The show Thursday night at The Fox Theatre was exceptional and if you missed seeing Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, you missed one of the best shows this season.
Fresh from The Grammy's where their self-titled album "Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn" won for Best Folk Album 2016, their show at The Fox was part music and part stand-up. Of course there was incredible music. I've always loved the sound of the banjo. I heard it played in a variety of ways on this night and the music went far beyond the sound of what I thought was capable for a banjo to produce. The styles of both Fleck and Washburn are so different, and combined are truly a feast for the ears. He's more pop culture and she is more traditional, passed down through generations. When the styles click together there's an other worldly quality to the sound. The duo even worked a Flecktones tune into the evening's music. The genre's they played were all over the map.
They spoke of their Grammy win. The general public thinks that winning a Grammy is all flash and style. According to Fleck and Washburn, appearances can be deceiving. The story of their Grammy win really touched a cord with the audience and had everyone laughing. There was a lot of humor traveling from the stage to the audience. The duo sang "Banjo Pickin" Girl" and added in a verse about Hutchinson, something about butter sculptures and get me some, which pulled more laughter from the audience.
Washburn speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, and she sang a song in Chinese. She said the translation of the title was "The Sun Has Come Out and We Are So Happy". This traditional Chinese mountain song was beautiful and haunting. On the final song of the evening, the multi-talented Washburn even kicked up her heels and danced. It was an unexpected highlight of the evening and had the audience on their feet.
No one in the audience was ready for the show to end and these two talented folks left all of us wanting more. If you missed this show, don't miss the next one at The Historic Fox Theatre, it's Jim Brickman and he'll center stage on Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m.