It’s easier to list the genres The Avett Brothers don’t draw inspiration from then it is to list the ones from which they do. If we’re forced to describe their music we’ll say they perform a mature and sophisticated brand of folk rock.
Their lyrics are introspective, sagacious, and soulful.
Their melodies are memorable but complex.
Their instrumentations are more folk and country than rock and pop. They are also very fond of performing acoustically.
They have a musical sensibility that makes them bookable on late night talk shows, the Grammys, and NPR.
Although they have their own distinct sound, The Avett Brothers have been compared to acts like The Head and the Heart, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Mumford & Sons. Another way to think of them is a combination of Phish, Kings of Leon, and Vince Gill.
The Avett Brothers are comprised of brothers and guitarists Scott and Seth Avett, double bassist Bob Crawford, and cellist Joe Kwon. Scott and Seth take turns singing lead. When on the road, and Avett Brothers tours are frequent, the band is joined by drummer Mike Marsh, keyboardist Paul DeFiglia, and fiddle player Tania Elizabeth.
As of 2014, The Avett Brothers have released eight studio albums and four EPs. Only their last three studio albums—I and Love and You (2009), The Carpenter (2012), Magpie and the Dandelion (2013)—have found success on the charts.
The Carpenter peaked at number four and Magpie at number five on Billboard’s main album chart.
Of course, The Avett Brothers aren’t really about record sales. They are all about selling Avett Brothers tickets. The band does well in the studio but where they really shine is on stage. Regardless of genre, The Avett Brothers are one of the best live acts around.
In 2011, bassist Bob Crawford learned that his daughter, Hallie, had a brain tumor. He briefly left The Avett Brothers to be with her and to guide her through treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
During his hiatus the band tapped the services of Defiglia. When Crawford returned, Defiglia put down the bass and went behind the keyboards. Hallie survived treatment but still has a battle ahead of her. As a result of Hallie’s plight, the band avidly supports St. Jude.