Avett Family Album

by Carole Perkins

The Avett Brothers career trajectory, from playing gigs in their hometown of Concord, NC on sidewalks hot enough to cook pig jowls to the plush, brightly lit stage of the Grand Ol’ Opry, is like watching a big piece of pink bubblegum pursed between lips, blowing, expanding until it pops and their faces are splattered across national newspapers and stuck all over websites. The brothers are riding the cusp of a tsunami , propelling them to a shoreline riddled with acclaim: winning the Americana Music Award Association duo/group of the year and new emerging artist of the year in November, making their national television debut on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in May, watching their CD Emotionalism, reach No.1 on Billboard Top Heatseekers Album chart, and having their song, “If It’s the Beaches”, featured on the NBC drama “Friday Night Lights.” Further buoying their journey is the July 6 signing with American/Columbia Records. Under the helm of Grammy Award-winning producer Rick Rubin, they plan to release a new CD within the year. The Avett Brothers band germinated from Scott Avett’s college rock band, Nemo. Younger brother Seth joined later, co-writing original music and helping to create the sound. Their efforts spawned a rabid fan base. Bass player Bob Crawford completed the threesome in 2002, adding notches to a belt that includes eight CDs, two EPs, three solo CDs by Seth and one CD by Bob. The Avett Brothers lyrics are rife with the coterminous bonds of the common man and are almost naked with truth; the weight of lies, red Trans Ams and ragged Thunderbirds, boatloads of shame, dreams of paranoia and finding God in a soft woman’s hair. Their sweet love sonnets swaying with Carolina’s hickory winds are dichotomous, with a few howling cacophonies pelted with spontaneous rebel yells.

Scott’s accomplished, loose-handed style of old-time banjo twanging squires hand in hand with Seth’s dexterous guitar playing and piano virtuoso. The steady throb of Bob’s bass holds fast as the anchor. Consummate Southern gentlemen, the Avett Brothers publicly thanked Dolphus Ramseur, who mined, polished and tumbled them into the prosperous hands of Rick Rubin. “It is our sincere hope, in regard to this news, that our ongoing relationship with Ramseur Records is understood. There have not been, and will be, no hard feelings or abandon-based resentment from either party involved. The Avett and Ramseur camps remain strongly and truthfully connected, both personally and professionally. There has been no change in these matters through this momentous transition,” the Avett’s website reads. “We have recently begun working on a new, full length album with Rick Rubin. The recording process has been, and will no doubt continue to be, an experience defined by heightened levels of commitment and conviction. It is our distinct pleasure and honor to be in such fine company as we build and bring this most current chapter of songs to fruition.”