Exhilarating Banjo!

Tonight I went to see Bela Fleck and his wife, Abigail Washburn in concert at the beautiful Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford. It was a last minute little piece of synchronicity- I didn't even know about it til last night. It was an absolutely wonderful concert.

One of the things that fascinated me was when Bela Fleck played solo, which he did a couple of times, I went into trance. It was surprising to me because the banjo is such energetic music, so I became somewhat analytical after it happened two separate times. Both times he played very long improvisational solo pieces. I wasn't tired and I did not fall asleep. I just "went away" for a while. Two things I believe came into play. One was that my left brain totally shut down and two, there is a powerful entraining rhythm with the banjo, and I think the combination just put me out.

Abigail Washburn was amazing! Her voice is haunting in contrast to her very down to earth presence. They both have different styles of banjo playing which complement each other beautifully. She does more of the "clawhammer" style while he does more of the finger picking. Her playing was phenomenal but the real mind blower was when she sang a song in Chinese. (Apparently at one time she was in China studying Szechuan.) I think the video below is fairly old but if you don't feel like watching the whole thing just fast forward up to 12:22 and she sings the song she sang tonight  Her voice is so powerful in this piece. The whole thing just knocked me out.

They were great, funny and fun. They had a wonderful rapport, bantering back and forth in a very humorous gentle way but the music was phenomenal. Totally exhilarating.