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The Avett Brothers Show

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We just got back from seeing the Avett Brothers [2] in concert here in St. Francisville. They were great. Really great. The photo is from the Facebook feed of a friend. [UPDATED to feature Lucas this morning in his Avett Brothers shirt; no, his teeth aren’t dirty; he chose purple-and-gold LSU braces] My shots came out badly. An interesting thing happened. My son Lucas, who is nine, is the only one of my children who is musically inclined. He’s just like his uncle, Jud, who is a natural musician. I hear Lucas in the living room noodling around on the piano, and boy, does he ever have the gift. So we were standing in the darkness under the moon and the pine trees tonight, with the band about half an hour into their set, and Lucas was in front of me, and then he turns and plants his head into my chest, sobbing, saying, “I didn’t think I would love it like this.”

The power of music. I had tears too, thinking about how those chords, those harmonies, that power on the stage moved a little boy to tears. He couldn’t talk about it. All throughout the show, he was so moved he couldn’t speak, or even look at me. We’ve been home for an hour, and he still can’t talk about it. He’s going to be a musician one day, I know it. I liked music a lot when I was a kid, but what the music did to that little boy tonight was something that was beyond me at that age. It’s a beautiful thing to see. I bought him an Avett Brothers concert t-shirt, and gave it to him on the walk back to the car. You’d have thought it was a golden fleece.


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25 Comments To "The Avett Brothers Show"

#1 Comment By Sam M On November 10, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

Great news that he likes the Avett Brothers. He could do much, much worse. What a great thing to be able to share that with him.

I remember a while back reading about pop music. Interesting times that kids and parents can admire the same bands. That hasn’t usually been the norm.

#2 Comment By stillaninterestedobserver On November 10, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

A lovely comment indeed. The Avetts aren’t directly in my own taste wheelhouse — I don’t dislike them either, just neutral — but when the gift resonates, that’s all that matters. I wish your son the pleasure of the possibilities.

A thought: your older son’s love for science and investigation is of course well documented, and now we know of your younger’s. If it is not a private thing, has your daughter shown what her own gift or special resonance might be? Truly a fortunate family by any measure!

[NFR: We shall see with her. Before the sun went down, Matthew sat on our blanket reading a biography of some guy named Kovalev, who led the Soviet space program, and Nora curled up with her Kindle reading who knows what. The nerd fambly out on the town… — RD]

#3 Comment By sketchesbyboze On November 11, 2013 @ 12:19 am

I love the Avett Brothers! I’m glad y’all connected so deeply with the music.

#4 Comment By Stephen Stchur On November 11, 2013 @ 12:31 am

That’s so awesome! The Avett Brothers are so incredibly amazing, I hardly listen to anything else these days. Your son has good taste.

#5 Comment By Darth Thulhu On November 11, 2013 @ 12:50 am

Sweet, beautiful, and touching. Your family is deeply blessed. Thanks for sharing.

#6 Comment By Charles Cosimano On November 11, 2013 @ 12:51 am

I don’t find it surprising at all. I acquired a taste for Benny Goodman and Frank Sinatra from my father. If the music is good, it will be passed on. If the music is dreck, like say the Beatles, then let us be thankful when it is not.

#7 Comment By tofudog On November 11, 2013 @ 8:07 am

This makes me happy! I’m so glad your son has these opportunities. I’ve always loved music and my kids have always had to listen to “my” music instead of kiddie stuff. Now they are old enough that they seek out new music on their own. I am notoriously stingy with them, but the moment they say “Can I check iTunes for a song?” I’m ready to buy (the exception to the rule was always Miley Cyrus; Luckily they passed through the Miley Cyrus phase without incidence!)

My favorite memory of being with my daughter so far is taking her to see Brandi Carlile at Wolf Trap, a lovely outdoor venue near DC. We sang every song together, enjoying the crowd, the music and the setting.

#8 Comment By naturalmom On November 11, 2013 @ 8:59 am

Aw, this made me tear up a bit just reading it. Isn’t it amazing to see these natural talents blooming in your children? My 11 year old son is a natural athlete, and I tell you, it’s amazing and beautiful to watch him swing a bat just so, whip a baseball with speed and accuracy, throw a football in a perfect spiraling arc, or make a really good tackle. Almost anyone can learn to do these things if they are motivated and work hard enough, but there is something different about how it comes to him, as if the basic moves are already written into his body and all he has to do is perfect them. Even when he was 3 years old and playing pre-school soccer, he was one of the very few children who looked like they were *actually* playing soccer, rather than just running around vaguely chasing the ball, or maybe each other. My 6 year old nephew is the same way. While many of us in our extended family like and play sports, they are the only two so far who seem to have that extra gift.

My 13 year old daughter’s talents aren’t as focused on any particular endeavor – her skills would be applicable to any number of pursuits. Handy, but it’s harder to find a passion. (That’s how I am too.) Too soon to tell with my 6 year old.

