Last week’s 53rd annual Grammy Awards show winners and performers ranged from 16-year-old superstar Justin Bieber to elder statesman Bob Dylan. The top Grammy awards, presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, were handed out during a three-hour-plus ceremony that also included performances by Katy Perry, Eminem and Arcade Fire, the latter of which also went home with the “Album of the Year” trophy for The Suburbs.
Perhaps the most symbolic performance, however, was North Carolina trio The Avett Brothers singing alongside Bob Dylan. The Avett Brothers started in the early 2000s as an indie-Americana band that made its name (and money) through relentless touring, not album sales. An ever-growing cult began following the band, which eventually drew the attention of Rick Rubin, who produced the band’s latest record, I and Love and You, and released it on his American Recordings label. From small beginnings playing bluegrass-punk music in small college towns to playing with one of their heroes on the national stage of the Grammys is no small feat, and the Avett Brothers owe it all to the fans they won over one at a time and, I’m sure, a few well written contracts drafted along the way.