Saturday, July 15, 2006

Stealth appearances

I had a chance to chat briefly with Bela Fleck, who said with a sly smile that his presence here was a "stealth appearance." Yes, the Flecktones were off this weekend, though they leave for a tour of Spain on Monday. I wanted to ask him for his views on the Wernick-Ferguson debate, but didn't push it other than to get his agreement to do a future interview. Actually, it was the interview-by-email that I did a year ago that got me started in this direction, so I'll certainly want to follow up at some time soon.

The other stealth performer with Abigail Washburn was The Duhks' guitarist Jordon McConnell. Abby explained at her workshop that she will be touring the next several weeks with Ben Sollee opening for The Duhks, and that McConnell will be sitting in on her sets. I caught the end of the workshop, enough to see Abby tell some stories about her experiences in China, including of singing a Chinese folk song to a cabbie in Beijing and how he stopped the cab in busy traffic to jump out and demonstrate the proper body language while singing. "Singing is not about the notes but about the spirit," she said.

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