Three years ago, North Carolinian indie rock outfit The Avett Brothers reached their highest point yet as a band with their album I And Love And You. The record took the band to the number 16 slot on the U.S. album charts and a spot alongside Bob Dylan at the 2011 Grammy Awards. Next Tuesday, the band will follow up with their wonderful twelve-track album The Carpenter.
Their sixth full-length studio album, The Carpenter draws its name from the record’s first track, a song that tells the tale of a vagabond who is spending his days “in search of a woman I called purpose.” A beautifully construed song, “The Once And Future Carpenter” is the most powerful set of lyrics on the record and a shining example of The Avett Brothers’ ability to spin verse that permeates the LP. That skill returns throughout the album, particularly on the enjoyable “Live and Die,” “I Never Knew You,” and the pensive “Through My Prayers.”
The Avett Brothers also throw in several different numbers throughout the record that provide a refreshing change of pace, including the early rock ‘n roll-sounding “Pretty Girl In Michigan” and the sudden volume of “Paul Newman vs. The Demons.” Towards the end of The Carpenter, The Avett Brothers may have found their girl in the brief up-tempo track “Geraldine,” as they gawk at “in came Miss Progress in her black dress/look at the mess, she is a killer.”
Their second record that was produced by Rick Rubin on his American Recordings label, The Carpenter hosted a number of notable guest musicians. Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) played the organ, mellotron, harmonium, and piano on a half dozen tracks, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) played drums on a handful of songs, Charlotte and Hattie Webb (Webb Sisters) provided backing vocals on “Life,” Danny Moynahan (The Untouchables), Blake Mills (Fiona Apple, Band of Horses), and Lenny Castro (Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Elton John) were among the score of musicians brought in to bolster the Avett Brothers sound.
One of the must-have albums of 2012, The Carpenter is available next Tuesday as a digital download, CD, and a two-LP vinyl. The Avett Brothers will begin touring in support of The Carpenter on September 12th in Toronto. The tour will make several east coast stops, including New York’s Central Park and the Austin City Limits.