My good friend, Jonathan Snyder, of the soon-to-be-famous bow tie company Brier & Moss, asked me recently if I ever write about the classics on the blog, or if it’s just “new” music all the time. My initial thought process went back to the jazz greats of Miles, Coltrane, Monk and the Duke then gravitated to the soundtrack of my childhood playing billiards with my dad: Zeppelin, The Who, CSN(Y), and some John Hiatt sprinkled in for good measure. More than anything, the short conversation brought on a wave of nostalgia for those times gone by where those classic songs were present in my life. At the same time, it made me reflect on where I’m at now and how far that journey seems to be some days and the songs that have guided me along the way.
One of those songs that I feel a longing toward like a long-lost friend is The Avett Brothers‘ beautiful love letter to their family, “Murder in the City.” I hope I speak for everybody when I say that the brothers Avett can fashion one heck of a song through lyrics that seem pulled straight from a Faulkner novel, at once having a gorgeousness and a near Gothic quality to them.
Each time I hear the words two and a half minutes in of “always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name” I feel a sense of joy over my own family. I am sure I am far from the only person who has experienced the chilling effect those words can have on you when they come sauntering in through your speakers, sneaking in like a ghost before wrapping you up like a warm blanket.
There is such a strength in family, in that sharing of a name. I think what this song teaches me the most now, years and easily a hundred or two plays after I first heard it, is the incredible joy of growing into adulthood with your family around, and the way our relationships with our parents and our siblings and our extended families change and evolve and come out more fully formed as you settle into your groove in life. The Avetts’ words remain truer each time they are recalled to mind, trusting full well that there is no earthly love like the one you give to and receive from your family.
And on a less sentimental note, a show of hands of all of those who are dying to catch wind of any news of an upcoming album release from these guys? Seriously, it’s time, fellahs. The world is waiting to be blessed once again by these wordsmiths.