The Avett Brothers Grammy Reflection
On the eve of the Grammys, I am sitting here thinking of all my favorite Avett Brothers moments. It is hard to believe that I first saw the Avetts play five years ago at our friend Rick and Kerry Clift’s wedding in North Carolina and now they are playing the Grammys tomorrow night with Bob Dylan. Who would have ever thought this would be happening to the three guys who showed up to play this wedding in Manteo, North Carolina? The funny thing is that they all still remember that wedding, because Seth cracked his head before the show and probably had a concussion. My friend Kerry recalls telling them to go to the emergency room, but Scott told her that his brother felt okay and that he would be a stronger man to stay and play. Unbelievable! They played Swept Away, Offering, Please Pardon Yourself and At the Beach (more we can’t remember). My husband and I stood there watching them thinking that these guys are amazing. We had never seen anything like it–how could one guy with a kick drum and one with a high hat make music like that? It was incredible how they filled the room with just the three of them and only about 50 of us.
My next and probably my favorite Avett memory was at the Bluebird in Bloomington, Indiana in 2008. I really liked The Avett Brothers, but I didn’t love them yet. I think we only had 2 CDs: Live Volume 2 and Emotionalism. I knew they made great music and were a favorite of mine at that point, but this was the night I absolutely fell in love with them. There were two moments that I will never forget at this show. This was the first time I heard Murder in the City. I stood there and listened to that song and cried. I have been to many concerts, but never cried because the words to a new song were so beautiful and touched my heart. There is so much special about that song and I knew it the first time I heard it. Of course the sibling love and rivalry, but what stuck out to me the most was the line “there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.” That really struck a chord with me, because I stood there with my husband and realized that he is the only person that I have shared a name with where that meant something. Now I share it with him and our children and it bonds us all together. That is a powerful feeling and a crazy one to experience standing in a college town bar. I will never forget that moment. So I said there two moments. This was also the first time I had heard Salvation Song and it is still my favorite rendition that I have heard to date. Scott, Seth, Bob and Joe hugged and sang this song and I believed every word of it. It was genuine and sincere, and although it was my first time hearing it, I was singing along to it by the end. It sums up to me what the Avett Brothers stand for in making their music.
Then there were many shows in between: A few in Indianapolis at the Vogue and Murat (13 days after delivering my son, still 3 weeks before he was due…No matter what I was going to that show unless I was still on bedrest in the hospital) and Nashville for Halloween. But my final favorite Avett memory happened just a few weeks ago. After years of trying to get my friends to listen to The Avett Brothers and come to their shows, they finally did. A group of about 12 of us went to the South Bend show. I had to be careful not to over hype the show, which was so hard to do and if you know me it was practically impossible. So, we go to the show, which was just a fantastic setlist, and my friends liked my Avetts. They loved the show and had a great time. It felt so great to share this with them and really see that they were amazed by the show too. It wasn’t so bad that I finally met everyone in the band and they signed the huge poster that I won in a raffle either. That was pretty awesome to meet they guys whose music you love and reaffirm that they are nice guys who still go out to the meet the fans in the bitter cold after the show.
How my life would have been different if they had not played that day in Manteo. As I say that, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it so true. What would I listen to? What concerts would I have to look forward to and now plan family vacations around? Would I have ever watched the Grammys again? Would an artist ever move me to jump crazy out of my seat and then stand and cry the very next song? I am not sure, but I know I have never loved a band like I to the Avett Brothers and I have liked (and thought I loved) a lot of music and a lot of musicians. I feel so connected to their music and messages and I am so glad they have become a part of my life and my family’s life. I have mentioned before that my 1 and 3 year old love them too and probably know more Avett songs than your average fan. So best of luck tomorrow night at the Grammys. Who knows where your career will go from here after all this incredible exposure. I am proud to say I knew you when and will be ecstatic to follow you Avetts wherever you go! I believe you when you write that you came to leave behind the world a better way! I think you have…my world at least.
Here is Salvation Song at the Bluebird in Bloomington, IN November 2008