BY MIRANDA HANEY
Accustomed to the limelight of big festivals like Coachella and Austin City Limits, Grammy-nominated folk band the Avett Brothers took a step back on Nov. 19 and performed for a small, intimate audience at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury – and all for charity.
The Legendary Giveback concert series began four years ago, when soft drink company Cheerwine teamed up with the Avett Brothers to create a performance that could give back to communities in need.
“We are aware that we’re a limited resource, but we’re just trying to tip things on a positive scale,” said Seth Avett.
The Salisbury performance raised thousands of dollars for three local nonprofits: Wags & Wishes in Cambridge, Hungry for Music and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
“We look for organizations that are important to both Cheerwine and the band,” said Cheerwine Brand Manager Joy Harper. “But at the same time they have to be important to the local areas where the concert is taking place.”
Over the years, the event has raised over $200,000 from ticket sales, online merchandise, and an annual auction of a limited edition Deering banjo signed by the Avett Brothers. With this year’s edition of an online Indiegogo campaign, Harper says the numbers are expected to increase.
“In year one we didn’t know if it would be an annual thing,” Harper said. “Now we’re in year five with hopefully more to come.”
For Scott and Seth Avett, the Legendary Giveback can be traced all the way back to when the boys were growing up in the little town of Concord, North Carolina.
“In several smaller towns and rural areas there’s a clear need for help,” said Scott Avett. “We try to aim at that. That’s where we’re from, that’s what we understand.”
The brothers have been making music together for over 20 years, but the band’s first tour wasn’t until 2002. Their album “The Carpenter” received a Grammy nomination in 2012 for Best Americana Album and their newest hit, “Ain’t No Man”, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative chart in 2016.
Although their fame came later in life and more gradually than many musicians, the Avett Brothers say that allowed them to better appreciate the hard work and dedication that helped them achieve their success.
“When we were 19 and 20, we were making art and playing music and we did dream about it,” said Scott. “And we still dream about what we’ll make this next month or tomorrow or next year.”