By Anna VanHorn
It’s hard to describe exactly where North Carolina band, The Avett Brothers, fall on the musical genre scale. Bluegrass? Check. Rock? Check. Folk? Check. Punk, Pop, Ragtime, Blues? Check, check, check and check! Known for their striking sibling harmonies, intricate musicality and deeply introspective lyrics, it’s best to listen to the band without spending too much time wondering which radio station would play their music. Longtime Avett Brothers fans and newcomers to the party will have the opportunity to do just that at their live concert at the Arkansas Music Pavilion on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
The Avett Brothers are a hard-working band that tours almost continuously, splitting their time between huge arenas, small theatres and mid-sized venues. At what is sure to be a personal and intimate show at the AMP, the band visits Arkansas on the heels of their latest album release, The Carpenter. Critics and fans alike, applaud the Avett Brothers for their live shows that incorporate a good mix of their new and old material with a few obscure tunes thrown in for the hardcore fans. No matter the venue size, the Avett Brothers’ live show is speckled throughout with a solid mix of electric and acoustic music. Few bands posses the finesse it takes to switch seamlessly between a pseudo punk song into a hauntingly beautiful a cappella ballad, but the Avetts manage it with ease.
While their music doesn’t follow any hard and fast genre rules, their countrified North Carolina roots is the foundation on which the bulk of their sound stands. They draw comparisons all the way from Doc Watson and Tom T. Hall to Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Their contemporary folk/rock counterparts are artists like Mumford and Sons, The Civil Wars and Old Crow Medicine Show. What sets the Avett Brothers apart from any of those with which they share similarities, is the earnest and emotionally loaded lyrical content of their material. With both lightness and darkness, the Avetts have a way of writing a song that song that feels so immensely personal, the listener can’t help but sense the raw emotion behind its meaning. And it is with clear, strong vocals and complexly beautiful harmonies that they address the lyrical themes of life, death, love, hate, jealously and apathy.
With the release of their 6th full-length album, I and Love and You, in 2009, the Avett Brothers began to gain mainstream momentum, but this is a band that has had a strong underground following for more than a decade. It’s their energy and honesty, coupled with an extreme talent that has garnered the band accolades from both critics and audiences. Come see for yourself what makes the Avett Brothers a truly special band.
Namesake of the band and real life brothers Scott and Seth Avett share lead vocal and guitar duties throughout their live shows, which are filled equally with lively tunes and soulful ballads. Scott also favors the banjo quite a bit, and the two take turns incorporating the piano into various songs. Along with the brothers, Bob Crawford switches between electric and standup bass, Joe Kwon adds depth to the music on cello and newcomer to the band, Jacob Edwards rounds out the sound on drums.
Tickets and show information can be found by visiting www.arkansasmusicpavilion.com.