Abigail Washburn Song of the Traveling Daughter

It wasn’t until she spent a summer on the other side of the globe that Abigail Washburn came to appreciate the music of her homeland. During a college program in China, Washburn was so impressed by the richness of Chinese culture that she was inspired to explore her American heritage, eventually devoting herself to a career in folk music. And for someone who fell so recently and inadvertently into that music, she has made quite a successful go of it so far. The earthy rattle of her claw hammer banjo style imbues her music with rustic charm making Song of the Traveling Daughter an altogether enjoyable experience. The album is comprised of original compositions as well as new arrangements of traditional tunes such as "Who’s Gonna Shoe” and "Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” Washburn’s arrangements break no new ground, but their gentle beauty certainly does the songs justice. Where Washburn gets inventive is on the two tracks on the album that are written in Chinese. The title track is a particularly successful melding of cultures — delicate Chinese lyrics overtop the fiddle and banjo of a typical bluegrass song. Although its surprises are few, Traveling Daughter is a solid addition to the neo-traditional folk genre. (Nettwerk)