Scott Yancey Avett (born June 19, 1976) is one of the lead singers and founding members of the folk-rock band, The Avett Brothers. Avett primarily plays the banjo but also plays harmonica, drums, piano, acoustic guitar and electric guitar for the band based out of Concord, North Carolina. In 2008, their album, The Second Gleam, reached the ten spot on Billboard.com's Top Independent Albums Chart, and stayed there for three weeks. Avett is also an accomplished artist and printmaker. He owns his own gallery in Concord, North Carolina and has had his work displayed in the Envoy Gallery in New York City.
Background and education
Scott Avett was born in 1976 in Cheyenne, Wyoming to Susie and Jim Avett of Concord, North Carolina. He is the middle of three children. His sister, Bonnie, the oldest, was born in 1973. His brother Seth, the youngest, was born in 1980. His father owns a welding business in Concord and his mother teaches school. Avett enrolled at East Carolina University with the hopes of majoring in radio broadcasting with an art minor. However, inspired by mentor Leland Wallin, Avett decided to pursue other interests and he earned a bachelor's degree in communications in 1999 as well as a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting the following year. In 2003, Scott Avett married his wife, Sarah, who gave birth to a baby girl, Eleanor, in late October 2008. In April 2011, it was announced that two shows in Texas would be postponed due to the birth of his second child. Avett revealed the sex of his baby in London when he re-wrote the lyrics to his song "Murder In The City" which was originally released in 2007. The original lyrics were "make sure my sister knows I loved her, make sure my mother knows the same" and they were changed to "make sure my daughter knows I loved her, make sure her mother knows the same." While performing live, they are also known to change the lyrics to "make sure my daughter knows I loved her, make sure my son knows the same."
The Avett Brothers
Scott and his brother, Seth Avett, were heavily involved with their respective bands during their college years. During their college years, Scott was playing with Nemo in Greenville and Seth was involved with the Charlotte-based band, Margo (Scott has been quoted classifying Margo’s music as “melodic rock”). The Brothers, along with guitarist/founding member John Twomey, decided to merge the bands while maintaining the name “Nemo” in 1998. The Avett Brothers were formed during the Nemo days with fellow Nemo guitarist/founding member, John Twomey. During that time, the name was changed to The Avett Brothers while Nemo and The Avett Brothers continued touring as separate bands. Bob Crawford later joined that band in 2001 as Twomey quit both bands and Nemo dissolved. Scott has a more baritone voice, compared to his brother. In 2003, The Avett Brothers were introduced to Dolph Ramseur, the owner of Ramseur Records, an independent record label in Concord, NC. Since the year 2000, The Avett Brothers have released eleven albums (seven with Ramseur) and have enjoyed ever-growing popularity and success. In late 2007, The Avett Brothers added cellist Joe Kwon, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, and then member of "Big Pretty and the Red Rockets." This success has included a 2007 appearance on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," a 2008 signing to the Columbia record label, and having the number one album ("Emotionalism") on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The Avett Brothers are currently anticipating 2009 as their biggest year to date. The year brings their first release with Columbia on September 29 and performances as the opening act for both the Dave Matthews Band and Widespread Panic. As of February 2009, The Avett Brothers have sold over 150,000 albums.
Avett began to paint seriously in 1999 under the direction of professor and mentor Leland Wallin. In 2002, Scott opened an art gallery in Concord, North Carolina. Avett paints many self-portraits that he says reveal and represent “states of emotions in [his] life.” Avett has also developed a unique methodology in his portraits by using a narrative approach. He creates individual characters who, in later works, are the subject of various events involving multiple figure paintings. Avett’s unique portraits are much like a story book. In addition to oil-on-canvas portraits, Avett is also an accomplished printmaker. He returns to ECU as the need arises in order to create special prints in celebration of events relating to his band, The Avett Brothers. Scott specializes in creating relief prints, a skill that he acquired at ECU under the direction of professor Michael Elhbeck. These prints are renowned among the fans of The Avett Brothers both for their sentimental and artistic value. Scott’s artwork was featured at the Envoy Gallery in New York City from July through August in 2008.