Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Avett Brothers debut in Sun Valley

‘Punkgrass’ sound is a folk and rock blend


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

The Avett Brothers will perform at the Sun Valley Pavilion as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ Summer Concert Series on Wednesday, July 13, at 7 p.m. Courtesy photo

Take a chance on The Avett Brothers and enjoy one of the best folk-rock music touring acts in the nation this summer. Known for their rollicking live performances, The Avett Brothers will bring their unique folk-rock sound to the Sun Valley Pavilion on Wednesday, July 13, as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' Summer Concert Series.

The music is called "punkgrass" because of the band musicians' background in folk bluegrass music. Brothers Scott on banjo and Seth on guitar are from Concord, N.C., and are joined by Bob Crawford on standup bass, Joe Kwon on cello and Jacob Edwards on drums.

The resulting sound is a mix of bluegrass, country, punk, pop, folk, rock, honky-tonk and ragtime, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having "the heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of The Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones."

As the appealing vocal sounds of the Everly Brothers, the Beach Boys, the Allman Brothers and the BeeGees have shown, there is no harmony like brotherly harmony. The rootsy weave of voices and play of sensibility evident in The Avett Brothers' finely tuned collaboration stems from a lifetime of shared experiences.

< In 2008, the band was signed by legendary producer Rick Rubin, who has worked with Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and the Dixie Chicks. The Avett Brothers' 2009 release "I and Love and You" reached No. 16 on Billboards' chart of bestselling albums.

Over the years, The Avett Brothers have built a huge following based on their rowdy, infectious stage shows. In concert, the high-flying ensemble tears through tunes with unbridled energy, popping banjo and guitar strings right and left while inciting stomping singalongs with audiences that appear to know every word. The Avett Brothers are a grassroots phenomenon poised to break through to a broader audience.

Opening for The Avett Brothers is special guest Jessica Lee Mayfield, a 21-year-old singer whose voice is uncommonly wise and soulful. Mayfield's first album, "Tell Me," was released by Nonesuch earlier this year. National Public Radio's World Café show declared that she has "a mature sound that seems evolved beyond her years." The New York Times wrote that her sound is "guarded, insinuating, mesmerizing ... music that lets you hear all its details."

The July 13 concert promises to be especially happening, as it coincides with Sun Valley's hosting of the National Mountain Bike Championships. Pavilion seats are sold out. Lawn seating is available for $25 but have limited to no stage view. Tickets are available online at www.sunvalleycenter.org, by calling 726-9491 and at The Center in Ketchum. Gates will open at 6 p.m. and Jessica Lea Mayfield will start at 7 p.m. The Avett Brothers will start around 8 p.m.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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