The Avett Brothers: The Carpenter

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America loves brothers who can sing: Kings of Leon, the Bee Gees, The Everly Brothers, Oasis.We can’t get enough. And who could possibly be better to further this national romance than those good-natured, southern, banjo-wielding Avett Brothers?

Straight out of Concord, N.C., Scott and Seth Avett come with identical scruff and a single bleeding heart. These folk sweethearts have been soft-rock fixtures on the music scene since 2007’s Emotionalism. They were named “Artist To Watch of 2009” by Rolling Stone Magazine and have been hailed for their seamless integration of rock, folk, bluegrass, ragtime and pop.

Living up to the hype, The Avett Brothers’ newest album, The Carpenter, is a prime example of this principle at work. Forming a bluesy sort of symphony, the album  rings and strums, hitting hard and soft within the same five seconds. A true melting pot of tunes and jangles, there is no discerning or preferring one song  from the next. The album moseys right  along.

Reinforced by Bob Crawford on stand-up bass and Joe Kwon at cello, these seven songs are stronger, sweeter, smoother and simpler than ever before. Writing from their folk roots — tied deeply to the influence of their minister grandfather — the Avetts give us those same ol’ troubadour standbyes: love, life, time, the seasons and the road. Babies are born (“A Father’s First Spring”), loved ones are sick (“Through My Prayers”), men are aging (“Down With the Shine”), lovers are spurned (“I Never Knew You”). But perhaps that is the most wonderful thing about folk music. Hearts always break, roads always curve and it will always stick.

With heart to spare, The Carpenter only makes us want to snuggle a little closer to those backwoods, sweetheart Avett brothers. The American lifeblood is officially restored.


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