In concert: Jim Avett at Iota
By Dave McKenna
Family ties are plentiful in the music business, but there aren't many careers launched like Jim Avett's. He's given up the day job as a welder and is now riding the renown of his two sons, Scott and Seth Avett of the North Carolina folk-for-cool-kids combo, the Avett Brothers, onto club stages all over the place.
Playing before a small crowd at IOTA on Monday, Avett showed where his boys get their laidbackitude. He didn't give a rip about the empty floorspace in front of him. He was too happy to have an audience of any size sit and listen to him and playmate Ray Morton pick guitars and sing tunes about loving and leaving that he's had in him for years that are only now bursting out. With a charming drawl, he admitted being very proud of a couplet - "I hope your life works out fine, but if it don't it don't matter to me" - that he just recently threw into a song while sitting "in a motel in Knoxville."
Avett described "Game of Love" as the "toughest song" he's ever written, because it's a breakup tune from a woman's perspective. "I'm not a girl and I don't lose at love," he said. "I've been married 41 years." That song, like much of Avett's set, had echoes of Roy Orbison, minus the crescendos. Avett invited a pair of locals, singer Lissy Rosemont and fiddler Sadie Dingfelder, to join him for "I Know That You Know," another breakup ditty that Avett said he wrote while channeling Buck Owens. He appeared to tear up while introducing "Naomi," written about the victim of a domestic killing whose battered body was found close to Avett's family farm.
Late in the set Avett asked the crowd if anybody knew what a "hoe" was, and after a pause went into a description of the farming implement. "I told you this is gonna be like Grandpa was here!" he laughed by way of fighting off groans from the gallery. It was a rookie mistake, to be expected of a performer just getting started.
August 31, 2010; 1:33 PM ET
Categories: In concert | Tags: Jim Avett
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