The first couple of the banjo, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, will release "Banjo Banjo," the companion EP to their debut duo album on Aug. 21 on Rounder. Available on CD Oct. 2 and vinyl Oct. 30 (both exclusively through Barnes and Noble), the EP features three previously unreleased tracks paired with live versions of Washburn's murder ballad "Shotgun Blues," the duo's minor-key take on "Railroad" and the instrumental "Banjo Banjo," written for their 2 year-old son, Juno.
The previously unreleased studio songs are arrangements of age-old Chinese folk, Bartok and metal. "Hao Hua Hong," ("Beautiful Red Flower"), sung by Washburn in Mandarin (she's near-fluent), is adapted from the Buyi people who live high in the mountain forests of Guizhou. Fleck offers "Evening in Transylvania," with an instrumental of Europe's "The Final Countdown," arranged for the A.V. Club's Undercover series. Europe was an '80s hair metal band.
The duo's self-titled debut came out last fall.