The Avett Brothers

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The Avett Brothers
Flickr - moses namkung - Avett Brothers 5.jpg
The Avett Brothers at the Outside Lands 2009
Background information
Origin Concord, North Carolina
Years active 2000–present
Labels Ramseur, American
Associated acts Nemo
Members Seth Avett
Scott Avett
Bob Crawford
Joe Kwon

The Avett Brothers /ˈvɨt/ are a folk rock band from Concord, North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett (banjo) and Seth Avett (guitar), as well as Bob Crawford (double bass) and Joe Kwon (cello). Mike Marsh (drums), Tania Elizabeth (violin) and Paul Defiglia (keyboard) are touring members of the band, with Kwon featured on recordings from 2007's Emotionalism and later.

Following on from Seth and Scott's former rock band Nemo, the Avett Brothers combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, indie rock, honky tonk, and ragtime to produce a novel sound described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the "heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones."[1]



Although they have played music together since childhood, the brothers Scott and Seth Avett truly began their partnership in the late 1990s with the merger of Seth's Mount Pleasant High School rock band, Margo, and Scott's college group, Nemo. Seth's band Margo had released a song "Dumbfight" on a compilation album before merging with Nemo. After releasing three albums under the "Nemo" moniker, the Avetts started experimenting with acoustic music with some friends at night.[2] After a few street performances and get-togethers they dubbed "The Back Porch Project" or "Nemo Downstairs," the brothers and Nemo guitarist John Twomey put together The Avett Bros., a self-titled EP, in 2000.[3]

As Nemo fell apart, Scott and Seth continued to write acoustic music together. With the early 2002 addition of stand-up bassist Bob Crawford, formerly of The Memphis Quick 50, the band released their first full-length album Country Was.[4] The Avett Brothers set out on a self-booked tour to promote the new album and in late 2002 began preparations for a follow-up.[5]

With Ramseur Records[edit]

After releasing a live record of originals and covers titled Live at the Double Door Inn,[6] the brothers settled down to compile a new full-length album. During this time, the band began a partnership with Dolph Ramseur, a local label owner who had been impressed by the group's live show and original material.[7] After 70 hours in the studio, 2003's A Carolina Jubilee became the band's first release on Ramseur Records. Unlike their previous albums, A Carolina Jubilee demonstrated the band's genre-crossing writing and performing abilities.[8]

The band playing at Pickathon 2006, Portland, Oregon

In 2004, The Avett Brothers released their next album, titled Mignonette. The new CD featured polished harmonies, introspective lyrics and a sense of dedication that pushed the band to new heights.[9] Live, Vol. 2, recorded at both the Neighborhood Theatre and King's Baracade in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, followed in 2005 and spanned material from their career up to that point.[10] In early 2006 they released Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions to much acclaim.[11] During extensive touring in support of the album, Scott and Seth Avett produced The Gleam, an EP of intimate, stripped-down recordings which was released in September of that year.[12]

The Avett Brothers at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon on January 28, 2007

The band released Emotionalism on May 15, 2007. It debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums chart, No. 134 on the Billboard 200 and No. 13 on the Independent Artist Chart.[13] In support of the album, the band made their national television debut on May 12 on Late Night with Conan O'Brien where they performed "Paranoia in B-Flat Major."[14] Emotionalism marked the first appearance of cellist Joe Kwon, who has since become a full-time touring and recording member of the band.[15]

On November 1, 2007 The Avett Brothers won the Americana Music Association Duo/Group of the Year and New/Emerging Artist of the Year awards.[16] In July 2008 the band released The Second Gleam, another stripped-down acoustic album like 2006's The Gleam.[17] Also in July 2008, the band announced they had chosen Rick Rubin to produce their next album and were now signed to his American Recordings label.[18]

With Rick Rubin[edit]

From September 8 to October 8, 2009, the Avett Brothers released 13 short videos describing their music and fans in anticipation of their upcoming album, I and Love and You. The videos include clips from past concerts, fan interviews and interviews with the members of the band. The Avett Brothers were named "the Artist to Watch of 2009" by Rolling Stone magazine.[19]

I and Love and You was released on September 29, 2009 and peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 best selling albums, No. 8 in best selling digital albums, No. 7 in rock albums, and No. 1 in folk albums.[20] In the wake of the album's release, the Avett Brothers made the rounds on late-night TV, including appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman,[21] The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,[22] and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[23] On January 21, 2010, the band was featured on the long-running PBS series Austin City Limits.[24] Later that same year, they performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.[25] In January 2010 drummer Jacob Edwards was added to the Avetts' touring lineup.[26]

In the fall of 2010 the band released their first DVD, Live, Volume 3. Also released on CD, the performance was recorded the previous year during the band's homecoming concert at Charlotte, North Carolina's Bojangles Coliseum.[27] In early 2011 Avett Brothers bassist Bob Crawford learned that his daughter Hallie had a seizure due to a brain tumor. He took a hiatus from the band and was temporarily replaced by Langhorne Slim bassist Paul Defiglia.[28] Bob returned to play with The Avett Brothers on the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, playing "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" before joining Mumford and Sons and Bob Dylan for a performance of "Maggie's Farm."[29] After successful treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital his daughter's condition stabilized and he returned to the band. The band kept Defiglia on as a touring member, playing organ, double bass, and keyboard.[30]

