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The Avett Brothers /ˈvɪt/ are an American folk rock band from Concord, North Carolina.[2] The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett (banjo, lead vocals, guitar, piano, kick-drum) and Seth Avett (guitar, lead vocals, piano, hi-hat) along with Bob Crawford (double bass, electric bass, violin, backing vocals) and Joe Kwon (cello, backing vocals). Mike Marsh (drums) and Tania Elizabeth (violin, backing vocals) are touring members of the band.

The Avett Brothers
Flickr - moses namkung - Avett Brothers 5.jpg
The Avett Brothers at the Outside Lands Festival, 2009
Background information
Origin Concord, North Carolina, United States
Years active 2000–present
Labels Ramseur, American
Associated acts Nemo

Following on from Seth and Scott's former rock band Nemo, The Avett Brothers combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, indie rock, honky tonk, and ragtime to produce a novel sound described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the "heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones."[3]




Scott and Seth Avett have played music together since childhood, but their partnership began in the late 1990s with the merger of Seth's Mount Pleasant High School rock band, Margo, and Scott's college group, Nemo. Margo had released a song, "Dumbfight", on a compilation album before merging with Nemo. After releasing three albums with Nemo, the Avetts started experimenting with acoustic music with some friends at night.[2] After a few street performances and get-togethers they performed as the Back Porch Project or as Nemo Downstairs, the brothers and Nemo guitarist John Twomey put together an EP entitled The Avett Bros. in 2000 while performing as the Avett Brothers (with Scott, Seth and John) and as Nemo.[4]

As Nemo broke up Scott and Seth continued to write acoustic music together. In early 2001 the stand-up bassist Bob Crawford, formerly of the Memphis Quick 50, joined the Avetts, and the band released their first full-length album, Country Was.[5] The Avett Brothers set out on a self-booked tour to promote the new album and in late 2002 began preparations for a follow-up.[6]

With Ramseur RecordsEdit

After releasing a live album of original songs and covers entitled Live at the Double Door Inn[7] the brothers settled down to compile a new full-length album. During this time the band began a partnership with Dolph Ramseur, a local label owner who had been impressed by the group's live show and original material.[8] After 70 hours in the studio, the band recorded the album A Carolina Jubilee, released by Ramseur Records in 2003, their first release with this label. Unlike their previous albums, A Carolina Jubilee demonstrated the band's genre-crossing writing and performing.[9]

The band at Pickathon, Portland, Oregon, 2006

In 2004, the band released their third album, Mignonette, which featured polished harmonies, introspective lyrics and a sense of dedication that pushed the band to new heights.[10] The album, running longer than 70 minutes, included vocals by the Avetts' sister Bonnie Avett and their father, Jim Avett.[11] Mignonette was named after an English yacht, which sank off the Cape of Good Hope resulting in the cannibalism case R v Dudley and Stephens.[12]

In 2005 the band released Live, Volume 2, recorded at the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte and King's Baracade in Raleigh, North Carolina. The album spanned material from their career up to that point.[13]

In early 2006 the band released Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions to much acclaim.[14] The album was recorded in a lake house in Robbinsville, North Carolina, over the course of 10 days and included collaborations with Paleface and Ian Thomas.[15] The album was titled Four Thieves Gone after Scott Avett realized their song "Denouncing November Blue" sounded identical to the Charlie Daniels song "Uneasy Rider", whom they ultimately credited with the songwriting.[15]

During extensive touring in support of the album Scott and Seth Avett produced The Gleam, an EP of intimate, stripped-down recordings, which was released in September 2006.[16] They were inspired to create the album as a duo after their experience writing and recording "Famous Flower of Manhattan" during the Four Thieves Gone sessions.[17]

The Avett Brothers at the Crystal Ballroom, Portland, Oregon, January 28, 2007

The band released Emotionalism on May 15, 2007. It debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums chart, number 134 on the Billboard 200 and number 13 on the Independent Artist Chart.[18] In support of the album the band made their national television debut on May 12 on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, performing "Paranoia in B-Flat Major."[19] Emotionalism marked the first appearance of the cellist Joe Kwon, who has since become a full-time touring and recording member of the band.[20]

On November 1, 2007, the Americana Music Association presented the Avett Brothers with two awards, as Duo/Group of the Year and as New/Emerging Artist of the Year.[21] In July 2008, the band released The Second Gleam, a stripped-down acoustic album like The Gleam.[22] In the same month, the band announced they had chosen Rick Rubin to produce their next album and were now signed to his American Recordings label.[23]

With American RecordingsEdit

From September 8 to October 8, 2009, the Avett Brothers released 13 short videos describing their music and fans in anticipation of their upcoming album, I and Love and You. The videos include clips from past concerts, fan interviews and interviews with the members of the band. I and Love and You, released on September 29, 2009, peaked at number 16 on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart, number 8 on the best-selling digital albums chart, number 7 on the rock albums chart, and number 1 on the folk albums chart.[24]

