and was expanding the range of the banjo into jazz and classical music.
She had discovered the haunting beauty of American roots music in the last place you might expect: while studying law and the mandarin language in China. So, she too took up the banjo, and even as she began singing and playing with artists in china, she eventually came home and established herself as one of America’s great roots singers.
When they joined Bill Nigut to talk, it quickly became obvious that despite their great success, they’re about as down to earth as artists and a couple as the roots music they love.