Paranoia in Bb Major

Banjos have been on my mind a lot of late. My brother is allegedly finding all the parts to my tenor banjo to return to me, but that’s iffy at best.

Rush keeps finding me new music, and some of it goes straight to my core. Like the Avett Brothers.

When I’m listening to Paranoia in Bb Major in the car, I can sing all the parts. It feels good to hear and feel myself singing like I know I really can. Gives me hope that I can start doing the same with my own music; nudges me toward better arrangements. Educational music; wonder of Scott and Seth planned that . . .

Marvelous harmonies (brothers singing together seems to work well; there were these two guys named Phil and Don who made quite a career of it as I recall.) Great instrumentation—very bluegrassy, without making the music into bluegrass. It’s rock, really it is. It just rocks without ear-splitting pain or noxious guitar rage.

Hard not to smile at the end of Paranoia when they go into the incredibly high falsetto ‘la, la la, la la da, la-ah la-da’ with cello (cello!)

Murder in the City, from Second Gleam, was my first Avett Brothers song. Poignant, gentle, loving; sometimes when I wake up at night and it’s playing, I think about my family and the people who I’ve loved and never see. One of the best wistful songs I’ve ever heard. St. Joseph’s on the same album is darker; a slice-of-life moment that’s less storytelling, more feelings-of-the-moment.

Intelligence in music always appeals to me. When it makes smile, it moves right into the inner circle.