OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: There are three more ‘Pretty Girl’ songs
LINEUP: Seth Avett, Scott Avett, Bob Crawford, Bonnie Avett Rini
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Avett Brothers are solidly in a folk / bluegrass idiom with great harmonies and songwriting featuring sister Bonnie. But it’s LONG.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s great that a band has a lot of material – but in the CD era, it led to excesses. At 73 minutes, this record demonstrates that even with a lot of good to great material, it’s best to trim off the fat.
There are a couple of tracks that can go – silly goofs that add nothing to the proceedings, given that the band sounds like they are having fun with fun songs anyway. Those tracks just get in the way of everything and disturb the flow. Fortunately, those tracks are the minority.
As for the others – there’s great banjo and mandolin picking, great harmonies, and it sounds like a backyard party. Good times.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The song “Signs” was written by their father Jim Avett, in the 70’s
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: Trim it a bit, and it’s an “A”. Heck of a fun time.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Pretty Girl from Raleigh, Me and God
LINEUP: Seth Avett. Scptt Avett. Bob Crawford, Joe Kwon
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The brothers go down-home, crossing old time music with intriguing lyrical ideas and some rock motifs (but not really a rock sound).
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It could be said that this is the first real, honest Avett Brothers album that didn’t have any connection to their previous incarnation in the rock / punk vein.
But the spirit is still there, as they’re freewheeling with keeping the lyrics away from strictly old-time tropes as the banjos and double bass play along. They do sound like they’re having a good time, which is most of the battle in this genre.
The songwriting lacks in a few places, though, and sometimes they draw from the same well too often. Also, the last cut may have been great for the brothers to add, but a recording from their kitchen when they were in grade school isn’t something you want to listen to, really.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: There are three “Pretty Girl From” songs on here.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Early copies of the CD had two extra songs..
GRADE: B: Good, not tremendous, but it’s interesting to see when they really turned the corner into full time old time.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If you know these songs, you’re a superfan
LINEUP: Seth Avett, Scott Avett, Bob Crawford.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After the breakup of their punk band, Seth and Scott Avett make their move toward acoustic, down home music, and come out with a winner on first go-round.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After the breakup of Nemo, who released three albums before their demise, the Avett Brothers coalesced around a guitar (or piano), banjo and stand-up bass lineup for their first few recordings.
This album features some songs that are in a definite good-time back-porch mode, but what the real winner is how the Avetts and Crawford already are in sync with great harmonies and spirited playing.
It’s a short album (8 songs) but it sets the table for the Avetts to come.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Their first studio album (The Avett Bros.) was more of a Nemo album, and it’s disappeared. So has, unfortunately, their live album Live at the Double Door Inn.