Watch the Avett Brothers Cover a Randy Travis Classic in Mississippi
Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever, Amen," a legendary No. 1 hit from 1987, first entered the Avett Brothers' songbook back when the Country Music Hall of Famer teamed with the band for a 2012 episode of the CMT series Crossroads. The band brings their rendition of the song back into their setlists only on very rare occasions, but a Saturday (April 20) crowd in in Brandon, Miss., were lucky enough to catch one of those performances.
According to setlist.fm, the Avett Brothers last performed "Forever and Ever, Amen" live in late 2017, in Chicago, Ill. Prior to that, the song made its way into their setlists at two October 2012 shows, just a few days after their Crossroads episode taped.
Upon its release, Travis' CMA- and Grammy-winning song brought radio listeners a wholesome, traditional alternative to pop-tinged country music. It was written by two all-time great songwriters in the genre, Paul Overstreet ("She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," "Love Can Build a Bridge") and Don Schlitz ("The Gambler," "He Thinks He'll Keep Her").
During Travis' heyday, country traditionalists were not filed away as "Americana." Instead, they shook up charts dominated by songs that were no less "pop" in the context of the times than some of today's hits.
“It was just crazy awesome,” Scott Avett told the audience before a 2012 performance of the song at New Orleans' Voodoo Music Experience festival. “We went back to listen to all those songs you couldn’t help but know, back in the late '80s and '90s, during a time when country’s changing so much ... He was kind of a fish out of water.”
Since the turn of the century, brothers Scott and Seth Avett and their bandmates have followed in Travis' footsteps by going against the mainstream grain and performing music seeped in folk, bluegrass, country and rock tradition. As for the Avetts' latest version of the song, add Scott Avett to the short list of singers with the pipes, delivery and soul to do Travis' catalog justice.
The Avett Brothers last released a new album, True Sadness, in 2016. In recent months, however, they've shared some new songs during their live shows and online.
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