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Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Avett Brothers: Live, Vol. 2


1) Pretty Girl From Annapolis; 2) Love Like The Movies; 3) Walking For You; 4) Do You Love Him; 5) I Killed Sally's Lover; 6) Smoke In Our Lights; 7) A Lot Of Movin'; 8) November Blue; 9) Wanted Man; 10) Old Joe Clark; 11) My Last Song To Jenny; 12) The Traveling Song; 13) Offering; 14) A Gift For Melody Anne; 15) Complainte D'Un Matelot Mourant; 16) Pretty Girl From Raleigh; 17) Please Pardon Yourself.

Let's see now: ten songs from A Carolina Jubilee, three from Mignonette, two from Country Was (and both were already released on the previous live album), and an outside medley ('Wan­ted Man' / 'Old Joe Clark'), for the first part of which the gallant gentlemen actually asked per­mission from Doc Watson, even though they never needed to. (It's not that I read about it — that's what they tell the audience, even though it never asked them to).

If you really love A Carolina Jubilee, as in really really really, there is some sense in hearing it played live in the usual club setting, but not before you run through the test of putting on the mid­dle of 'Smoke In Our Lights' and seeing if you can stand Seth Avett tear down his voice during the climactic scream bit. If yes, then you will also pardon the mistakes and roughness in the other performances, concentrating on the sheer energy and enthusiasm. If no, the Avett Bros. live expe­rience is not for you; stick to the studio records (which aren't technically immaculate either, but at least it is one of the budget articles out there).

Since the songs are good, the album is also good, except for the last three songs, where it seems as if the Bros. ran out of tape and completed the show from somebody's cell phone recorder (this is particularly gruesome on 'Complainte D'Un Matelot', which is, per se, an unsuccessful attempt at replacing the salty dog atmosphere of the original with lots of head-splitting screaming, and the abysmal sound quality only adds to the splitting). There is a little less stage banter, no more silly jokes about doing the math, but overall, this is no Live At Leeds: energy and stage presence are all right when you pay actual admission — for a live record, we need something extra.

Check "Live, Vol. 2" (CD) on Amazon
Check "Live, Vol. 2" (MP3) on Amazon

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