In 2011 the band began the demo process for the followup to I and Love and You for a 2012 release, produced again by Rick Rubin. 24 songs were recorded.[31] On June 26, 2012 The Avett Brothers released a preview on NPR music of the single, slated for a July 3, 2012 release, "Live and Die". With this they announced they would release their sixth album The Carpenter on September 11, 2012.[32] It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for Best Americana Album Grammy at 55th annual Grammy Awards.[33] Jacob Edwards left the band in December 2012.[26] Mike Marsh, formerly the drummer of Dashboard Confessional who recorded songs from I and Love and You, joined the band as a touring member at their annual New Year's Eve show in 2012.[34]

The Avett Brothers perform at the Bottlerock music festival in Napa, California in May 2013

On June 12, 2013 The Avett Brothers announced the follow-up companion to The Carpenter to be released in the fall of 2013.[35] On July 27 at the Newport Folk Festival, The Avett Brothers announced that this new album would be called Magpie and the Dandelion and would be released in October 2013. On August 8, 2013 The Avett Brothers announced via NPR that Magpie and the Dandelion, which consisted mostly of songs recording during The Carpenter sessions, would be released on October 15, 2013,. The NPR announcement also premiered their new single "Another is Waiting."[36] The album was released to generally warm reviews and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 during its first week.[37] Tania Elizabeth, who had recorded with the Avetts during the Magpie and the Dandelion sessions, began touring with the band on November 21, 2013.[38]

At the end of May 2014 Seth Avett and Bob Crawford mentioned in different interviews they are currently in the demo recording process for their next Rick Rubin produced album.[39] During their concert of December 13, 2014 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Seth and Scott mentioned they spent November recording songs for their upcoming album. During a February 2, 2015 interview Seth noted that the album was half complete and the writing and recording process was on-going and could be expected in late 2015 or early 2016.[40] As of November 2015 Seth updated the release estimate to be "early 2016."[41]

On November 23, 2015 the band announced their fourth live album, titled Live, Vol. Four and recorded at their December 31, 2014 show in Raleigh, would release on December 18, 2015.[42]


Permanent members
  • Seth Avett - lead and backing vocals, guitar, hi-hat, piano, drums, tambourine
  • Scott Avett - lead and backing vocals, banjo, kick drum, harmonica, guitar, piano, drums.
  • Bob Crawford - backing vocals, double bass, bass guitar, trumpet, violin, occasional lead vocals
  • Joe Kwon - cello, musical saw, backing vocals
Touring musicians
  • Mike Marsh - drums (2012–present)
  • Paul DeFiglia - piano, double bass, organ (2011–present)
  • Tania Elizabeth - violin (2012–present)
Previous members
  • John Twomey (1997-2001)
  • Jacob Edwards (2010-2012)


Full-length albums[edit]


  • The Avett Bros. (2000)
  • Swept Away (2004)
  • The Gleam (2006)
  • The Second Gleam (2008) U.S. No. 82

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at the Double Door Inn (2002)
  • Live, Vol. 2 (2005)
  • Live, Volume 3 (2010)
  • Live, Vol. Four (2015)

Other album appearances[edit]

  • WYEP Live & Direct: Volume 14 - "Tear Down the House" (2012) [43]
  • WYEP Live & Direct: Volume 8 - "Swept Away " (2007) [43]
  • Live at KEXP Vol.5 - "The Weight of Lies" (2009)
  • WFPK Live: Volume Four - "I and Love and You" (2009)
  • Ramseur Records' My Favorite Gifts - "I Thank God" (2011) (Benefit compilation album also featuring Paleface, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Nick and the Babes)
  • Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan (2012) (Amnesty International benefit compilation on which vocals by the Avett Brothers are remixed with archival recordings of Johnny Cash on a rendition of "One Too Many Mornings")

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2002 "November Blue"
2007 "Paranoia in B-flat Major"
2007 "Die Die Die"
2008 "Murder in the City"
2009 "I and Love and You"
2009 "Slight Figure of Speech" Jody Hill[44]
2010 "Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise"
2012 "Live and Die"
2013 "February Seven" Danny Clinch
2013 "Another is Waiting" Scott Avett[45]
2014 "Morning Song" Michael Bonfiglio[46]

Other appearances[edit]

  • "If It's the Beaches" was featured in Season 2 for the television series Friday Night Lights and was included on the soundtrack album Friday Night Lights Vol. 2.
  • "Kick Drum Heart" was featured in the opening scene for the pilot of Parenthood and was later featured on the show's soundtrack. Additionally, "Slight Figure of Speech" was played in the background in the season two episode "Qualities and Figures".
  • "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" was featured as background music on the 10th Season of American Idol. The band performed the song at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in 2011.
  • "I and Love and You" was featured in the pilot episode of Men at Work and in the One Tree Hill season 7 episode of the same name.
  • On November 1, 2012, the band appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and performed "I and Love and You" with the Brooklyn Philharmonic.
  • "Live and Die" appeared in the 2012 Judd Apatow comedy This is 40.
  • "Kick Drum Heart" was featured in the first episode of season two of MTV's World of Jenks.
  • On February 22, 2013, the band appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform a "Kick Drum Heart/Geraldine" medley.
  • "Hard Worker" was in a May 2013 American Express commercial.
  • On September 30, 2013 the band performed "Vanity" on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" with Chris Cornell.
  • The Avett Brothers wrote and performed the theme song for the Peabody Award-winning public television series, A Chef's Life.[47]

