The Avett Brothers, Emotionalism

Peter Blackstock

By Peter Blackstock

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


The Avett Brothers
Bluegrass trio gives up on documenting their stage show, crafts their masterpiece

It's not hard to find lively and talented young string bands these days, but few possess the magic spark of North Carolina's Avett Brothers (a trio consisting of two brothers and their bass-playing friend). Early on, the Avetts earned a reputation for transcendent live performances but never quite seemed to reach that same level in the studio. On Emotionalism the pieces finally came together; they put less emphasis on trying to document their stage persona and instead concentrated on the considerable pop potential of their songwriting. The result is an album that marries Beatlesque melody to old-time/folk/bluegrass instrumentation with the Avetts 'punk roots showing in attitude and energy.