Avett Brothers return to town but this time on bigger stage

  • Follow Applause

The Avett Brothers' fans can expect a high-energy show at The Bell Auditorium on Sunday.

The Avett Brothers  Special
Special
The Avett Brothers

The band has visited Augusta about 10 times over the years, including several appearances at Still Water Tap Room on Broad Street.

"We thrive off the crowd. We try to give people their money's worth, for sure, because we know that money's tight and if someone decides to spend an evening with us, we really appreciate them. We keep it as energetic as possible," bassist Bob Crawford said during a telephone interview from his home in North Carolina.

Barry Blackston, the owner of Still Water Tap Room, said the Avett Brothers are his "favorite band to ever play there."

"They've played here four or five times. They're great guys. Success couldn't have come to better people. We always thought the world of them and still do," Blackston said.

Fans and new listeners can look forward to music that crosses many genres. Crawford said he can't pigeonhole the Avett Brothers' music into one category.

The band's latest album, I and Love and You , released in 2009, is a mix of folk, country, bluegrass, rock, pop and even some punk-style dynamics.

"I think we're in a time period where genres are so intermarried. Everything is a hybrid of something else," Crawford said.

The Avett Brothers formed in Charlotte, N.C., when banjoist Scott Avett and guitarist Seth Avett joined forces with Crawford.

In 2001, the brothers fronted a neo-punk band called Nemo, but they wanted to play the acoustic music they had heard growing up. The brothers launched an acoustic side band, Nemo Back Porch Project, and added Crawford. The sideshow band blossomed into a main attraction, and the Avett Brothers was born.

The band built a loyal following in the region, but its popularity didn't extend beyond the area, so Scott Avett and Crawford decided to attend graduate school in 2002. However, Crawford had dreams of going on tour, so he asked the brothers if they would come if he booked a summer tour.

They agreed, and the Avett Brothers set out on a monthlong 21-city tour. They camped out or slept in the truck when they couldn't find a floor to sleep on and survived on peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches. After gaining some fans nationwide, Scott and Crawford decided to postpone their grad school plans and pursue their music.

In 2008, producer and talent scout Rick Rubin signed the Avett Brothers to his American Recordings label. Rubin has worked with Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and The Dixie Chicks.

Today, the band also includes cellist Joe Kwon and drummer Jacob Edwards.

Since the beginning, Seth and Scott have written the Avett Brothers' songs so they can tell their own stories that they hope other people can relate to. Their songs have themes of love, life, loss, death and mortality, Crawford said.

Before signing with Rubin, the Avett Brothers had five full-length albums and two EPs on their manager's label. They chose to remain independent until they signed with Rubin because "no one had really been able to offer anything more than they could do for themselves," Crawford said.

"When we were approached by Rick Rubin and Columbia, he was kind of the carrot on the stick. To work with him, to us, was worth it to sign with someone," Crawford said.

The band is working on a new album, which Crawford expects to be released in winter 2012.

"Other than that, we're just making babies. We used to play 200 shows a year. Then we got married and started having kids, and we wanted a schedule that was more conducive to a family life, so we try to space things out," he said.

Of their success, the best part is being able to continue making music, he said. "Just the idea that we get to keep doing this -- that this is our job. That's the highlight," Crawford said.

The Avett Brothers

WHEN: Sunday at 8 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: The Bell Auditorium

TICKETS: $37, James Brown Arena box office, georgialinatix.com, (877) 4AUGTIX

LEARN MORE: www.theavettbrothers.com


Top headlines

Azziz UNLV president finalist

Ricardo Azziz, who has been mentioned in the past for other open university positions in Florida and Texas, is one of three finalists for the position.
Search Augusta jobs