Editor’s note: Starburst Presents CMT Unplugged: The Avett Brothers premieres Wednesday (July 13) at 9 p.m. ET on CMT.com.
At a time when countless thousands of aspiring singers dream of being catapulted to fame via TV talent competitions, thank God for the musicians who have a true artistic vision and the tenacity to do things their own way. The Avett Brothers’ career has been a contradiction to what has become the norm in the music industry. After working in a neo-punk band called Nemo, they gravitated toward an original acoustic-based sound while still managing to maintain the energy and attitude of their past. And while many bands feel the need to move to L.A., New York or Nashville, the Avett Brothers remained based in North Carolina and built a huge grassroots following based on their live shows throughout the nation. In fact, they’d already achieved chart success with several of their five independently-released albums before their latest project, I and Love and You, was produced in Malibu, Calif., by Rick Rubin, the visionary who has produced the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty and the Dixie Chicks, among others, and revitalized Johnny Cash’s recording career with the American Recordings series. Perhaps the biggest contradiction of all, however, is that the Avett Brothers have demonstrated that the right combination of acoustic instrumentation has a universal appeal that crosses all sorts of demographic boundaries. Great music tends to do that. The point is underscored in the band’s delivery of “Laundry Room” in this sneak preview from the Starburst Presents CMT Unplugged performances to debut later this week on CMT.com.