Avett Brothers sign to Columbia, record with Rubin

In a message posted on the band's MySpace blog and official website over the July 4th weekend, North Carolina's own banjo-shredding, heart-on-sleeve-wearing, recently-caught-up-with Avett Brothers have announced their departure from long-time label Ramseur Records for a deal with Columbia imprint American Recordings.

The potential stinging irony of signing to a major label right on the heels of Independence Day is lessened somewhat by the fact that American is helmed by Columbia co-honcho and legendary producer Rick Rubin, with whom the Avetts have already begun recording their fifth full-length album. Rubin's laundry list of production credits include, uh, everyone, but notably the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks and Neil Diamond. (So, right. Everyone.)

Meanwhile, questions linger. First, what is to become of Ramseur, the band's label home for the past five years? "There have been,and will be no hard feelings or abandon-based resentment from either party involved. The Avett and Ramseur camps remain strongly and truthfully connected, both personally and professionally. There has been no change in these matters through this momentous transition," the band explains. (The pleased-as-punch Ramseur folks further clarify that they're staying on as the band's management.)

More importantly, though, will the band and the notoriously hirsute Rubin be trading beard-care tips over the mixing board? Only time will tell, but here's hoping.

Related links
The Avett Rrothers on MySpace: "An announcement; and a letter to all of you"
New York Times: Rick Rubin: The Music Man

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