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The Avett Brothers

A Carolina Jubilee – 2003 (Ramseur)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by The Avett Brothers

If one were to take the turbo-acoustic energy of the Violent Femmes and marry it to Uncle Tupelo's stripped-down "March 16-20, 1992" album, the end result would sound something like the old-time country porch n' roll of Concord, N.C.'s Avett Brothers. This album's tracks alternate between hyperactive rave-ups that echo early Old 97s material, swinging country tunes and mournful-sounding love songs.

The danger with a band like this is a perception that they're just putting on a hillbilly act with no real feeling for the traditional source material. The Avett Brothers, though they write all of their own songs, are no yee-haw alt.-country-come-lately novelty act. The UT reference is fitting, as the brothers appear to have assimilated their influences in a similar way to Tweedy and Farrar. The Avett's songwriting tends to be less obtuse. A song like "Me and God," is a perfect example, with its chorus of, "My God and I don't need a middleman." The Avetts don't appear to be middlemen either, preferring to deliver their old-time country sounds undiluted, unfettered, and in undeniably enjoyable fashion. (Ramseur, 11056 Sam Black Road, Midland, NC 28107, 704-888-5699, E-Mail: ramseurrecords@aol.com