A popular topic of conversation in eastern Cabarrus County is Avett Brothers sightings. Since the two famous natives still spend a fair amount of time here, it seems that everyone’s got a story to tell: The librarian spotted them on her daily run; a teacher got a flu shot with Scott Avett; a friend stood in line at the bank with Seth.
Now I’ve got my own Avett Brothers story, thanks to Donald and Vickey Cline, who invited me to stop by Cline’s Antiques in Mount Pleasant when the Avetts were there to shoot a music video.
Vickey Cline said she and Donald were “just so thrilled” when she learned the Avetts wanted to film at their place. She’s known “the boys” since they were at Mount Pleasant Middle School, where she worked as a substitute teacher. And even though the Avetts’ address is officially Concord, “I know that in their hearts, they’re from Mount Pleasant,” she says. “They were raised on What-A-Burger just like everybody else.”
Donald Cline said he had to warn his wife not to “act like a teenager” when the Avetts arrived for their day of filming. He’s always glad to see Scott and Seth stop by, but he doesn’t let their presence detract from his regular duties. Cline’s Antiques was open for business as usual that day, and Donald was busy assisting customers. Still, Vickey joked that it’s good for him to have “younger, well-known people who like his junk.”
When I asked Scott and Seth Avett why they chose to film a music video at Cline’s, they first talked about the expense of filming in Cabarrus County versus Los Angeles or New York. But then, they added with grins, where else can you find a place like Mr. Cline’s?
Indeed, before they arrived to shoot the video, Donald Cline was asked if he could provide old bowling pins and hubcaps for the production. According to Vickey, Donald replied, “Only a couple hundred.”
It’s obvious the Avetts have a strong connection to eastern Cabarrus County. So for them – unlike others who flee their roots – it makes sense to come home.
“This area’s been good to us,” Seth said, and Scott talked about the honesty of their music and being true to their roots.
Part of that connection is being open and accessible to their fans.
Karen Shumaker got a tip that the Avetts would be at Cline’s Antiques and drove up from Charlotte hoping to see them. She’s been a fan “forever” and would have been thrilled to get even a glimpse of the Avetts. She was happy to find a place where they were comfortable enough to take pictures and chat with surprised customers.
After all, they were home.
All of eastern Cabarrus County hopes the Avett Brothers win a Grammy for the Best Americana Album on Sunday, Feb. 10. We’ll also watch proudly as they appear on David Letterman on Monday, Feb. 11, and when the new music video premieres for their song, “February Seven,” filmed right here at home.