Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield

Like laughing with a friend in a moment of joy or finding tears with them in a moment of pure desperation, some music originates from a place so honest and brave and vulnerable that you can’t help but be tugged in by the innate humanness. 

Such a thoughtful, intimate, beautiful performance from Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield last night. From the set list (mostly Elliott Smith songs, but also inspirations for him, Avett and Mayfield as well as some of their own writings) to the set itself (the symbolic kitchen) and the simplicity of a three-piece setup, it was a wonderful performance to watch. The tour is meant to pay tribute to the work of Elliott Smith, who wrote some of the most powerfully emotional songs I've ever heard. You may know Smith died in 2003 of a stab wound to the chest with a kitchen knife (most believe suicide, though the autopsy was inconclusive) and in life was known to have struggles with substance abuse and depression. Avett and Mayfield respectfully played Smith's songs, not necessary changing them but certainly adding their personalities to the execution. For so many reasons, and on so many levels, it was very, very good. If these guys pass through where you are, I highly recommend going for a watch and listen.