The Avett Brothers may not be a household name, and your odds of hearing them on any radio station not on a college campus is very slim. Many Avett Brothers fans, or for that matter any listener involved in the folk scene, may or may not have been twisted out of their seat when they heard that The Avetts' new album I and Love and You was to be produced by none other than Rick Rubin. Well, now… Rick Rubin, this just about changes everything. The man, the legend — notably one of the most celebrated and successful producers of our time — has just come on board and rearranged, reduced and, for lack of a better word, fathered The Avett Brothers' latest record I and Love and You.
Let’s see what happens now. Take these bluegrass, folk-punk, foolish young boys from Concord, North Carolina. Tear them off of their front porch, rip the blade of straw right out of their mouths and put them on the fast track. With a record deal from American Recordings/Columbia Records, now everything is changed. Attach good ol’ Rubin’s name to everything Avett-related and you’ve got solidarity. You’ve got promotion all in one simple step. Hello, Rolling Stone; let’s talk about “Artist to Watch!” Never mind the near decade these brothers have been tossing out records, and touring their Levi’s off in the most respectable of ways. We now have a major label album; we have instruments orchestrated subtly, and lyrics suitable for the likes of the National Public Radio.
Let’s pause. First and foremost I need to make note of the talent and adroitness that these brothers possess. In every sense of the way an artist could have utterly and truly “worked for it,” these guys honorably deserve every bit of success they will and have attained. A certain sensation came over me just a short time after hearing about the Rick Rubin production — that sensation happened as I was standing in line at Starbucks. Not that I wish to attach the words “sold out” to their name, ever! But I can’t help but be somewhat irritated by this. Yep, I and Love and You can officially be purchased alongside your doppio espresso. Well, I guess you know you’ve made it when your album is located right next to the biscotti, and the new Michael Buble CD. What’s next, a guest appearance on The View?