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Magpie and the Dandelion

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Album Review

Recorded at the same sessions that produced 2012's The Carpenter, 2013's Magpie and the Dandelion doesn't play like leftovers, which is to the credit of both the Avett Brothers and their producer Rick Rubin. Magpie and the Dandelion consciously evokes past Americana, stretching back beyond the Band but anchored there, often incorporating a harder-rocking edge reminiscent of former Rubin patrons Black Crowes. The key to appreciating the Avett Brothers is to realize they see themselves as heirs to this tradition, happy to accentuate their rustic roots with banjos and weary harmonies because they suggest authenticity. Where their real strength lies is not in instrumental virtuosity or song (although many of the tunes here are sturdy enough) but rather in feel: they capture an indistinct past where guitars are an enduring virtue. Perhaps the Avetts are best when they run a little bit loose and ragged, letting the tempos push a little bit hard, allowing their harmonies to clash and happy to have their loose ends remain untied. Often, this means that the ballads are just a shade too tidy — they're mannered in a way almost none of the rest of the record is — but still Magpie and the Dandelion underscores how the appeal of the Avett Brothers remains in their indebtedness to the past without being bogged down by its legacy.

Customer Reviews

Continued growth with ever growing soul

Lyrically, the brothers have continued to grow and aspire to give. I am a lover of their albums Emotionalism, and Mignonette and though this album's sound is a total different avenue of sound, its still great. I consider myself lucky to be able to hear my favourtie band try out different sounds. They are just getting back to their roots before TAB. Good on ya boys! (Oh, and Mr. Kwon great album!)


This song is amazing, can't wait for the rest of the album!

I've Got Love Pouring out of My Veins...

Very good album. Perhaps a few too many ballads but all songs are quite strong, well constructed and beautifully delivered. Vanity, Morning Song and Apart From Me are standouts.


Formed: 2000 in Concord, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Avett Brothers' music has roots in traditional folk and bluegrass, but also captures the high spirits and no-boundaries attitude of rock & roll -- which is appropriate, since rock is where Scott Avett and Seth Avett first cut their teeth as musicians. Although siblings Scott (vocals, banjo) and Seth (vocals, guitar) began making music together as children, their group's genesis began when they were members of Nemo, a rock band that gigged regularly in Greenville, North Carolina. Looking for another...
Full bio
Magpie and the Dandelion, The Avett Brothers
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