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Afterquake by The Shanghai Restoration Project
Released: May 2009
Label: Undercover Culture Music
In 2008, China's Sichuan province was devastated by an earthquake that killed 88,000 people and left 5 million homeless. Americana banjoist (and Chinese culture buff) Washburn and SRP's Dave Liang created this album as a tribute and fundraiser for the victims. Afterquake sets recordings of displaced kids telling stories and singing songs to electronic beats and samples of sounds from the actual rebuilding. It's a heady concept that Liang and Washburn render gracefully, particularly on "Song for Mama," a husky-voiced teen's tribute to his mother accompanied by spare, scratched-out beats.
Rachel Devitt

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