The Carpenter

The Carpenter

At its core, The Avett Brothers consist of siblings Scott (banjo, vocals) and Seth (guitar, vocals), with Bob Crawford contributing stand-up bass. After years of recording and steadfast touring, the North Carolinians released their major-label debut in 2009 (I and Love and You), with legendary producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Tom Petty) at the boards. For its follow up, The Carpenter, the bluegrass-rooted trio reunite with Rubin, who lends a light touch to these highly textured tunes. The Avett Brothers introduce their sound as “lonesome” on the gentle, yet stirring opener (“The Once and Future Carpenter”), then profess, “We’re all in this together—if I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die.” It’s this at-times plaintive, yet unwaveringly honest spirit that makes their tracks so compelling—even a bleak song like “Winter in My Heart” sounds sweet thanks to bright vocals and vivid lyrics. Sprinkled amidst the folk-tinged collection are some soulful jams (“Pretty Girl from Michigan,” “I Never Knew You”) that illustrate Scott and Seth’s rock ‘n’ roll roots.

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