Carbon Leaf is on tour in support of their new release,
Gathering 2: The Hunting Ground.
“We are champing at the bit to perform live again, after being off the road so much the previous year. The Hunting Ground Tour is going to be something special to us, to make an in-person connection again with a live audience,” says Carbon Leaf lyricist and frontman, Barry Privett.
A touring mainstay and an indie folk rock staple, this Virginia quintet’s live show and musical style drift between Americana, indie rock, folk, bluegrass, Celtic and pop traditions using an array of instruments - acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, cello, bass, drums, accordion, penny whistle and rich vocal harmonies – to define the band’s lively stage presence and sonic landscape.
“We call it ether-electrified porch music,” says Privett, using a phrase nicked from an earlier album of the same name when describing the band’s expansive sound.
“It’s the sweet spot between the earnest roots music we grew up with and the textured electric rock side that gives us different places to go musically during the course of an evening.”
Whether they are plugged in to amplifiers or huddled around a single ‘Grand Ole Opry’ style microphone, Carbon Leaf radiates a warm, magnetic onstage presence that pulls the audience closer. Lyrically poetic with a wide range of musical styles, the band’s live charm is its ability to make the concert feel as much of an electrifying event as it would be an intimate gathering of just family and friends.
“Being both a folk band and rock band allows each song to breathe a little differently and creates an arc that keeps things interesting for the band and the fans.” Privett said. Performing live truly is a symbiotic relationship between the 5 band members and the audience.”
With a history spanning 27 years, 20 albums and 3,000 live shows, Carbon Leaf’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.
Carbon Leaf debuted as an independent college band in 1993, gaining a strong regional following playing small clubs and campuses in surrounding Virginia.
The band spent 5 years establishing their roots in the mid- Atlantic region, picking up weekend shows where they could and putting the funds into four self-released albums between 1995-2000.
In 2001 the band received national attention with their song “The Boxer” which gained key support at a handful of AAA radio stations across the country, a unique accomplishment considering the group was still an unsigned band at the time with no formal representation.
Carbon Leaf’s momentum continued into 2002, becoming the first unsigned act to ever win an American Music Award in the show’s 46-year history, and the first to perform live at the AMAs to a globally televised audience as an independent artist.
“It was an intense, surreal couple of years,” Privett said. “We were ready for a break, but then things started catching fire. It was a good jolt at the right time.”
Carbon Leaf spent 2003 in the studio writing and recording their seminal album, Indian Summer, the group’s 5th independently produced record.
This series of breakouts gained the band some buzz, attracting the attention of Vanguard Records, who expressed interest in licensing the new album. In 2004, the band signed a 3-album recording contract with the venerable label, ending their 11-year run as a fully autonomous act, and laying the foundation for Carbon Leaf’s next chapter.