Thursday, August 28, 2008
Two summers ago, The Avett Brothers performed at our 100-person-capacity venue, Monterey Live. Boy, have things changed for the North Carolina trio since then. The group has sold out amphitheaters, played the country’s most revered music festivals (Bonnaroo, Coachella) and, maybe most impressively, inked a deal with American Recordings. Now, it turns out that label chief and legendary producer Rick Rubin (the man behind the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ breakthrough Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Johnny Cash’s career-reviving American Recordings) will personally record the band’s major label debut.
Until then, The Avett Brothers have put out the stopgap six-song EP The Gleam II, a follow-up to the group’s 2006 EP The Gleam. Like its predecessor, The Gleam II focuses on the band’s earnest acoustic ballads rather than its acoustic rockers played with punk abandon.
The Gleam II proves that all The Avett Brothers need to craft a batch of compelling songs is a couple of acoustic instruments and each other. It’s also the sound of a band catching its breath before making the first big move onto the national stage.