Carolina Pride: The Avett Brothers

by Matt Hendrickson - October/November 2012

The Avett Brothers have a new album and big plans

For the recording of their previous album, I and Love and You, the Avett Brothers spent much time in a studio in Malibu, California. It showed. The album had a laid-back groove that some felt lacked the powder-keg vibe of their live shows. For their latest, The Carpenter, Seth and Scott Avett and bassist Bob Crawford stayed in their comfortable North Carolina environs. 

That shows, too. The Carpenter has some of the Brothers’ best material yet, with pickin’ ballads like “Live and Die” and “Through My Prayers” showing more depth and intensity, while the band amps it up on songs like “Paul Newman vs. the Demons.” Much of the emotional heaviness was directly influenced by life events, including a diagnosis of brain cancer for Crawford’s young daughter. “It’s been a pretty emotional time,” says Scott Avett. “His daughter spent a lot of time at St. Jude’s in Memphis and is fine now, but they still have a long way to go.”

Avett points to other major life changes as well. He has two young children, and along with that comes a weightier view of life. “This album feels like scene two of act two of our lives,” he says. “As we get older, there are a lot of things we thought we understood about life or death. But I don’t know that we understood them as well as we do now. I’m not sure we fully understand them now, but we’re closer.”

Lest you think the Avetts plan to slow down, they’ll spend much of next year doing what they do best: playing killer shows. They’re also planning for their own festival sometime in 2013. “We really believe in the North Carolina group of musicians,” Scott says. “There’s just so much in that North Carolina sound, and we’d love to bring some of that life to our own festival.”

>Click here for a G&G Exclusive Video of the Avett Brothers on the inspiration for their song "A Father's First Spring"