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The Avett Brothers: Beyond Blood

My first thought upon entering the performance room at KEXP was, "What do you mean they're not all brothers?" I had read that only Seth and Scott Avett were blood relatives, but darned if all five members of the North Carolina-based group The Avett Brothers didn't look like they were related.

I have to admit, even though I have pretty much all of the band's CDs at home, it wasn't until last year's Emotionalism that I was really slayed by their songs and passionate playing. The group takes traditional bluegrass and roots-rock and modernizes them with a little bit of British Invasion — and even a little bit of punk. I was surprised to learn during the interview that Seth and Scott had played in hardcore and punk bands before starting The Avett Brothers. But, knowing this, I can definitely see how Emotionalism has transcended genres, helping the band appeal to a wider audience.

The Avett Brothers treated us to two new tracks — "Late in Life (Frozen in My Tracks)" and "That's How I Got to Memphis" — as well as a track from 2006, "Famous Flower of Manhattan." By the time they got to their fiery, rocking closer ("Will You Return?"), you could see from the grins on the faces of everyone watching that they, too, felt a kinship.

Copyright 2008 KEXP

Kevin Cole