Attention Funeral Law Blog readers, this post has absolutely nothing to do with funeral and cemetery law.
Fellow Avett Brothers fans, I think that the evolution of November Blue perfectly illustrates the evolution of this band from 2002 - 2016. "Ultimate" is in no way "complete." There are lots of videos out there. I tried to pick representative samples from each year. I couldn't find any videos from 2003-2005, so if you have links or audio files, or other suggestions for good versions, please comment. Unbelievable thanks for all of those who recorded shows and posted them for us to enjoy, especially SundayRehab, Cincynorsefan, and DCRANGERFAN.
Studio version: Country Was (2002) (link to the official video)
Live at the Double Door Inn (2002) Seth: "We have a CD for sale tonight called Country Was. Eight songs, eight dollars. Will, you do the math. That's country math right there. A dollar a song. We were going to charge ten dollars for eight songs but then nobody would have been able to do the math. ... This song is worth about a dollar"No Seth, it is worth way way more than a dollar!
Winston-Salem, NC (June 16, 2006)
Four years before we moved to Winston-Salem. Can't believe they played Ribfest.
Pickathon Music Festival (2006)
Saint Louis, Missouri (5-6-2008)
New York City (7-9-2008)
Scott solo via Crackerfarm (3-26-2008)
Electric Factory, Philadelphia (10-16-2009)
Athens, Ohio (2-24-2010)
Smokies Stadium, Kodak, TN (10-7-2011)
Grove Ampitheater (6-24-2012)
Cologne, Germany (3-22-2013)
Columbus, Ohio (5-25-2013)
Troutdale, Oregon (9-6-2014)
Dallas, Texas (2-28-2015)
My favorite version of all time, hands down. I love everything about this version.
Red Rocks (7-11-2015)
Lewiston, New York (9-19-2015)
Boston Calling (9-25-2015)
I was actually in Boston that night, but went to go see Ed Sheeran and Passenger at Foxboro. Don't judge. I was slightly conflicted but Passenger rarely plays in the United States and it was the last date on Sheeran's tour and I'd never seen him live. And then TAB played November Blue. Message received.
Memphis, TN (12-5-2015)
My 10-year old and I went to Knoxville the night before and had front row seats. He had a birthday party the next day in Winston-Salem so we couldn't go to Memphis. Then TAB played November Blue. I'm not bitter.
Chicago Theatre (4-21-2015)
Alpharetta, GA (5-7-2016)
I decided to see Brandi Carlisle and Old Crow in Greensboro that night instead of driving to Georgia. So of course TAB played November Blue. At this point I despaired whether I'd ever get to see it live.
Red Rocks (7-30-2016)
First time at Red Rocks and first time I got to hear November Blue live!!!
Columbus, OH (9-9-2016)
Indianapolis, IN (11-4-2016)
The second time I got to hear it live was in my hometown!!!
Grand Rapids (11-12-2016)
Now go back and listen to those 2002 shows again. A couple of things that strike me the most:
1. At the Indianapolis show in November, Seth gave Scott a hard time about smoking "until the late '90s" or so. You didn't have to tell me that Scott was a smoker...you can hear it in his voice in those early recordings of November Blue. The contrast between Scott's voice in 2002 and his voice now is basically an anti-smoking public service announcement.
2. They've added a full minute or so to the song. Not because they added verses, etc., but because they slowed the tempo and created a much more dramatic and satisfying slow build to the increasingly rich conclusion. I love Scott's solo version from 2008, but without the swelling music and Seth's harmonies, it just isn't the same.
3. In the original recording, you can hear the promise of a great song, but the jangly piano and banjo are what you hear the most. The addition, first of Joe and then Paul and Tania (and Mike!) make the song, especially in the final verse.
I can't wait to hear what it sounds like in 10 years, but I don't know how they can improve on that performance at South Side Ballroom in Dallas.