The country is currently awash in Americana fever, with any number of rock radio favorites dabbling in the sounds of yore. It's part of a search for authenticity when so much pop radio is heavily synthesized, and partially a need for the warm fuzzy blanket of an imagined yesteryear. Cute though the trend may be, many of the current banjo-picking types fail to elevate their style beyond gimmick. A huge exception is the Avett Brothers, the North Carolina act helmed by, yes, brothers Scott and Seth. Sure, they are nominally folk-influenced, with their relatively stripped-down, deeply earnest sound and penchant for things like harmonicas. But what sets the Avetts apart is a genreless, serious talent for songwriting. Their melodies soar and stick, regardless of any particular bearded window-dressing.
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