12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At its core, The Avett Brothers consist of siblings Scott (banjo, vocals) and Seth (guitar, vocals), with Bob Crawford contributing stand-up bass. After years of recording and steadfast touring, the North Carolinians released their major-label debut in 2009 (I and Love and You), with legendary producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Tom Petty) at the boards. For its follow up, The Carpenter, the bluegrass-rooted trio reunite with Rubin, who lends a light touch to these highly textured tunes. The Avett Brothers introduce their sound as “lonesome” on the gentle, yet stirring opener (“The Once and Future Carpenter”), then profess, “We’re all in this together—if I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die.” It’s this at-times plaintive, yet unwaveringly honest spirit that makes their tracks so compelling—even a bleak song like “Winter in My Heart” sounds sweet thanks to bright vocals and vivid lyrics. Sprinkled amidst the folk-tinged collection are some soulful jams (“Pretty Girl from Michigan,” “I Never Knew You”) that illustrate Scott and Seth’s rock ‘n’ roll roots.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At its core, The Avett Brothers consist of siblings Scott (banjo, vocals) and Seth (guitar, vocals), with Bob Crawford contributing stand-up bass. After years of recording and steadfast touring, the North Carolinians released their major-label debut in 2009 (I and Love and You), with legendary producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Tom Petty) at the boards. For its follow up, The Carpenter, the bluegrass-rooted trio reunite with Rubin, who lends a light touch to these highly textured tunes. The Avett Brothers introduce their sound as “lonesome” on the gentle, yet stirring opener (“The Once and Future Carpenter”), then profess, “We’re all in this together—if I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die.” It’s this at-times plaintive, yet unwaveringly honest spirit that makes their tracks so compelling—even a bleak song like “Winter in My Heart” sounds sweet thanks to bright vocals and vivid lyrics. Sprinkled amidst the folk-tinged collection are some soulful jams (“Pretty Girl from Michigan,” “I Never Knew You”) that illustrate Scott and Seth’s rock ‘n’ roll roots.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

1246 Ratings

Dear Superfans, Please Stop Whining

Macdaddy123456,

I have had this album for 4 months,(have a friend at the record company) and I adore it. Took a few listens, as most good albums do, and songs I hated at first I now love. But on another note, the superfans who are complaining about the lack of banjo and "bluegrass" sound need to understand that no real artist just wants to keep doing the same thing. These guys have been at it for 12 years. They aren't kids anymore and they want to spread their wings and move on. The pretentious whining about selling out is so outdated. People want to get paid! Plus if you actually take the time and listen those alt-country/Americana feelings are still dripping all over the album. Should we all rip Picasso for selling out when he abandoned cubism? How about Dylan when he went electric? I applaud artists who try new things and follow their own path. I get real bored of people who do the same thing over and over.

Things change and get strange with the movement of time

zacattac50,

If the Avett Brother fans keep an open mind they'll enjoy it. If they want every song to sound like something off of mignonette, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

This is a very solid collection of songs and really demonstrates the maturing and developing of the Avett's songwriting.

About The Avett Brothers

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 outlet for their musical ideas, the Avetts began getting together with like-minded friends (most notably Nemo guitarist John Twomey) on Tuesdays for acoustic guitar pulls, where they'd share a few drinks and swap songs. As time passed, the weekly get-together (which was called "the Back Door Project" or "Nemo Downstairs") became a semi-public event, with the pickers busking for the enjoyment of passers-by, and Seth and Scott decided the new acoustic music they were making was as fun and satisfying as their rock band.

Twomey and the Avetts decided to document their side project in 2000, and "the Back Door Project" was renamed the Avett Brothers with the release of a self-titled album that same year. Nemo broke up before 2000 came to a close, and Seth and Scott decided to make the Avett Brothers their new priority. They amicably parted ways with Twomey and added upright bassist and vocalist Bob Crawford to the combo. After a few months of playing live shows, the new trio recorded its second album, 2002's Country Was. The Avett Brothers hit the road upon the album's release that summer, and used the opportunity to break in material for their next studio project, A Carolina Jubilee, which was released in 2003. (A live disc, Live at the Double Door Inn, was sandwiched between the two studio sets.) Over the next several years, the Avett Brothers maintained a busy and prolific schedule. They released a lengthy and ambitious studio album, Mignonette, in 2004, another live disc in 2005, and both a full-length album (Four Thieves Gone: The Robinsville Sessions) and an EP (The Gleam) in 2006, all recorded during breaks in the group's heavy touring calendar. As if this weren't enough to keep the three men occupied, Crawford also recorded and performed with his side project New Jersey Transient, Seth Avett released albums under the moniker Darling, and Seth and Scott occasionally played shows with their electric band Oh What a Nightmare. In 2007, with cellist Joe Kwon added to the lineup, the Avett Brothers reached a new level of popularity with Emotionalism, their first album to make a dent on the Billboard charts. Rick Rubin took notice and signed the band to American Recordings, his own division of Sony BMG/Columbia, during the following summer.

The Gleam II, issued just several months later, was the Avett Brothers' last release on the Ramseur label, while 2009's I and Love and You served as their major-label debut. The album peaked at number 16, by far the band's highest chart placement to date, and the international tour that followed was partially documented on the 2010 concert album Live, Vol. 3. In 2011 the Avett Brothers received an invitation to perform alongside Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons at the Grammy Awards, and in 2012 they released The Carpenter, their second studio album under the tutelage of Rubin. The Carpenter was greeted with good reviews and debuted at number four on the Billboard Top 200 on its way to a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album. In 2013, the Avett Brothers released Magpie and the Dandelion, which consisted of material recorded with Rubin during the sessions for The Carpenter, and it charted at number five. The following year, they continued to tour extensively and began recording another album with Rubin. Meanwhile, in early 2015, Seth Avett partnered with folk-influenced indie rocker Jessica Lea Mayfield to release a collection of solemn Elliott Smith covers titled Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, and that April, the band appeared on the final season of the long-running Late Show with David Letterman, joined by Brandi Carlile. Late in the year, they issued Live, Vol. 4. Their ninth studio long-player, True Sadness, arrived in June 2016. ~ Mark Deming

  • ORIGIN
    Concord, NC
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    2000

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