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 Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, United States
Genres
Years active 2000–present
Labels Ramseur, American
Associated acts Nemo
Website theavettbrothers.com
Members Seth Avett
Scott Avett
Bob Crawford
Joe Kwon

The Avett Brothers /ˈvt/ are an American folk rock band from Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, USA.[1] 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."[2]

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Although they 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.[1] 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 an EP titled The Avett Bros. in 2000 while performing shows as both The Avett Brothers with Scott, Seth and John, and Nemo.[3]

As Nemo broke up Scott and Seth continued to write acoustic music together. In early 2001 stand-up bassist Bob Crawford, formerly of The Memphis Quick 50, joined the Avetts and 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 third 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 American Recordings[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. 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.[19]

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,[20] The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,[21] and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[22] On January 21, 2010, the band was featured on the long-running PBS series Austin City Limits.[23]

In January 2010 drummer Jacob Edwards was added to the Avetts' touring lineup.[24] In the fall of 2010 the band released their third live album and first concert DVD, Live, Volume 3. The performance was recorded the previous year during the band's homecoming concert at Charlotte, North Carolina's Bojangles Coliseum.[25]

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.[26] 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."[27] 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.[28]

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.[29] On June 26, 2012 The Avett Brothers released a preview of the single "Live and Die" on NPR Music and announced their sixth studio album The Carpenter would release on September 11, 2012.[30] It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for Best Americana Album Grammy at 55th annual Grammy Awards.[31] Jacob Edwards left the band in December 2012.[24] 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.[32]

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

On June 12, 2013 The Avett Brothers announced a follow-up companion to The Carpenter would be released in the fall of 2013.[33] On July 27 at the Newport Folk Festival, The Avett Brothers announced that this new album would be called Magpie and the Dandelion. On August 8, 2013 The Avett Brothers announced via NPR that Magpie and the Dandelion, which consisted mostly of songs recorded during The Carpenter sessions, would be released on October 15, 2013. The NPR announcement also premiered their new single "Another is Waiting."[34] The album was released to generally warm reviews and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 during its first week.[35] Tania Elizabeth, who had recorded with the Avetts during the Magpie and the Dandelion sessions, began touring with the band on November 21, 2013.[36]

At the end of May 2014 Seth Avett and Bob Crawford mentioned in different interviews they were recording demos for their next Rick Rubin produced album.[37] 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. In November 2015 Seth updated the release estimate to be "early 2016."[38]

On November 23, 2015 the band announced their fourth live album and second concert DVD, titled Live, Vol. Four would release on December 18, 2015.[39] The live album was recorded at their December 31, 2014 concert in Raleigh, North Carolina. While touring in support of Live, Vol. Four the band continued speaking of their ninth studio album.[40]

On March 3, 2016 the band published an open letter announcing their ninth full-length studio album titled True Sadness. In the letter, Seth Avett wrote "True Sadness is a patchwork quilt, both thematically and stylistically."[41] The album released June 24, 2016 and debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard Top 200 and topped the US Folk and US Top Rock charts.[13] The album received a mix of positive and negative critical reviews. Entertainment Weekly praised the band's experimentation and "willingness to tear down boundaries"[42] while Pitchfork criticized the "baffling layers of synthesizers in what feels like a ploy to push the Avetts into clear Top 40 territory."[43] The album scored two nominations in the 59th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Americana Album and Best Americana Roots Performance for the album's lead single "Ain't No Man."[44]

Members[edit]

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 and lead vocals, double bass, bass guitar, trumpet, violin
  • Joe Kwon - cello, musical saw, backing vocals
Touring musicians
  • Mike Marsh - drums (2012–present)[32]
  • Paul DeFiglia - piano, double bass, organ (2011–present)[26]
  • Tania Elizabeth - violin (2013–present)[36]
Previous members
  • John Twomey (1997-2001)[3]
  • Jacob Edwards (2010-2012)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

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".
  • On November 1, 2012, the band appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and performed "I and Love and You" with the Brooklyn Philharmonic.
  • On February 22, 2013, the band appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform a "Kick Drum Heart/Geraldine" medley.
  • 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.[45]

