The Avett Brothers are living “a tightrope kind of existence,” according to older sibling Scott.
The acoustic folk rock quartet from North Carolina moved to a major label with its latest release, 2009’s “I and Love and You,” which was produced by Grammy Award-winner Rick Rubin. The group, which Scott started in 2000 with kid brother Seth, was certainly playing for keeps before that, but now he says the stakes have been raised considerably.
“I think it can feel like you’ve got more to live up to at times,” says Avett, 33. “It’s a surreal kind of thing to see other people get behind a couple of guys expressing extremely intimate feelings. Making a living out of that is ... a balance you have to start realizing.
“We have more obligations. We are obligated to take it to that level and find what the next level is. That can be a lot of work. It’s taxing in many ways.”
But, Avett acknowledges, it has perks, too — like getting to add some instrumentation sessions onto “American VI: Ain’t No Grave,” the recently released posthumous Johnny Cash album.
“That was surreal, absolutely surreal to be playing while his voice is coming through the (headphones),” Avett recalls. “There are a lot of things you dream will be the be-all, end-all, that if you could just do this you’d be satisfied.
“Doing a Johnny Cash recording, it really felt like we were involved in something where we were sharing recording time with a legend. It was one of the bigger things for me. I look forward to telling my grandkids about it, for sure.”
The Avett Brothers and the Low Anthem perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 9) at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. Tickets are $50 and $26. Call 734-668-8463 or visit www.michtheater.org.
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