· The Avett Brothers
· The Avett Brothers Southern rock feel and stunning 3-part harmonies are fueled by high energy live shows and powerful, eclectic songwriting
· New CD release: I and Love and You (2009), named #1 album of 2009 in Paste magazine and #9 album of 2009 in Time magazine
· Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8pm
· Arlington Theatre, 1317 State Street, Santa Barbara
· General public: $40, $35, $30 / UCSB students: $18
· Tickets/Info: A&L at 805.893.3535, www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu; or the Arlington Theatre at 805.963.4408
“When the Avett Brothers sing, the world sounds sweet.” - New York Daily News
UCSB Arts & Lectures presents The Avett Brothers on Wednesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre. As the face for a new genre of American music, The Avett Brothers produce alt-country, indie-rock, grunge-grass melodies that are “as pure and pretty as a crystalline stream” (New York Daily News). With a Southern rock feel and stunning 3-part harmonies fueled by high energy live shows and their powerful, eclectic songwriting, they modernize traditional bluegrass and country music with a mix of punk, British invasion and hard core rock that the San Francisco Chronicle calls “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.”
You can clearly hear fraternal magic at work in the songs of Scott and Seth Avett, better known as the Avett Brothers, on I and Love and You (2009), the Avetts’ big-label debut. Its 13 songs are delivered in a style that defies pigeonholing but might be described as a rootsy amalgam of folk, country, bluegrass, rock and pop, even punk. Drawn by the naked honesty of their songs and the rousing intensity of their live shows, legendary producer Rick Rubin (whose own eclectic catalogue includes Slayer, Neil Diamond, and Jay-Z) signed the Avett Brothers – siblings Scott and Seth, plus bassist Bob Crawford – to his American Recordings label in 2008.
The result, I and Love and You, has been named the #1 album of 2009 in Paste magazine and #9 album of 2009 in Time magazine, with Paste declaring, “For their artistic breakthrough, these North Carolina howlers polished their scruffy Americana sound until it gleamed. The result: an overpowering acoustic album brimming with sadness and soul.”
By the time Rubin found them, the Avett Brothers had compiled their own impressive track record. They’d already issued five full length albums and two EPs, on their manager’s Ramseur Records label. They debuted in 2001 with a self-titled six-song EP and then issued a full-fledged album, Country Was, a year later. The heart of their catalog is the albums that followed: Mignonette (2004), Four Thieves Gone (2006) and Emotionalism (2007), which offered a generous 49 songs among them. The Avett s’ latest release, an EP called The Gleam II, reached #82 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart in 2008 – quite a showing for an independent CD with minimal marketing and publicity.
The Avett Brothers’ already sizable following is based on their rowdy, infectious stage shows, in which the high-flying ensemble tears through tunes with unbridled energy, popping banjo and guitar strings right and left while inciting stomping sing-alongs among audiences that appear to know every word. At times they seemingly create their own subgenre onstage – “punkgrass,” for lack of a better word. A grassroots phenomenon built from the ground up, I and Love and You marks the point at which The Avett Brothers are poised, with perfect timing, to break through to a broader audience.
Recurring themes on the album have to do with commitment, maturity, and moving forward through life with a positive outlook. I and Love and You has little to do with the ephemeral world of latter-day pop, even if several songs (notably “Kick Drum Heart” and “Slight Figure of Speech”) are tuneful and catchy enough to merit radio play. The Avett Brothers mean to create music of substance for the long haul.
“We’ll just keep writing our songs and making our records, and how it goes is how it goes,” concludes Seth. “We’re trying our hardest and having some fun doing it, and that’s all it needs to be.”
The Avett Brothers’ concert is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures and generously supported by Arlene & Barrie Bergman. The concert is sponsored by KCSB 91.9 FM and Haagen Printing. Arts & Lectures’ 50th anniversary season is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Independent and Cox Media. Tickets are $40, $35 and $30 for the general public and $18 for UCSB students who must show a valid student ID. For tickets or more information, call Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535, purchase online at www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu ; or call the Arlington Theatre at 805.963.4408.