Carbon Leaf - The Hunting Ground Tour
Twenty6 Productions at Buffalo Iron Works
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, afterbeing off the road so much the previous year. The HuntingGround Tour is going to be something special to us, tomake 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, thisVirginia quintet’s live show and musical style drift betweenAmericana, indie rock, folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and poptraditions using an array of instruments - acoustic &electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, cello, bass, drums,accordion, pennywhistle and rich vocal harmonies – todefine 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 samename when describing the band’s expansive sound.
“It’s the sweet spot between the earnest roots music wegrew up with and the textured electric rock side that givesus different places to go musically during the course of anevening.”
Whether they are plugged into amplifiers or huddledaround a single ‘Grand Ole Opry’ style microphone,Carbon Leaf radiates a warm, magnetic onstage presencethat pulls the audience closer. Lyrically poetic with a widerange of musical styles, the band’s live charm is its abilityto make the concert feel as much of an electrifying event asit would be an intimate gathering of just family and friends.
“Being both a folk band and rock band allows each song tobreathe a little differently and creates an arc that keepsthings interesting for the band and the fans,” Privett said.Performing live truly is a symbiotic relationship betweenthe 5 band members and the audience.”
With a history spanning 27 years, 20 albums, and 3,000 liveshows, Carbon Leaf’s independent music, and spiritcontinue to resonate with its fans.
Carbon Leaf debuted as an independent college band in1993, gaining a strong regional following playing smallclubs and campuses in surrounding Virginia.
The band spent 5 years establishing their roots in the mid-Atlantic region, picking up weekend shows where theycould and putting the funds into four self-released albumsbetween 1995-2000.
In 2001 the band received national attention with their song“The Boxer” which gained key support at a handful ofAAA radio stations across the country, a uniqueaccomplishment considering the group was still anunsigned band at the time with no formal representation.
Carbon Leaf’s momentum continued into 2002, becomingthe first unsigned act to ever win an American MusicAward in the show’s 46-year history, and the first toperform live at the AMAs to a globally televised audienceas an independent artist.
“It was an intense, surreal couple of years,” Privett said.“We were ready for a break, but then things startedcatching fire. It was a good jolt at the right time.”
Carbon Leaf spent 2003 in the studio writing and recordingtheir seminal album, Indian Summer, the group’s 5thindependently produced record.
This series of breakouts gained the band some buzz,attracting the attention of Vanguard Records, whoexpressed interest in licensing the new album. In 2004, theband signed a 3-album recording contract with thevenerable label, ending their 11-year run as a fullyautonomous act, and laying the foundation for CarbonLeaf’s next chapter.
The band’s new single, “Life Less Ordinary”, receivedconsiderable airplay and reached a broader audiencenationwide, peaking at #5 on AAA radio and #28 at Hot
AC. The increased exposure put the band on the road for250+ days a year supporting Indian Summer throughout2004 and 2005.
Two subsequent albums, Love Loss Hope Repeat (2006)and Nothing Rhymes With Woman (2009), were releasedthrough Vanguard while the band focused heavily ontouring in support of the albums’ singles “Learn To Fly”and “Miss Hollywood” respectively.
“We survived those early days as an independent band andgained a healthy perspective on how to adapt between thehighs and lows that define a career artist’s path. Learning tomanage between those wide frequencies is the differencebetween resilience and collapsing. What has befallen manyan artist is becoming too top heavy in those dips. You haveto see it coming.”
Missing the autonomous flexibility of those earlier years,the band decided not to extend its contract for a 4th releaseunder the label, and as 2009 came to a close, Carbon Leafonce again embraced it’s independent roots.
Between 2007-2009, the band collected a series ofsongwriting awards, including the InternationalSongwriting Competition’s first prize honor for ‘The WarWas In Color”. In 2010, Universal Studios tapped the bandto write the soundtrack for the animated film, CuriousGeorge 2: Follow That Monkey.
Energized by the renewed freedom, Carbon Leaf built it’sown recording space, Two-Car Studio, and began writingand releasing on their own again. The band’s creativityaccelerated in this new environment and 6 independentprojects were released between 2010-2013, including twoEPs (How The West Was vol. One and Christmas Child); a
live album and acoustic concert film (Live, Acoustic...andin Cinemascope!); two full-length albums (Ghost DragonAttacks Castle and Constellation Prize) and the soundtrackfor Universal’s Curious George 2.
From 2014-2016 the band focused their efforts on re-recording the three albums released through Vanguard,which hold the rights to those master recordings, but not tothe songs themselves. Fans eagerly supported the three re-recordings, and with the newly completed versions (IndianSummer Revisited, Love Loss Hope Repeat Reneaux andNothing Rhymes With Woman 16), Carbon Leaf regainedthe publishing rights to 100% its song catalogue.
After taking a much-needed break from touring in 2016 tofocus on things back home and in the studio, the bandreturned to the road heavily in 2017 behind Gathering Vol.1, the first of four acoustic EPs released under the‘Gathering’ banner.
In 2018, the band celebrated its 25th Anniversary withextensive U.S. touring.
2019 was spent writing and recording songs for a new EP(Gathering 2: The Hunting Ground) and a 27-song videoproject filmed on location at a beach house on the AtlanticOcean (Carbon Leaf Cottage: Songs By The Sea).
In 2020, Carbon Leaf announced they have begun writingsongs for a planned full-length album set for a July 2021release.
"We’ve been gifted an opportunity to write and perform infront of a live audience,” said Barry Privett, whilereflecting on the band’s 27 years. "We are lucky to havefans on the other end of that long road, receiving what we
create. Our audience has been what sustains us. And whatcompels us forward. It’s not something we take forgranted."
Carbon Leaf is Barry Privett (lyrics, vocals), Terry Clark(guitars, vocals), Carter Gravatt (guitars, strings, vocals),Jon Markel (bass, vocals) and Jesse Humphrey (drums,vocals).