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City of Refuge

Abigail WashburnAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Price: $13.70 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2011 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2011 $13.70  
Vinyl, 2011 $22.67  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Prelude0:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. City Of Refuge 3:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Bring Me My Queen 4:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Chains 3:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ballad Of Treason 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Last Train 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Burn Thru 4:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Corner Girl 3:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Dreams Of Nectar 5:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Devine Bell 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Bright Morning Stars 4:40$1.29  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Abigail Washburn Store


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Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet


If American old-time music is about taking earlier, simpler ways of life and music-making as one’s model, Abigail Washburn has proven herself to be a bracing revelation to that tradition. She—a singing, songwriting, Illinois-born, Nashville-based clawhammer banjo player—is every bit as interested in the present and the future as she is in the past, and every bit as attuned to ... Read more in Amazon's Abigail Washburn Store

Visit Amazon's Abigail Washburn Store
for 3 albums, 11 photos, videos, and 4 full streaming songs.

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Frequently Bought Together

City of Refuge + Song of the Traveling Daughter + Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet
Price for all three: $41.74

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 11, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,047 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

In her relatively short career, Abigail Washburn has covered a lot of ground; both physically and metaphorically. Bouncing between China and Appalachia has informed much of her musical output and influenced a body of work that goes far beyond the usual claw banjo repertoire. Her Rounder debut, City Of Refugee is a sublime marriage of old-time and indie-pop. On the album Washburn pair venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anybody's ever heard before. The album features My Morning Jacket's Carl Bromel, The Decemberists' Chris Funk, Turtle Island String Quartet's Jeremy Kittell, atmospheric jazz guitarist Bill Firsell, the Mongolian string band Hanggai, who managed to contribute ambient throat -singing from halfway around the world. The album was produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Tift Merritt, Mudhoney) and features the talents of multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, Kai Welch (Tommy and the Whale). City Of Refugee offers and expansive palette of supple and modern textures resulting in a remarkably harmonious piece of art.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music Without Boundaries - A Singular, Beautiful, Album January 27, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Abigail Washburn's City Of Refuge contains many moments of sheer, breathtaking, beauty. It is always musically accessible yet, at the same time, musically challenging. Abby does something quit rare here. And it is something very few composers can pull off successfully. She mixes many, and varied, styles, sounds and instruments into her compositions. Working backwards, I can see how she pulled this off. But she was working forward when she co-wrote these songs with Kai Welch and there really is little musical precedence for some of the mixtures she conjures on this album. This is musical inventiveness of a very high order. It may be what makes Abby special and distinct.

Before going any further, some housekeeping is in order; a disclosure: I have been a friend of Abby's family for a very, very, long time. I knew her grandfather (he was an important teacher in my life), know her grandmother, her mother and her uncle (I know her father as well but for only 35 years or so.). One can read what I have to write as either the thoughts of a shill or the thoughts of someone who has been carefully following this young, talented, artist for the past five and a half years with great pride but with honesty (much of which has been shared with the artist :) ).

When Abby released her first album in 2005, Song Of The Traveling Daughter, many were astonished how this unknown could forge a perfect marriage of Chinese tonalities with root Americana music. It was a triumphant, fully realized, album. The follow-up, Abigail Washburn And The Sparrow Quartet, was a more ambitious and somewhat flawed effort. There were fine moments, and stellar playing (How could there not be with three virtuosos as part of the Quartet.).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! January 25, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first heard Abigail Washburn on Prairie Home Companion a couple of weeks ago, when Sara Watkins hosted. AW's voice is similar to SW's, at least it sounded so on the radio. The CD is a revelation, incredibly beautiful and quietly soothing music. Most of it is not typical of what I consider bluegrass. The banjo can be a pretty evocative instrument when played slowly and meditatively. This CD will be on heavy rotation in my car - it is beautiful and moody and warm. Every once in a while I come across someone I've never heard of before, who expands my musical horizons a little bit more, like a gift. Thanks, Abigail Washburn, for the gift.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abigail Washburn makes me like blue grass music again. January 16, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Abigail Washburn is the new star of blue grass music. Her voice is very soothing. She plays the banjo better than anyone I have heard in a long time. The title track "City Of Refuge" is a song about escaping to a city of refuge. Abigail is accompanied on the keyboard and vocals by a musician named Kai Welch. "Chains" is an upbeat song about the things that hold people back. This song features good percussion playing by Kenny Malone. The fiddle playing by Rob Hecht is excellent too. The subtle reflective tone of the track "Bring Me My Queen" puts my mind at ease. Abby's voice reflects a person who is warm and wise here. Jared Engel provides a deep lovely tone on his bass instrument. All the musicians in her band are very talented.