In the wake of the album's release, the Avett Brothers appeared on late-night TV programs, including the Late Show with David Letterman,[25] The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,[26] and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[27] On January 21, 2010, the band was featured on the long-running PBS series Austin City Limits.[28]

In January 2010, the drummer Jacob Edwards was added to the Avetts' touring lineup.[29] In the fall of 2010 the band released their third live album and first concert DVD, Live, Volume 3. The performance was recorded the previous year during the band's homecoming concert at Bojangles' Coliseum, in Charlotte, North Carolina.[30]

In early 2011, Avett Brothers bassist Bob Crawford learned that his daughter Hallie had a seizure due to a brain tumor. He took a hiatus from the band and was temporarily replaced by Langhorne Slim bassist Paul Defiglia.[31] Crawford returned to play with the band on the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, performing "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" and then joining Mumford and Sons and Bob Dylan for a performance of "Maggie's Farm."[32] After successful treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital his daughter's condition stabilized, and he returned to the band. The band kept Defiglia as a touring member, playing organ, double bass, and keyboard.[33]

In 2011, the band began the demo process for the followup to I and Love and You for a 2012 release, also produced by Rick Rubin; 24 songs were recorded.[34] On June 26, 2012, the Avett Brothers released a preview of the single "Live and Die" on NPR Music and announced that their sixth studio album, The Carpenter, would be released on September 11, 2012.[35] It debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for the Grammy award for Best Americana Album at 55th annual Grammy Awards.[36] Jacob Edwards left the band in December 2012.[29] Mike Marsh, formerly the drummer of Dashboard Confessional, which recorded songs from I and Love and You, joined the band as a touring member at their annual New Year's Eve show in 2012.[37]

The Avett Brothers at the Bottlerock music festival, Napa, California, May 2013

On June 12, 2013, the Avett Brothers announced that a follow-up companion to The Carpenter would be released in the fall of 2013.[38] On July 27, at the Newport Folk Festival, the band announced that the new album would be entitled Magpie and the Dandelion. On August 8, they told NPR that Magpie and the Dandelion, which consisted mostly of songs recorded during sessions for The Carpenter, would be released on October 15, 2013. The NPR announcement also premiered their new single "Another Is Waiting."[39] The album was released to generally warm reviews and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 during its first week.[40] Tania Elizabeth, who had recorded with the Avetts during the Magpie and the Dandelion sessions, began touring with the band on November 21, 2013.[41]

Near the end of May 2014, Seth Avett and Bob Crawford mentioned in different interviews they were recording demos for their next album, to be produced by Rick Rubin produced.[42] During their concert on December 13, 2014, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Seth and Scott mentioned they spent November recording songs for their upcoming album. In November 2015 Seth updated the release estimate to be "early 2016."[43]

On November 23, 2015, the band announced their fourth live album and second concert DVD, titled Live, Vol. Four would be released on December 18, 2015.[44] The live album was recorded at their concert in Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 31, 2014. While touring in support of Live, Vol. Four the band spoke of their ninth studio album.[45]

On March 3, 2016, the band published an open letter announcing their ninth full-length studio album, True Sadness. In the letter, Seth Avett wrote, "True Sadness is a patchwork quilt, both thematically and stylistically."[46] The album, released on June 24, 2016, debuted at number 3 on the Billboard Top 200 and topped the U.S. Folk and U.S. Top Rock charts.[18] The album received a mix of positive and negative critical reviews. Entertainment Weekly praised the band's experimentation and "willingness to tear down boundaries"[47] while Pitchfork criticized the "baffling layers of synthesizers in what feels like a ploy to push the Avetts into clear Top 40 territory."[48] The album was nominated for two awards, as Best Americana Album and Best Americana Roots Performance (the album's lead single, "Ain't No Man"), at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.[49] In October 2016, the band was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.[50] On January 31, 2017, it was announced that a documentary about the production of True Sadness, entitled May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers, directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, would premier at the 2017 South by Southwest film festival.[51]

On August 18, 2017 the band announced that keyboardist Paul Defiglia would be leaving the band on September 3, 2017.[52] On September 24, 2017 Scott Avett stated in a video interview that "the process has begun" for working on their tenth studio album.[53] On December 21, 2017 Scott Avett mentioned in an interview that they were again working with producer Rick Rubin.[54]


Permanent members
  • Seth Avett – lead and backing vocals, guitar, hi-hat, piano, drums, tambourine, kazoo, cymbal, electric bass
  • Scott Avett – lead and backing vocals, banjo, kick drum, harmonica, guitar, piano, drums, kazoo, fiddle, autoharp
  • Bob Crawford – backing and lead vocals, double bass, bass guitar, trumpet, violin, mariachi bass, kazoo
  • Joe Kwon – cello, musical saw, backing vocals, cowbell, kazoo, piano
Touring musicians
  • Mike Marsh – drums (2012–present)[37]
  • Tania Elizabeth – violin, vocals, kazoo (2013–present)[41]
Previous members
  • John Twomey – guitar (2000–2001)[4]
  • Jacob Edwards – drums (2010–2012)[55]
  • Paul Defiglia – piano, double bass, organ, vocals (2011–2017)[31][52]


