I first heard The Avett Brothers live at what was then the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. We showed up late, about halfway through Brandi Carlile’s set, which was a disappointment because she was the reason that we were there in the first place. What we saw of her was excellent, but the headliners, The Avetts blew us away with the energy and pure joy of their performance and they have been one of our favorites ever since. I can’t think of anyone I’ve seen that looked like they were having as much fun as they did that night. Flash forward to 2019, and they released Closer Than Together. Obviously, since I’m writing about it now, it escaped my attention when it first came out, but the subject matter is more relevant than ever. They have never struck me as particularly political or activist artists, but there are a few songs on this album that really encapsulate some of the issues America faces. “We Americans” in particular speaks to their perspective of American history and attempts to come to terms with what America really is. Even from white artists, this is a strong statement that I am grateful they made and I hope anyone who is writing new material right now will be doing the same. Music is a powerful medium for social messaging and it would be unfortunate for artists not to take their opportunity to show where they stand.