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Avetts, Earls of Leicester join MerleFest line-up

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 – The Avett Brothers and the Earls of Leicester were added to the MerleFest line-up, it was announced today.

Jim Avett, father of two members of The Avett Brothers, also will appear at MerleFest, which will be held April 23-26 in Wilkesboro, N.C.

"We promised more surprises for our 2015 lineup, and I think these artists qualify as worth the wait," said Steve Johnson, artist relations manager for MerleFest. "We know that this will be welcome news to our fans, and we're excited to have this collection of diverse and talented artists on board for MerleFest this year."

"And by the way, there are still a few more surprises to be announced for this year's lineup. Stay tuned," he said.

The Avett Brothers will be making their seventh appearance at MerleFest this year. Formed in 2001 in Charlotte, N.C., The Avett Brothers include brothers Scott Avett on banjo and Seth Avett on guitar, along with stand-up bass player Bob Crawford, cellist Joe Kwon, Mike Marsh on drums, Paul Defiglia on keyboard and organ and Tania Elizabeth on violin.

In 2008, Jim Avett released his first album on Ramseur Records, "Jim Avett and Family," a collection of gospel songs recorded with daughter Bonnie and sons Scott and Seth of The Avett Brothers. In 2010, he returned with "Tribes," seven original songs that speak of love and loss and in 2012, continued on those themes on "Second Chance."

Jerry Douglas presents the Earls of Leicester, a group of like-minded musicians banding together to recreate the music of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. Led by 13-time Grammy-winner Douglas (band leader, Dobro), the Earls of Leicester features hit songwriter Shawn Camp (guitar, lead vocals), acclaimed banjoist Charlie Cushman, bassist Barry Bales (Douglas's cohort in Alison Krauss & Union Station) and fiddler Johnny Warren (son of Paul Warren, fiddle player in Flatt & Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys band). Their self-titled album was just nominated for a Grammy in the Best Bluegrass Album category.

The band plays selections from the era of 1954 to 1965. During these years, the band comprised Lester, Earl, Dobro player Josh Graves, fiddler Paul Warren, tenor singer and mandolinist Curly Seckler and bass player Jake Tullock.

Tickets for MerleFest 2015 are now on sale and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. A three-tiered pricing structure is offered for MerleFest 2015: an Early Bird Tier 1 ticket discount is available through Feb. 15, an Early Bird Tier 2 ticket discount will run from Feb. 16 through April 22, and the third price tier will be gate pricing.

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CD reviews for The Avett Brothers

True Sadness CD review - True Sadness
The Avett Brothers shows oftentimes offer some of the best bluegrass-inspired instrumental music around as brothers Seth and Scott surround themselves with highly skilled players. Albums, on the other hand, can sometimes be a significantly different matter. Songs on the new "True Sadness," for instance, reveal this act's well-developed introspective side. Sonically, "True Sadness" finds the group exploring beyond its rootsy, Americana expectations. »»»
The Carpenter CD review - The Carpenter
If songs give us glimpses into the songwriter's soul, then love and death weigh heavy on the minds of Scott and Seth Avett, the primary pens behind the music of The Avett Brothers. The evidence is written all over the 12 songs on the North Carolina-based trio's latest album "The Carpenter." Death plays a prominent role in The Once And Future Carpenter, the lead-off track, which offers an unconcerned look at the inevitable end of life with lines like: "And when the black »»»
Live, Volume 3 CD review - Live, Volume 3
There's no mystery to what The Avett Brothers sound like live because "Live, Volume 3" already represents the brothers' third official concert recording. Captured in Charlotte, N.C. in August 2009, right there in the guys' home state, these 16 songs touch upon the unusually wide range of emotions and styles covered by The Avett Brothers. You can hear a bit of the act's punk roots on Talk on Indolence, where vocals are shouted at one point, much more than sung. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Gayle, Orlando provide good old-fashioned entertainment – Although this pairing of country star Crystal Gayle and Tony Orlando may have - on the surface - appeared to be an odd one, tonight's audience demonstratively loved each performer equally. It was an evening of memorable songs, fun and funny stories and just good old-fashioned entertainment. Gayle opened the show with a strong set of country... »»»
Concert Review: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
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