The Avett Brothers
Songs of Life and Death
By Josh Jackson
Scott Avett doesn’t cry often. When he and his brother Seth were growing up in Concord, N.C., just north of Charlotte, their daddy told them, “Don’t cry too much; you’ll run out of tears.” At funerals of people he dearly cared about, as tears flowed all around, Scott would be surprised by his own dry eyes.
What finally broke him was a song. It’s an untitled track that The Avett Brothers recorded with producer Rick Rubin for The Carpenter, though it didn’t make the final cut this time. Before the mixing and mastering, longtime member and stand-up bassist Bob Crawford learned that his then-one-year-old daughter...