January 03, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

Clued-in folk fans know this Nashville banjo whiz from her old band Uncle Earl (or perhaps from her marriage to bluegrass renegade Béla Fleck). Washburn?s new solo disc deserves a wider audience. Produced by Decemberists collaborator Tucker Martine, City of Refuge frames Washburn?s smoky-sexy vocals with lush string-band arrangements that make the occasional touch of Chinese zither seem natural. Think Norah Jones meets Nickel Creek. B+

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