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Folk-rock group set for Columbus show

30 p.m. Saturday.

Though The Avett Brothers is spending less time on the road this year, the dip in touring time will not keep the folk-rockers from making a stop in Columbus.

The band will roll into the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The group is currently touring on-and-off between recording sessions in the studio and its members spending time with their families. It has been doing its touring in four-to-five-show spurts with a week or so off in between for most of the last year.

“We can accomplish just as much doing it this way,” said Bob Crawford, bass player for The Avett Brothers, in an interview with The Lantern. “This will probably be our least-toured year since 2001, because of recording and family time and stuff like that.”

Though the group has slowed down its touring in the recent past, it has maintained its reputation for being one of the most consistent touring acts in music. The Avett Brothers has had shows every month except for one over the last two years.

During all the time on the road, the band built a reputation and a fanbase with its high-energy shows. It has benefitted from a strong relationship with its fans, developed through repeated exposure.

“We’re still getting out, we’re still hitting a lot of places, and a lot of the places we’re hitting are places we’ve been going to for 10 years,” Crawford said. “So I think that consistency does help to build that relationship.”

The Avett Brothers consists of brothers Seth and Scott Avett on guitar, banjo, piano and vocals, Crawford on bass, and touring member Joe Kwon on cello. The group began in 2001 as the trio of the two Avetts and bassist Crawford.

The group members started slow, booking their own tour dates and driving themselves to each one in a van. They toured constantly and released four full-length albums and multiple EPs before breaking through with their 2007 album “Emotionalism,” which reached No. 134 on the Billboard 200.

The Avett Brothers’ next release was “The Second Gleam” EP in 2008, which would reach No. 82 on the Billboard 200. In 2008, they were approached by producer Rick Rubin, known for his work with the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica, among many others.

Rubin signed the group to his American Recordings label and produced its major-label debut, “I and Love and You.” The album was released in 2009 and peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200, receiving major media attention and earning the band a new legion of fans.

“It feels really great to see how far it’s come,” Crawford said. “It’s been a really unique experience.”

The band’s music extends from an early, punk-infused mixture of bluegrass, country and rock, to later, more polished folk-rock. The brothers’ songwriting is diverse, but whether they are playing a slow ballad, or a fast-paced rocker, the harmonies between the Avetts are always a predominant feature of their songs.

“I love the banjo and the guitar,” said Kate Fresh, a 2010 Ohio State graduate and research associate in the School of Teaching and Learning. “Mostly I got drawn to their slower songs, the harmonies in their slower songs I think are really pretty.”

While some fans are drawn to a specific aspect of The Avett Brothers’ music, others appreciate the variety of elements the group provides.

Devin Bettineschi, a second-year in genetics who saw the group last year and will attend Saturday’s concert, said what he appreciates most about the band is the diversity in their music.

“They have a really unique sound,” Bettineschi said. “One song will be this really up-tempo, kind of faster song, and then the next one will be really chill with just the two brothers singing.”

The Avett Brothers are currently working on their next album with Rubin between tour dates, but there is no word yet on when it might be released. The group has performance dates scheduled from now through the end of July.

Although the band members have been through a lot in their 10 years of non-stop touring and recording together, they have only forged stronger bonds for it, Crawford said.

“We’ve all gone through our marriages, had children born, we’ve gone through good times and bad times, and always as a constant there’s the band,” Crawford said. “On your right side and your left side, there’s some guy that’s been there for a long time, it’s like a family … I am their brother, and they’re my brothers.”

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