#9 Comment By Betty On November 11, 2013 @ 9:12 am

I love this. I’m addicted to the Avett Brothers, so I understand that kid. What a great little soul!

#10 Comment By NovBlue On November 11, 2013 @ 9:19 am

That’s awesome. What a beautiful moment to share with your son. Thank you for sharing with us. The Avett Brothers have had that same affect on many of us.

#11 Comment By Michelle On November 11, 2013 @ 9:47 am

I’d never heard of the Avett Brothers before reading this post. Thanks to Google and You Tube, I’ll be adding some of their music to our collection.

Music was a constant in our house when I was growing up. There was always an LP spinning on the stereo. I still listen to a number of artists my parents favored: Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Lou Rawls, Wes Montgomery. A house without music is impoverished.

Your son is blessed to be gifted with musical talent. May he be blessed to develop it.

#12 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On November 11, 2013 @ 10:32 am

You’re a good Dad. Few things are more important.

#13 Comment By Scott nunn On November 11, 2013 @ 10:34 am

Probably listen to the Avett Brothers everyday. Simple but often profound lyrics, nice picking and sweet harmonies. Glad to say they are fellow North Carolinians.


#14 Comment By Robin On November 11, 2013 @ 10:54 am

OMG…this story just made my day. Thank you for sharing. I am a big fan of The Avett Brothers. I will be seeing my first Avett show this Saturday. I may just cry like your son did. 🙂 In fact, I’m sure I will. Thanks again.

#15 Comment By Keith Pavlischek On November 11, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

ROD–I’ve been a long time fan of TAB. Here is an interview I did with Bob Crawford for Books and Culture a few years back.


#16 Comment By scotch meg On November 11, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

If Lucas has talent, and if you can afford it, piano lessons will give him the foundation for any musical endeavor. He may reject the piano (four of my five did), but the benefits have long outlasted the lessons.

[NFR: Yes, he’s been in piano lessons for a year or so. He’s doing pretty well. The kid has such a natural gift for music. — RD]

#17 Comment By Michael On November 11, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

Glad you had a good time. The Avett Brothers are one of the best live acts out there today. Incidentally, they’re also from a small (though not nearly as small as St Francisville) Southern town, Concord NC.

If you want to buy their music, make sure you go through their older stuff–IMHO, their best album is Emotionalism.

#18 Comment By Suzie Jones On November 11, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

This made me tear up, as I know that feeling. I have been overcome with emotion at (and long after) Avett shows. Unfortunately, I do not share the musical talent of your son, but I do share the deep connection to the music. Lovely article.

#19 Comment By Jane On November 11, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

I love posts like this. Best wishes to the young man with a great future.

#20 Comment By Kristoofus On November 11, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

“…and then he turns and plants his head into my chest, sobbing, saying, ‘I didn’t think I would love it like this.'”

Wow. It doesn’t get much better than that. I think your personal history just collected one of those timeless moments Eliot spoke of.

Serendipitous corroboration of your glowing assessment: the lifeguards at the Baton Rouge Y were blaring Avett Brothers on their boombox during lap swim today, still on a high from the concert last night.

#21 Comment By Josh McGee On November 11, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

Fantastic! Sounds like a wonderful time…

After seeing this, on a whim I checked out their tour schedule. They are coming through my area on Valentine’s Day. Snatched up two tickets for the wifey and me. She doesn’t even know yet, but I’m thinking this will result in bonus points lasting for a good, long while…

#22 Comment By Julie On November 12, 2013 @ 10:50 am

This was so heart-warming. I have a 9 year old boy as well who is a HUGE Avett fan, so this was especially touching to me. 🙂 Sweet, sweet boy you have there.

#23 Comment By Joy On November 12, 2013 @ 11:55 am

My kiddos are Avett fans, as well. We were at the show Sunday night. The show itself was excellent. The festival was one of the most disorganized events I’ve ever attended.

[NFR: True, it was awful. Took forever to get food and drinks — this was not the fault of the vendors, who were working crazy hard, but of the organizers — and it was a ridiculous hassle to get onto the grounds. And the bathrooms, good grief. When you have to go pee in the woods to avoid having to wade through piss puddles all over the men’s room floor… — RD]

#24 Comment By John S. Damm On November 14, 2013 @ 11:31 am

I love The Avett Brothers and was moved by this article as their concerts are very moving experiences. But Charles, “dreck, like say the Beatles?” I found this article through a Google News Alert on TAB so I am not familiar with The American Conservative magazine/website but I consider myself a conservative American who is also a huge Beatles and Avett Brothers fan and my love of both bands’ music is not inconsistent with my political beliefs. Both bands value great songwriting and providing quality for the money spent by fans.

[NFR: Uncle Chuckie is sui generis, as you’ll find if you stick around. He is not conservative; he is Cthulhan. — RD]

#25 Comment By Don On October 14, 2018 @ 11:38 pm

Rod, you might enjoy this little bluegrass-gospel song I wrote: [6]