Carbon Leaf

Thursday • Southgate House Revival

Mar 25, 2015 at 9:03 am
Carbon Leaf
Carbon Leaf

If, as the old saying goes, success is the best revenge, whoever Carbon Leaf had a beef with has been served with a righteous vengeance beatdown. In the early ’90s, five friends at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia bonded over their mutual love of Indie Rock, Folk, Celtic and Alt Country and formed a band to explore the collision of those musical forms; they also formed the Constant Ivy label to release the results. Carbon Leaf became an independent phenomenon with five acclaimed self-released albums in 12 years, including its breakout live album, 2004’s 5 Alive!

Carbon Leaf’s incredible success naturally attracted industry attention, but the band chose iconic and equally independent label Vanguard Records for its foray into the business end of the music business. The pairing was a good fit; Carbon Leaf produced three of its best albums during the six-year association with Vanguard (2004’s Indian Summer, 2006’s Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat and 2009’s Nothing Rhymes with Woman), a period that saw the band’s profile rise to even greater heights by way of a relentless tour schedule and several advantageous film and television song placements.

In 2010, Carbon Leaf opted out of its Vanguard contract and returned to independent status (the group was frustrated by the long gaps between albums), self-releasing How the West was One and its first holiday album, Christmas Child, and providing a half dozen new or newly recorded songs to the soundtrack of Curious George 2. The next year, the band dropped its sophomore live set, Live, Acoustic … and in Cinemascope! (official live album, that is; at last count, the Internet Archive at housed 229 Carbon Leaf sets for free download). The band followed in 2013 with Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle and the crowd-funded Constellation Prize.

Last summer, Carbon Leaf cleverly skirted royalty issues with a 10th anniversary re-recording of its Vanguard debut, and 2015 promises to be another banner year for Carbon Leaf, both in the studio and on the road.

CARBON LEAF plays Southgate House Revival in Newport this Thursday. Tickets/more info here .