From the official web site:
There is no harmony like brotherly harmony. Something indelible in the weave of voices and play of sensibilities is stamped into the fraternal DNA and also stems from a lifetime of shared experiences. You can hear it in classic brother acts across the musical spectrum, from the Louvin Brothers to the Everly Brothers and on down the decades through the Wilson brothers (Beach Boys), the Davies brothers (Kinks), the Allman Brothers and even the Brothers Gibb (a.k.a., the Bee Gees). You can clearly hear fraternal magic at work in the songs of Scott and Seth Avett, better known as the Avett Brothers, as well.
Over the years, the Avett Brothers built up a sizable following based on their rowdy, infectious stage shows. In concert, the high-flying ensemble tears through tunes with unbridled energy, popping banjo and guitar strings right and left while inciting stomping singalongs among audiences that appear to know every word. At times they would seemingly create their own subgenre onstage – “punkgrass,” for lack of a better word. This much is for certain: the Avett Brothers are a grassroots phenomenon, built from the ground up. I and Love and You marks the point at which they’re poised, with perfect timing, to break through to a broader audience.
The Avett Brothers have spent much of the past decade nurturing their skill as songwriters, along with their proficiency as vocalists and musicians. Although Seth and Scott are principally identified with acoustic guitar and banjo, respectively, from their live shows, both brothers also play piano, drums and most anything else with strings. (The brothers possess formidable artistic skills, too, and their sketches and paintings adorn their albums.) Clearly, however, songs are the center of the Avett Brothers’ universe. The brothers turn out songs in profusion. They write them individually, and they write them together. Each might write an entire song, or credit might be split down the middle or any conceivably fractional way. There is no set method to their songwriting. The point is, Seth and Scott generate songs constantly, because that’s what they feel that they were born to do.
The Avett Brothers formed in 2001 in Charlotte, North Carolina when banjoist Scott Avett and guitarist Seth Avett joined forces with standup bass player Bob Crawford. At the time, the brothers fronted a neo-punk band called Nemo. They enjoyed blowing it out on electric instruments but eventually began feeling the tug of the acoustic music they’d heard growing up. They were raised in the textile town of Concord, about a half-hour north of Charlotte. Their dad, Jim Avett, had a box of eight-track tapes that Scott and Seth picked through, listened to and digested. It included albums by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Jim’s own folksy duo, Common Decency. Other roots musicians from the folk and country realms filtered into their subconscious, too. Thus, in 2001, the brothers launched an acoustic side band, called Nemo Back Porch Project, for which they added upright bassist Crawford. He recalls the initial meeting with Scott and Seth:
“They were wanting to do some of the music they were raised on via their dad, which was old songs by Rambling Jack Elliott, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams and Tom T. Hall. I met up with them on a Sunday night in an empty parking lot. I got out my bass, and these two guys showed up in a gold Ford Taurus station wagon wearing flannel shirts and cutoff pants. They were total grunge kids. We sat in the parking lot, just the three of us, and played ‘Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad’ and ‘More Pretty Girls Than One.’ Then they showed me an original song called ‘Kind of in Love,’ and it was very interesting. It wasn’t like any of those traditional songs. Different chord structure, with all these minor substitution chords. I was like, ‘This is really unique.’”
Three words that became hard to say
I and love and you
I and love and you
I and love and you
All text from The Avett Brothers web site.
All photos: Hallgeir Olsen
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