2017 was a big year in the history of The Avett Brothers. They didn’t release any new albums as a band, but Seth released Darling IV and Jim released For His Children and Ours. They played Colbert on Inauguration Night and Prairie Home Companion with Chris Thile. They played a special set of songs they learned from Doc Watson at MerleFest and put three Chris Cornell songs into the mix after their friend’s tragic death. They played three night sets in Mexico, Port Chester, Atlanta, Red Rocks, and Chicago. Paul Defiglia left the band in September and sister Bonnie Rini began playing with much more frequency soon thereafter. The Judd Apatow/Michael Bonfiglio documentary May it Last debuted at SXSW to rave reviews and gave fans an opportunity to get together across the country when it played in September.
They played 172 unique songs in 2017 including six original songs for the first time in concert. Over the course of 75 full shows and 11 other appearances, they played 1815 songs.
For me personally, 2017 was a big year with The Avett Brothers. Since I live in North Carolina, I was lucky enough to attend 16 full shows, plus the two Songwriters’ Workshops and a radio station concert in Richmond. According to the handy Setlist Database, I heard 141 unique songs in 2017, including 40 only one time—including The Lowering, Left on Laura, Left on Lisa, Part from Me, Untitled 2, Untitled 4, February 20, 2000, Skin and Bones, Smoke in Our Lights, Hallelujah, A Lover Like You, and Pretty Girl from Raleigh. I heard November Blue four times. I also got to see Jim play five times in 2017 (so far). I began 2017 with The Avett Brothers in Charlotte and I’ll end 2017 with The Avett Brothers in Raleigh.
But the year was a lot bigger than the shows that I was able to attend. I met so many people, became friends with so many awesome people, and had so many positive, affirming experiences in 2017 because of this band and the special people that surround them and whose lives they touch. Yes, we live in uncertainty. And sometimes it seems like we live in desperate times. But the thing that I’ll remember most about 2017 is love, and that’s because of this band and all of you. Thank you.
Avett News will recap 2017 in a special twelve-part series written by Brian Moritz, Tim Mossberger, and myself, beginning today. As we look forward to New Year’s Eve and another exciting year for The Avett Brothers and their fans, enjoy this look back at the year that was. As each month’s review is posted, I’ll update the links below.