North Carolina brothers Scott and Seth Avett have been playing folk-inspired music as the Avett Brothers since 2000 and rock ’n’ roll in other bands before that. Through constant touring and a series of albums on small indie labels, the brothers developed a following that seemed to get bigger every year. By the time of their 2007 release, Emotionalism, the Avett Brothers were flirting with stardom. They signed to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, and the famous producer helped them put together last year’s breakthrough I and Love and You.
There was a period last fall where it seemed that half my music friends were talking about the Avett Brothers or posting Avett Brothers videos on Facebook. My favorite radio station still plays one of several songs from I and Love and You seemingly once an hour. I confess, for a long time I did not understand what the fuss was about. “January Wedding” struck me as a sweet folk song with plaintive vocals and brotherly harmonies — nice, but nothing I hadn’t heard before. I thought the more rock-oriented “Kick Drum Heart” was uncomfortably reminiscent of Huey Lewis’s “Heart of Rock and Roll.”
But one day recently I heard the I and Love and You song “Laundry Room” — perhaps the 15th time I’ve heard it — and when the brothers sang, “Tonight I’ll burn the lyrics, ’cause every chorus was your name,” I don’t know what happened, the song just won me over. There’s nothing flashy or groundbreaking about the Avett Brothers. They’re just really good at what they do. They slowly built an audience, and they’re slowly conquering the country, one music lover at a time.
- Thursday, April 29, 2010, 7 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
$26 - $37.50