The Avett Brothers Shine

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avett brothers charlottesvilleTechnically, they are not from Winston-Salem, but the Carolina boys comprising the rootsy, folk rock band The Avett Brothers are from nearby Concord, North Carolina, and are beloved across our state and nation. We behind the scenes here at are fans ourselves and couldn’t resist sharing the love. And if you’ve seen the Avetts before, please leave comments below with your stories! We’d love to hear them.

History of the Avett Brothers

Brothers Scott and Seth Avett have played music together since they were children, from church fundraisers to their teen rock band, Nemo. The Avett Brothers band is made up of Scott Avett, on banjo, piano, kick drum and vocals, his brother, Seth, on guitar, piano and vocals; Joe Kwon on cello, Bob Crawford on stand-up bass (and sometimes electric bass), and Jacob Edwards on drums.

Songwriting is Core to the Avetts Success

Download 'The Carpenter' from iTunesThe Avetts are amazing songwriters, combining their eloquent somber, raw lyrics of love, loss and confession with a wide variety of folk, bluegrass, rock, and even ragtime and punk melodies to produce a unique sound to which young and old relate.

From “Ten Thousand Words”:

“Ain’t it like most people? I’m no different
We love to talk on things we don’t know about

And everyone around me shakes their head in disbelief
And says I’m too caught up
They say young is good and old is fine
And truth is cool but all that matters
Is that you have your good times
But their good times come with prices
And I can’t believe it when I hear the jokes they make
At anyone’s expense except their own
Would they laugh if they knew who paid?”

High Energy Performances

The Avett Brothers are known for their frenetic shows and lots of swinging hair. Their New Year’s Eve 2012 performance at the Greensboro Coliseum right here in the NC Triad was no exception. Faithful fans and newcomers gathered to see Amos Lee open for the band with a rich 55-minute set, followed by a secretive white sheet screening the stage for the main performance set up. Fans raved once the music started and the sheet finally dropped to reveal even more bright white goodness – The Avett Brothers were clad in all-white suits, reminiscent of the Bee Gees, Saturday Night Live-style. Seth danced and jumped for most of the show and Joe Kwon was particularly spry. How one plays the cello so skillfully, while running and head-banging is a mystery.

The Avetts’ Greensboro Concert

avett brothers new years eve greensboro cheers confettiSwinging from frenzied acoustic-metal arrangements, punctuated by more mellow melodies, the band kept the audience jumping and swaying as well. Fans were thrilled by the more intimate experience of the cover of “Operator”, by Scott and Bob Crawford on a surprise second stage deeper in the arena.

Humble Thank Yous

A couple of times during the New Year’s show, Seth said to the audience, “Thanks for having us at your party,” a humble statement considering the thousands of screaming fans. As midnight neared, the band wound down and Kwon played Auld Lange Syne on the cello before the audience was showered by a blizzard of white confetti and balloons. Their finale song, “I and Love and You” was well worth the wait. See the set list below*

Grammy Nomination

2012 will be a tough year to beat for The Avett Brothers, who received a Grammy nomination for their latest album release, The Carpenter, which also made it to the Top 10. However, they are making good headway already, including a cameo at next week’s gubernatorial inauguration, and they just announced that they will be part of the Sunday, April 28th lineup at Merlefest 2013 in Wilkesboro, NC. And so, as they sing in “Down with the Shine”:

“It’s in with the new, and out with the old
out goes the warmth, and in comes the cold
it’s the most predictable story told
in with the young, out with the old

down with the shine, the perfect shine
it poisons the well and ruins my mind
i get took for a ride, every time
down with the glistening shine”

List of Avett Brothers Albums

  • Country Was (2002)
  • Live at the Double Door Inn (2002)
  • A Carolina Jubilee (2003)
  • Mignonette (2004)
  • Live, Vol. 2 (2005)
  • Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions (2006)
  • Emotionalism (2007)
  • I and Love and You (2009)
  • Live, Vol. 3 (2010)
  • The Carpenter (2012)


  • The Avett Bros. (2000)
  • Swept Away (2004)
  • The Gleam (2006)
  • The Second Gleam (2008)

Set List from the New Year’s Concert in Greensboro*

  • Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
  • Go to Sleep
  • Down with the Shine
  • The Fall
  • Distraction #74
  • Life
  • Paranoia in Bb Major
  • At the Beach
  • Pretty Girl from Cedar Lane
  • Live and Die
  • Hand-Me-Down Tune
  • Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels) – Jim Croce cover
  • The Ballad of Love and Hate
  • Ten Thousand Words
  • Colorshow
  • February Seven
  • Laundry Room
  • Old Joe Clark
  • Kick Drum Heart
  • Geraldine
  • Talk on Indolence
  • Salina
  • Murder in the City
  • Living of Love

Encore Set List

  • Salvation Song (Avett’s sister Bonnie sang harmony with Scott)
  • I Killed Sally’s Lover
  • Gimmeakiss
  • I and Love and You


Resources: The Avett Brothers: Tiny Desk Concert, NPR, June 22, 2009; The Avett Brothers Find Mutual Love in Greensboro, by David Menconi, News & Observer, January 1, 2013; In Their Words: The Avett Brothers” by Michael Kruse, Our State Magazine, January 2013; Wikipedia.

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