Yesterday, banjo legends Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn graced the Kent Stage with their presence and their music. It was a packed house, and an amazing concert as they start on their tour promoting their new album, Echo in the Valley. Earlier that afternoon, their assistant graced KEC treasurer, Bob Wilson, with her voice (but no music). While on tour, Fleck and Washburn make it a habit to recognize a local organization in each concert city and donate the proceeds from their merchandise table to that organization. In Kent, they chose Kent Environmental Council for this honor!
A big thank you to the Kent Stage for bringing Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn to Kent, a bigger thank you to Fleck and Washburn for recognizing the work that KEC does, and an even bigger thank you to the people at the Kent Stage who 1) know good music and support it, 2) support local businesses like the Stage, and 3) support the work that KEC does by buying some merchandise.
In case you didn’t get a chance to see the actual concert, here is a song from their new album. Come All You Coal Miners was written by Sarah Ogan Gunning, and tells of the life of a coal miner’s wife in the early twentieth century. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture, but it’s a great reminder that, while the push to move away from fossil fuels has many facets – environmental, social, political, and more – people concerned about the environment are not the only group to be in this fight and we have made significant improvements since the time of Gunning’s writing and activism. And if you’re a little bummed that we’re still trying to move toward safer, cleaner fuel sources after all this time, there’s an Echo in the Valley song for that, too, just search for ‘Don’t Let it Bring You Down’ (or better, buy the album).