CMT Blog: Avett Brothers Cover One of Roger Miller’s Minor Hits for CMT Unplugged

The North Carolina-based band has built its career on original material, but when it came time to choose a Contradictions Track to perform on Starburst Presents CMT Unplugged: The Avett Brothers , they already had an obscure cover tune they loved and wish they’d written. The late Dennis Linde wrote “Where Have All the Average People Gone.” Roger Miller’s recording of the song only reached No. 14 on the country chart in 1969, but the social commentary still rings true today. Suggesting that people are often unjustly and inaccurately stereotyped by the perceptions of others, the song’s hook comes with the lines: “Funny I don’t fit/Where have all the average people gone?” Explaining how his brother introduced the song to the other band members, Seth Avett said, “Scott started playing that song, and he got through a verse or two, and he stopped because he couldn’t remember the next part. I was like, ’Oh, man, I hope you wrote that one.’ … But that’s good evidence and a good sign that maybe you should cover it because it was a little bit obscure — which doesn’t hurt — but also it was just so natural.”

“That song just cuts that down the center and basically says the unspecial and the special don’t exist,” Scott added. “It’s a beautiful thing. So those kinds of things are something we do consider.” He also says their original songs often change meanings as they write them. “The meanings will definitely morph and change as we have relationships and analyze the words and live through the words a little bit,” he explained. “We just completed, in the studio, a song that we had to live the past six years to finish because there were parts of our lives that we knew we’d never be able to write, or we’d have to live these parts of our lives for us to be able to write this third part of this song. I don’t know. The message to us is huge and important to us as well besides the connection.”