“The last thing the world needs is another piece of sociopolitical commentary.” That’s the first line of notes introducing The Avett Brothers’ new album, Close Than Together.
What can we say about this album? It’s halfway political, halfway personal. But maybe that’s part of the point, hence the title. It’s an intensely personal work, born out of their own private experiences and feelings, and at some point those feelings were about the news cycle. Continue reading →
Now what? The Avetts have gone everything now, but they did so slowly. Chart their last three albums, and you can tell they have merged from a heavy rock-centered bluegrass band into a more electric, pop-centered, all-American band. But they didn’t sell out after one or two original albums. They re-centered themselves naturally after half a dozen of the work they first came to be known for. They haven’t lost touch with their roots. Continue reading →
Back in 2002, about to record A Carolina Jubilee, The Avett Brothers were hired as a wandering band during freshmen orientation at Virginia Tech. Nobody wanted to listen to them. They kept following people around trying to find an audience.
Seth and Scott told this story to their VT audience twelve years later, as if to say, “look where we are now.” In all the shows I’ve seen since 2007, the band has inflated and changed their style, but they have not lost what makes them who they are. I saw the same energy, passion and soul. Continue reading →
After an eight month music fast, moving to a bigger city and staring a new job (Luke), after listening to all my favorite bands I had before the Avetts (Caleb), and after several months’ worth of listening, meditation, and more listening, the Brothers Guard sit down for a dialogue review of Magpie and the Dandelion.
“If you think about a Magpie, it’s a bird from the crow family. You can see them everywhere, and they’ve got this strange grace. And, we all know what a dandelion is. It reminds you of being a kid and watching a flower come apart on a summer day. There’s a youthful wonder in that. Those kinds of feelings live and breathe inside this album.”
I’ve loved watching the Avett Bros.’s audience grow over the last ten years of following them, even though it’s made it more difficult to be up close to the stage. Last night marks about the seventh time I’ve seen them, and though it’s not the best show I’ve seen, I’m glad they haven’t lost their touch.
I saw them last night at the Roanoke coliseum. Surprisingly, there was no opening band. Not even a local artist. I found that disappointing. Also disappointing was the sound issues, which were resolved early. But considering that the band is still getting used to big arenas, I can see why they’re still adjusting. Continue reading →
Caleb: “I and hate and it.” That was the 5-word review given by my friend Rob Case of the last Avetts album, after they supposedly sold out for the first time. Now they’re in a GAP commercial. Just wanted to let you know, I liked them before they were popular. But I’m proud to say I ain’t no ironic bandwagon hipster: I still like them now. And I don’t think they sold out. Look, guys’ gotta eat. By the way, if you don’t know the Avetts and are reading this for some reason, they are what rock and roll would sound like if it was invented right after the War of Northern Aggression. Continue reading →