Abigail duets with Kai Welch on the song "Ballad Of Treason". This song is about the price people pay for freedom. She hits the high notes effortlessly on this tune. I like it very much. Burn Thur is another favorite tune of mine on this disc. This song is about having a fighting spirit and sense of defiance. This song is very uplifting.

There is a spirtual quality to Abigail's music. "Dreams Of Nectar" is a song about facing a person's mortality. This song is very thoughtful and deep. "Divine Bell" is an upbeat gospel tune. Abigail's banjo plucking is absolutely delightful here. Abigail Washburn makes me like blue grass music again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Hooked August 5, 2011
Format:Audio CD
These songs have been stuck in my head for weeks. Great melodies, instrumentation, lyrics, harmonies, singing. All of the songs in their infinite variety from simple banjo pickin' to elaborate layers of vocals and strings add up to a singular, unified work of art. EmmyLou Harris meets Sgt. Pepper? I don't know, this artist (and her collaborators--especially Kai Welch) is difficult to categorize, except to say, she's great, they're great, her message is great, and her songs are great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and lovely February 24, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I was not familiar with Abigail Washburn or her music prior to listening to this beautiful recording, but now that I have heard City of Refuge I'm hooked on the folk and bluegrass rooted compositions of this gifted young artist. What is truly remarkable about this album is how much more complex it is than it initially appears to be. Washburn's songs are clearly rooted in the traditional american musical styles of bluegrass, folk, country and gospel but the album never feels like a throwback to those various genres. Instead, City of Refuge feels throughly contemporary thanks to an unmistakable pop rock sensibility as well as touches of jazz and an eastern influence that is present on the album's closing track. Washburn is so assured in her songwriting that the album never feels like a mash-up of different styles, but rather a cohesive and fully realized work full of nuanced emotional textures and subtle yet insightful lyrics. At a time when the current musical landscape is dominated by singles and larger than life personalities, Washburn is a welcome reminder that it is ultimately the music that matters most.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars stars rising
I loved this album. I discovered this song writer quite by accident as I watched an episode of Army Wives. Bright Morning Stars was playing as people walked away from the casket. Read more
Published 2 months ago by ruthie
5.0 out of 5 stars I play it over and over
This album really resonates with me. It's got good emotion without being syrupy or pouty and enough energy to keep you from dripping into the doldrums. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazing Grace
4.0 out of 5 stars Is there such a thing as upscale bluegrass?
What a wonderful album! I heard an NPR profile about Ms Washburn and was fascinated -- I couldn't wait to get an album! It just feels like spiced up Americana stallings ... Read more
Published 11 months ago by COG
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, I want more!
This is American Folk music at its core, well written, well played, well sung, & well recorded. They call it "Old Time" music, it's not Blue Grass, but it comes close to it, more... Read more
Published 13 months ago by PhiloX
5.0 out of 5 stars love, Love, LOVE IT!
I discovered Abigail Washburn through listening to Sirius radio, and then looked her up on-line and - thankfully - found this album. Read more
Published 14 months ago by coomassie
4.0 out of 5 stars Original, Eclectic and Vibrant
I saw Abigail on a NPR Tiny Desk Concert video podcast about three months ago. She struck me as very intelligent, curious and certainly musically gifted. Read more
Published 15 months ago by value hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a masterpiece
This entire CD is a masterpiece. Abigail Washburn has such an interesting story and brings something great to the bluegrass/folk world. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Cody Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars great soul
A folk sound with a Chinese flair. The music evokes great emotion and is a wonderful sound track to a quiet afternoon.
Published 15 months ago by Sara J. Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope for more soon
First review ever written. Saw her live in the middle of nowhere last summer in Montana. Great so bought the album. Album just fantastic and listen to it more and more. Read more
Published 16 months ago by dbwight
5.0 out of 5 stars Quickly received
I had listened to this CD a month earlier and was anxious to get a copy for me and one for a friend. Both orders arrived before I expected them. Read more
Published 20 months ago by JeanieB
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