Awards and nominationsEdit

Americana Music Honors & AwardsEdit

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2007 Emerging Artist of the Year The Avett Brothers Won
2007 Album of the Year Emotionalism Nominated
2007 Duo/Group of the Year The Avett Brothers Won
2008 Duo/Group of the Year The Avett Brothers Nominated
2010 Duo/Group of the Year The Avett Brothers Won
2010 Song of the Year I and Love and You Nominated
2011 Duo/Group of the Year The Avett Brothers Won
2014 Duo/Group of the Year The Avett Brothers Nominated

Grammy AwardsEdit

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 Best Americana Album The Carpenter Nominated
2017 Best American Roots Performance "Ain't No Man" Nominated
2017 Best Americana Album True Sadness Nominated

Other appearancesEdit

  • "Live and Die", from The Carpenter, was used in the 2012 Judd Apatow comedy This Is 40 and was included on its soundtrack.
  • "If It's the Beaches", from The Gleam, was used in season two of the television series Friday Night Lights and was included on the soundtrack album Friday Night Lights Vol. 2.
  • "I and Love and You" was used in the episode of the same title, in season seven, of the television series One Tree Hill.[56]
  • "Kick Drum Heart", from I and Love and You, was used in the episode "Live for Today, Pray for Tomorrow", the first episode of the second season of MTV's World of Jenks.[56]
  • The NBC drama Parenthood has used several songs by the Avett Brothers:
    • "Kick Drum Heart", from I and Love and You, was used in the opening scene of the pilot and was later included on the show's soundtrack.
    • "Slight Figure of Speech", from I and Love and You, was played in the background in the episode "Qualities and Figures", in season two.
    • "Part from Me", from Magpie and the Dandelion, was used in the episode "Limbo", in season five.
    • "Open Ended Life", from Magpie and the Dandelion, was used in the episode "Fraud Alert", in season five.
    • "The Once and Future Carpenter", from The Carpenter, was used in the episode "The Scale of Affection Is Fluid", in season six.[56]
  • "Will You Return", from Emotionalism, was the theme song of the Peabody Award–winning public television series A Chef's Life.[57]
  • "No Hard Feelings", from True Sadness, was used in the episode "Friends Night Out", in season two, of the Netflix series Love.
  • On November 1, 2012, the band appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and performed "I and Love and You" with the Brooklyn Philharmonic.
  • On February 22, 2013, the band appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform a medley of "Kick Drum Heart" and "Geraldine".
  • On September 30, 2013, the band performed "Vanity" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with Chris Cornell.
  • On December 31, 2013, the band performed their songs "All My Mistakes", from Emotionalism, and "Head Full of Doubt" and "Road Full of Promise", from I and Love and You, and a cover version of Tom T. Hall's "How I Got to Memphis" on Showtime's "Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis".[58]
  • The Avett Brothers appeared in the documentary series American Epic, produced by Jack White, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was scheduled to be aired on PBS in 2017.[59]
  • On January 20, 2017, the band performed "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.[60]

In popular cultureEdit

References to and lyrics by the Avett Brothers feature prominently in Slammed, a New York Times best-selling romance novel by Colleen Hoover.[61]


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  3. ^ Richardson, Derk (August 9, 2007). "Avett Brothers Honor North Carolina Roots, but Look Forward". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
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  35. ^ "The Official Avett Brothers Site". TheAvettBrothers,com. September 29, 2009. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  36. ^ "The Avett Brothers: Together Through Life". November 25, 2013. 
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  38. ^ "The Avett Brothers Talk New Album Coming This Fall & Going Up Against Kanye". Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
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  41. ^ a b "Live Review: Avett Brothers, Time Warner Cable Arena (12/31/2013)". Creative Loading Charlotte. December 31, 2013. 
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  43. ^ Swedlund, Eric. "I and Love and Live". Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
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  47. ^ "The Avett Brothers' 'True Sadness': EW Review". Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
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  49. ^ "Here Is the Complete List of Nominees for the 2017 Grammys". Retrieved 2016-12-06. 
  50. ^ Knox, Michael. "Avett Brothers Celebrate Community at Hall of Fame Induction". Independent Tribune. Retrieved 2016-12-12. 
  51. ^ "SXSW 2017 Film Festival: 125 Features from Terrence Malick, Edgar Wright, Judd Apatow, and More". 2017-02-01. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
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  57. ^ "A Chef's Life: About the Show". Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  58. ^ "The Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Is Celebrated In New Showtime Documentary". 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  59. ^ "Jack White, Avett Brothers Premiere 'American Epic' Doc". Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
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  61. ^ "How the Avett Brothers Kindled the Career of a Self-Published Author". June 7, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 

External linksEdit