Talk about “relationship goals!” Last year, husband-and-wife folk duo Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn participated in AV Club’s “Undercover” series where they covered the Europe classic, “The Final Countdown.” Complete with 80s-style wigs and some killer banjo solos, the couple created a delightful cover that may have even beat the original.
While these two make a talented and adorable duo, each are accomplished musicians in their own right. Fleck and Washburn are both banjoists that have played together, as well as with other projects, extensively over the years, From 1988 through 2012, Fleck served as the leader in the instrumental group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. The group released 14 studio albums, toured extensively and each member has released at least one solo album. Meanwhile, Washburn performs as a solo artist and with old-time bands such as Uncle Earl and Sparrow Quartet. She is also a devout activist that expresses herself through her music. In 2012, she was named a TED fellow and gave a talk at the 2012 TED Convention in Long Beach about building US-China relations through music.
While Fleck and Washburn have stayed relatively quiet in 2016, they played an array of tour dates last year including Newport Folk Festival and Bonnaroo. In addition, Fleck participated in The National’s Grateful Dead tribute album, called Day Of The Dead. Fleck performed a cover of “Help On The Way,” along with many other big artists including Wilco, the Flaming Lips, Courtney Barnett, Anohni, the War on Drugs, Bruce Hornsby with Justin Vernon’s band DeYarmond Edison and Megafaun, Bill Callahan, the Walkmen and many more. Day Of The Dead was released May 20.
It’s no secret that Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn are incredibly talented musicians, both as a duo and as individuals. Most can’t say they would expect a banjo cover of a Europe song complete with hair-metal wankery, but only these two can pull it off.