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.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "From Nemo To Avett". FolkThisBlog.com. May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ Richardson, Derk (August 9, 2007). "Avett Brothers honor North Carolina roots, but look forward". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "For the Avett Brothers, progress means looking back and slowing down". FretboardJournal.com. 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Avett Brothers: From Nemo Back Porch Project at parties to three-night run at HOB". SCNow.com. August 6, 2010. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Avett Brothers wow audiences, fans and critics with their infectious sets". AXS.com. May 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Avett Brothers: Live at the Double Door Inn". TheAvettBrothers.com. 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". MailTribune.com. August 4, 2006. 
  9. ^ "The Avett Brothers - Mignonette". PasteMagazine.com. October 1, 2004. 
  10. ^ "A Form for the Mess: The Avett Brothers' Live Volume 2". BrooklynRail.com. July 1, 2005. 
  11. ^ "The Avett Brothers' Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions". IndyWeekly.com. March 1, 2006. 
  12. ^ "The Avett Brothers: The Gleam". PopMatters.com. October 24, 2006. 
  13. ^ a b "The Avett Brothers - Chart history". Billboard.com. 
  14. ^ "The Avett Brothers: From Conan to the Troc". DelawareOnline.com. May 12, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Catching Up with Joe Kwon of The Avett Brothers". HomegrownMusic.net. March 14, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Griffin, Avett Brothers big winners at Americana Awards". USAToday.com. November 1, 2007. 
  17. ^ "The Avett Brothers, The Second Gleam EP". Pitchfork.com. August 8, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Avett Brothers Recording New Album with Rick Rubin". Spin.com. July 7, 2008. 
  19. ^ I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers, Billboard.
  20. ^ "Watch the Avett Brothers Perform "I and Love and You" on David Letterman :: Movies :: News :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. September 29, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ "The Avett Brothers: 'Laundry Room' (Live on Craig Ferguson - Video | Prefix". Prefixmag.com. October 22, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  22. ^ Sara Schaefer (November 19, 2009). "The Avett Brothers Perform "Slight Figure of Speech" - Music". Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Video: The Avett Brothers / Heartless Bastards | Watch Online | PBS Video". Video.pbs.org. June 17, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Jacob Edwards - About". JacobEdwards.com. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  25. ^ Temple, Emily (December 15, 2010). "The Avett Brothers: Live, Volume 3". AmericanSongwriter.com. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "Building momentum: The Avett Brothers". Creative Loafing, Charlotte. September 19, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan". Grammy.com. February 13, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Concert review: Avett Brothers sound is finally complete". Kentucky.com. November 25, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Q&A: The Avett Brothers' Scott Avett on Confronting Tragedy for 'The Carpenter'". 
  30. ^ "The Official Avett Brothers Site". The Avett Brothers. September 29, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  31. ^ "The Avett Brothers: Together Through Life". AmericanSongwriter.com. November 25, 2013. 
  32. ^ a b "Mike Marsh Back on Drums with The Avett Brothers". SpatialOrientation.com. December 31, 2012. 
  33. ^ "The Avett Brothers Talk New Album Coming This Fall & Going Up Against Kanye". News.radio.com. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Song Premiere: The Avett Brothers, 'Another Is Waiting'". NPR.org. August 8, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  35. ^ "The Avett Brothers: Magpie And The Dandelion". AVClub.com. October 15, 2013. 
  36. ^ a b "Live review: Avett Brothers, Time Warner Cable Arena (12/31/2013)". Creative Loading Charlotte. December 31, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Sound Check: Avett Brothers expand repertoire, performance philosophy". MacombDaily.com. May 31, 2014. 
  38. ^ Swedlund, Eric. "I and Love and Live". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  39. ^ "The Avett Brothers Announce Live Album". Jambands.com. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  40. ^ "For Avett Brothers, songs are works in progress - they might have new ones at Phoenix music festival". azcentral. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  41. ^ "Avett Brothers Announce New LP 'True Sadness'". Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  42. ^ "The Avett Brothers' 'True Sadness': EW review". Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  43. ^ "The Avett Brothers: True Sadness Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  44. ^ "Here Is the Complete List of Nominees for the 2017 Grammys". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-12-06. 
  45. ^ "A Chef's Life: About the Show". Achefslifeseries.com. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  46. ^ "How The Avett Brothers Kindled the Career of a Self-Published Author". MediaBistro.com. June 7, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Awards
First
None recognized before
AMA Duo/Group of the Year
2007
Succeeded by
Alison Krauss & Robert Plant
Preceded by
The Greencards
AMA New/Emerging Artist of the Year
2007
Succeeded by
Mike Farris