It’s the post-holidays, pre-Grammys period where I give a listen and report back on the stack of CDs that Nephew2 gives me over Thanksgiving. We’ll begin with a couple of discs from a North Carolina band, The Avett Brothers.
The band is made up of brothers Scott and Seth Avett along with some guys who aren’t Avetts but I guess “The Avett Brothers and Friends” was too long a name so Scott and Seth get all the credit.
Their sound is a mix of bluegrass, country, folk, rock and probably some other genres I’ve forgotten. I think they call this Americana now. I can’t keep it straight. That’s why I don’t write about music much.
The Avetts’ released a self-titled EP in 2000 which has been followed up with eight full-length albums and a handful of EPs and live discs. It’s impressive that they’ve been around 14 years and I’ve never heard of them but then I don’t get out much.
For today’s discussion we will be examining their most recent releases, “The Carpenter” from 2012 and “Magpie and the Dandelion” from last year. Yes I’m late to the party but hey, I was late to the Adele lovefest and I still got a surprising number of hits when I finally got around to talking about her music. So c’mon, Avett Heads, you don’t want the Adele groupies to make you look like chumps.
While both albums offer an entertaining mix of tunes, I like “The Carpenter” a little better. It opens with the very strong “The Once and Future Carpenter,” which I would vote the best track on the disc. It’s followed by the equally delightful “Live and Die.” Other highlights include the jaunty “I Never Knew You” and “Down With The Shine.”
I’m not as fond of “Magpie” but it does have one of my favorite AB songs, “Vanity.” “Another is Waiting” is another highlight.
There’s a fun, joyous quality to a lot of Avett Brothers tunes that can really raise your spirits in this dark, dreary, damnable winter.