On March 31st at 7:30 in the Coaster Theater in Cannon Beach, Clatsop CASA presents a benefit concert by the Abigail Washburn band. Tickets are $20 (a food donation to the Cannon Beach Food Bank is also requested) and are available at the following locations:

  • River Sea Gallery, 1160 Commercial St., Astoria Vintage Hardware, 475 - 14th St., Astoria
  • Cannon Beach Books, 130 N. Hemlock, Cannon Beach 
  • Found, 1287 S. Hemlock, Cannon Beach Beach Books, 37 N. Edgwood, Seaside
  • Clatsop CASA office, 818 Commercial St., Suite 401 (call ahead - 503-338-6063)

A recent New York Times review (January 9, 2011) stated:

"Ms. Washburn has carried her chosen instrument, the banjo, a long way from its traditional bluegrass and old-timey music. She picks in claw-hammer style and is based in Nashville, but she has also delved into Chinese music. "City of Refuge" lands geographically in between: in Portland, Oregon. Its producer, Tucker Martine, has worked with folk-bending bands like the Decemberists and My Morning Jacket, which both lent musicians to "City of Refuge." Ms. Washburn's enigmatic songs mingle Appalachia and folk-pop, with tinges of Asia and Bruce Springsteen. Eventually, the route leads home: to a mountain gospel hymn."

She and her band are taking time out from the City of Refuge CD tour to perform a benefit concert for the CASA organization. The band consists of:

Abigail Washburn on banjo and vocals, Kai Welch on keys, guitar, trumpet, harmonica, and vocals, Jamie Dick on percussion, John Estes on bass, and Rayna Gellert on fiddle.

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 the global as she is to the local. She pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody's ever heard before. To put it another way, she changes what seems possible.

City of Refuge-released by Rounder January 11, 2011 -is something completely different, even for her: a sublime marriage of old-time and indie-pop. "This new project," she says, "incorporates what would've in the beginning of my career seemed like an unexpected move, but now feels like a really natural progression of working with people that reach into other genres and other spaces musically."

Cannon Beach has special significance to Abigail. She and her husband, banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck, got married in Cannon Beach, and her parents have a home there.

Clatsop CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is an organization that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the dependency court and child welfare systems. There are presently about 200 children who are wards of the Court in Clatsop County due to abuse and neglect, and 37 trained CASA volunteers are assigned to advocate for 111 of these children. For more information about Clatsop CASA, please visit www.clatsop-casa.org or visit us on Facebook.


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