Music is hardly ever one thing. Influences run deep for most artists, but few groups build their sound on as many layers as the Avett Brothers. Equal parts bluegrass, country, punk, pop, folk, rock, honky tonk, and ragtime, the Avett brothers have an audience as diverse as their sound.
True Sadness is the band's ninth full-length album, and the lead track “Ain’t No Man” also served as the first single in support of the record. You can imagine this song filling up the Peoria Civic Center this September as the band makes their stop in Illinois during a Fall tour in support of the album. The funny thing is, this sound isn’t necessarily “typical” for the band, and in many ways a step away from a sound that, now in its peak popularity, they helped to create.
It’s always been hard to pin down the Avett brothers to just one genre, but the group was essential to growing the folk pop revival now hitting mainstream success. Contemporaries like Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers, and the Head and the Heart have reaped the benefits of a first wave of folk pop that has helped bring roots music back to the limelight. The Avett Brothers, alongside groups like Old Crow Medicine Show and Ray LaMontagne, are artists who grew up on country icons Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, as well as the songwriting of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. It’s roots music disguised as a million other sounds, but at the heart of each song is the same raw emotion and storytelling that helps make musicians timeless.
The Avett Brothers dial down just as smoothly as they fire up, and as expected from the album name, the album does not come up short in the misery department. It’s upbeat, full of energy, and true to the lyrical themes that have been present throughout the band’s history. On September 10th, you can see the Avett Brothers play cuts from True Sadness, as well as favorites from past albums at the Peoria Civic Center.
True Sadness is an absolute delight.