Creating an original sound in Americana is not easily accomplished, but that’s what the Avett Brothers have done. The band’s music is not quite bluegrass, not quite country and not quite rock, but it combines elements of each to form an all-acoustic hybrid.
Though the Avetts have made impressive studio albums over the last few years, they are at their best when playing live. This onstage prowess is evident on Live, Volume 2. Recorded at a sold-out 2003 gig at Charlotte’s Neighborhood Theatre, the 17 tracks show both the humorous and serious sides of the band. The over-the-top murder ballad “I Killed My Sally’s Lover” and the sly crowd favorite “Love Like The Movies” are in stark contrast to the tender “November Blue” and the somber quiet of “My Last Song To Jenny”.
The only downfall is the inclusion of three live tracks from a 2004 concert at the end of the disc. These sound as if they were recorded by an audience member and don’t live up to the quality of the rest of the album.
The three members of the Avett Brothers do more onstage with a banjo, acoustic guitar, upright bass, hi-hat and kick drum than most other ensembles do with double that amount of instruments, and Live, Volume 2 is a testament to that.