The Avett Brothers are all about feeling. On Emotionalism, their last proper full length, the Avetts certainly didn’t shy away from feeling; they celebrated it. The songs from Emotionalism were mostly led by banjo, upright bass, occasional strings and the just-twangy-enough vocals of one or both brothers. Everything about that setup said these guys were playing bluegrass music, but what came out of the speakers felt different.
That element, that unique style of bluegrass that sounded more like an alt-country-influenced indie band, clearly set the Avetts apart from anything I’d ever heard before. But there was more to them than that. There were also those straightforward and heartfelt lyrics, melodies that felt nostalgic and comforting, and an overall sense that these guys grew up loving American music and wanted to make it their own, to take it somewhere new while keeping everything that was great about it intact. Continue reading
I packed my cross-eyed Hyundai full of people who like good music and we headed to enjoy the sun and sand at Jacksonville Beach and some decent Mexican food before the show at Freebird’s (owned by a former member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, so shout it all you want). It’s an interesting venue, two floors with an atrium, a full bar on either floor, so we headed upstairs to get a good view of the stage. Continue reading
Is there no limit to Jenny Lewis’ charm?
As front woman of indie-rock stalwarts Rilo Kiley, Lewis has infused each album with her distinctive persona, and in 2006 she and the Watson Twins released Rabbit Fur Coat, a terrific collection of songs that favored Americana-tinged fairy tales over the takeoffs and landings of her usual rock and roll. Now, we finally have Acid Tongue, the first officially solo album from Ms. Lewis, and it’s one of her greatest achievements to date.
photo by motionsharp
It’s no surprise that Rilo Kiley‘s Jenny Lewis can sing. And it’s not much of a surprise that Blake Sennett can play guitar. But what is a surprise is that both of them sound just as good live as they do in the studio, and that the rest of the band’s musicianship is of such a high caliber. Lewis, talented and sexy as ever, nailed every note while transitioning through the group’s wide array of styles and switching from keys to guitar to bass and back all night long. Sennett’s guitar playing was spot-on. And when he stepped up to the mic for songs such as “Ripchord” and “Dreamworld,” he only further proved his abilities.