In popular culture[edit]

References to, and lyrics from, the Avett Brothers feature prominently in Slammed, a New York Times best-selling romance novel by Colleen Hoover.[48]

The band is also referenced in the television show Dexter in season 6, episode 10 titled "Ricochet Rabbit".[citation needed]


  1. ^ Richardson, Derk (August 9, 2007). "Avett Brothers honor North Carolina roots, but look forward". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ "From Nemo To Avett". May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  3. ^ "For the Avett Brothers, progress means looking back and slowing down". 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Avett Brothers: From Nemo Back Porch Project at parties to three-night run at HOB". August 6, 2010. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Avett Brothers wow audiences, fans and critics with their infectious sets". May 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Avett Brothers: Live at the Double Door Inn". Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  7. ^ Ben McNeely. "Dolph Ramseur: The secret behind the Avett Brothers' success". WFAE NPR Charlotte Radio. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Bluegrass with emotion and charm". August 4, 2006. 
  9. ^ "The Avett Brothers - Mignonette". October 1, 2004. 
  10. ^ "A Form for the Mess: The Avett Brothers' Live Volume 2". July 1, 2005. 
  11. ^ "The Avett Brothers' Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions". March 1, 2006. 
  12. ^ "The Avett Brothers: The Gleam". October 24, 2006. 
  13. ^ "The Avett Brothers - Chart history". 
  14. ^ "The Avett Brothers: From Conan to the Troc". May 12, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Catching Up with Joe Kwon of The Avett Brothers". March 14, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Griffin, Avett Brothers big winners at Americana Awards". November 1, 2007. 
  17. ^ "The Avett Brothers, The Second Gleam EP". August 8, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Avett Brothers Recording New Album with Rick Rubin". July 7, 2008. 
  19. ^ Avett Brothers: Rolling Stone "2009 Artists to Watch" List, Groovehouse, September 9, 2009.
  20. ^ I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers, Billboard.
  21. ^ "Watch the Avett Brothers Perform "I and Love and You" on David Letterman :: Movies :: News :: Paste". September 29, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  22. ^ "The Avett Brothers: 'Laundry Room' (Live on Craig Ferguson - Video | Prefix". October 22, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ Sara Schaefer (November 19, 2009). "The Avett Brothers Perform "Slight Figure of Speech" - Music". Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Video: The Avett Brothers / Heartless Bastards | Watch Online | PBS Video". June 17, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Full Bonnaroo 2010 Lineup Includes Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, More". February 9, 2010. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "Jacob Edwards - About". Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  27. ^ Temple, Emily (December 15, 2010). "The Avett Brothers: Live, Volume 3". Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Building momentum: The Avett Brothers". Creative Loafing, Charlotte. September 19, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan". February 13, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Concert review: Avett Brothers sound is finally complete". November 25, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Q&A: The Avett Brothers' Scott Avett on Confronting Tragedy for 'The Carpenter'". 
  32. ^ "The Official Avett Brothers Site". The Avett Brothers. September 29, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  33. ^ "The Avett Brothers: Together Through Life". November 25, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Mike Marsh Back on Drums with The Avett Brothers". December 31, 2012. 
  35. ^ "The Avett Brothers Talk New Album Coming This Fall & Going Up Against Kanye". Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  36. ^ NPR:Another Album is Coming
  37. ^ "The Avett Brothers: Magpie And The Dandelion". October 15, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Live review: Avett Brothers, Time Warner Cable Arena (12/31/2013)". Creative Loading Charlotte. December 31, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Sound Check: Avett Brothers expand repertoire, performance philosophy". May 31, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Seth Avett covers Elliot Smith with Jessica Lea Mayfield (Interview)". February 2, 2015. 
  41. ^ Swedlund, Eric. "I and Love and Live". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  42. ^ "The Avett Brothers Announce Live Album". Retrieved 2015-11-24. 
  43. ^ a b "Live and Direct". Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  44. ^ " - the avett brothers :: 'slight figure of speech'". Vimeo. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  45. ^ Smith, Grady. "See The Avett Brothers' 'Another Is Waiting' music video -- EXCLUSIVE". Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  46. ^ "The Avett Brothers on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  47. ^ "A Chef's Life: About the Show". Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  48. ^ "How The Avett Brothers Kindled the Career of a Self-Published Author". June 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]

None recognized before
AMA Duo/Group of the Year
Succeeded by
Alison Krauss & Robert Plant
Preceded by
The Greencards
AMA New/Emerging Artist of the Year
Succeeded by
Mike Farris