The Avett Brothers and Willie Nelson & Family
Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 6pm
Breese Stevens Field in Madison
Willie Nelson is one of the most successful country music singer-songwriters in history, releasing 68 studio albums and 10 live albums. He wrote his first song at the age of seven and joined his first band at ten, playing concerts as a lead singer and guitar player while still in high school. He spent the ‘50s and ‘60s writing songs for established acts such as Ray Price and Patsy Cline, as well as releasing a string of albums on Liberty and RCA beginning with his debut …And Then I Wrote in 1962. In 1973, he signed to Atlantic Records and put out Shotgun Willie, which veered into outlaw country, a stark contrast from the mainstream Nashville sound and clean-cut country artists of the era. 1975’s Red Headed Stranger and 1978’s Stardust followed on Columbia Records, both garnering commercial and critical success. The ‘80s saw the release of No. 1 albums Honeysuckle Rose, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Always on My Mind, and The Promiseland, as well as Nelson joining Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson in the country supergroup The Highwaymen, touring and releasing three studio albums between 1985 and 1995. Nelson continues to release a new album almost every year and delight ticket buyers in live shows to this day.
The Avett Brothers
Growing up in Concord, North Carolina, and influenced by Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Neil Young, brothers Scott Avett on banjos and Seth Avett on guitars formed The Avett Brothers with standup bassist Bob Crawford in 2001, and released their first studio album Country Was in 2002, as well as live concert album that same year. Their stripped down, folky sound has a maudlin but warm vibe, full of gorgeous melodies and bluegrass jingle jangle. 2003's A Carolina Jubilee followed on Ramseur Records, as well as 2004’s Mignonette, which further polished their sound with graceful harmonies. In between a relentless concert and touring schedule, the band managed to record 2006’s Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions and The Gleam EP, in addition to a second live album, between tours before releasing their 2007 album Emotionalism. This garnered a lot of critical acclaim and caught the attention of Rick Rubin, who signed the band to his American Records label and produced their follow-up 2009’s I and Love and You, expanding their sound and bringing the band to new heights. Their seventh full-length album The Carpenter, also produced by Rubin, came out in 2012, debuting at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and earning their first Grammy nomination. The Avett Brothers latest, Magpie and the Dandelion, was released in October 2013 and is full of pop charisma and folk soul that has been enchanting ticket holders and pulling at their heartstrings with its raw energy and intimacy.