Artist Spotlight: The Avett Brothers

I grew up listening to the Avett Brothers and I have vivid memories squished in the back of the car with my siblings on a long road trip with Avett Brother albums on repeat for hours on end. Whether or not I realized it, as I never really paid attention to the songs that my parents chose to listen to in the car, I came to love their music. At a young age, I unknowingly learned all the words to their songs. I recently rekindled my love for their music and had a chance to go through some of their newer music.

The Avett Brothers are the reason I opened up to the idea of listening to Folk music. I spent a lot of my childhood in North Carolina, a place where folk and bluegrass are considered cultural staples, but never really gave these types of music a chance. The Avett Brothers combine the instruments of folk music with the energy of rock music. They take what could be a dragging, banjo heavy song and add in harmonies and drums.  

Some of my old-time favorites include “I and Love and You”, “Laundry Room”, and “Head Full of Doubt”. These older songs are much more low-key and acoustic heavy than their newer music. They also incorporate a lot more string instruments, such as the bass and cello. What makes these songs so unique is The Avett Brothers’ ability to flawlessly combine the strings with vocal harmonies.

After listening to their most recent album, True Sadness it is easy to see the evolution of their style over time. For example, the song “Ain’t no Man” leans more toward the rock genre. There aren’t as many string instruments, but instead more bass and drums. I think that one possible explanation for the shift in style is that the Avett Brothers are looking to broaden their group of musical followers. I respect the fact that they are continuing to experiment stylistically, and doing it well, but I do think that I am still a loyal fan of their older music.

The Avett Brothers are currently on tour and are coming to NYC in mid-May. I am curious to see how their show will reflect their changing style. I am hopeful that they will at least perform some of their old classics.