14 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Carbon Leaf, which formed in 1992, has been infusing its indie rock with Celtic folk for so long that by this 2013 album those roots surfaced, buckling the ground that once contained them. The sprightly played tin whistle in the opening “Bloody Good Bar Fight Song” brings to mind a peaceful panorama of Ireland’s sprawling emerald landscapes. But that's nicely balanced with lyrics that goad the song’s protagonist into a bout of fisticuffs at the neighborhood tavern. When vocalist Barry Privett nonchalantly sings “Just a few broken bones/And the teeth begin to fly,” it’s easy to envision the smashing of pint glasses. Electric guitars match rootsy fiddles and Uillean pipes in the following standout, “The Donnybrook Affair,” which plays a little like a Flogging Molly song (sans punk foundation). With dynamically layered rootsy instrumentation and whimsical tin whistle notes taking the place of lead vocals, it’s understandable why the buoyant instrumental jam “Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle” was chosen for title-track status.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Carbon Leaf, which formed in 1992, has been infusing its indie rock with Celtic folk for so long that by this 2013 album those roots surfaced, buckling the ground that once contained them. The sprightly played tin whistle in the opening “Bloody Good Bar Fight Song” brings to mind a peaceful panorama of Ireland’s sprawling emerald landscapes. But that's nicely balanced with lyrics that goad the song’s protagonist into a bout of fisticuffs at the neighborhood tavern. When vocalist Barry Privett nonchalantly sings “Just a few broken bones/And the teeth begin to fly,” it’s easy to envision the smashing of pint glasses. Electric guitars match rootsy fiddles and Uillean pipes in the following standout, “The Donnybrook Affair,” which plays a little like a Flogging Molly song (sans punk foundation). With dynamically layered rootsy instrumentation and whimsical tin whistle notes taking the place of lead vocals, it’s understandable why the buoyant instrumental jam “Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle” was chosen for title-track status.

TITLE TIME
4:33
3:07
2:49
4:02
3:18
4:02
2:12
4:17
3:36
2:34
4:52
4:21
4:47
3:08

About Carbon Leaf

Carbon Leaf's brand of rootsy, Celtic-influenced rock originated in the same Richmond, VA, scene that nurtured Dave Matthews Band, Agents of Good Roots, and Pat McGee Band. Guitarist Terry Clark, vocalist Barry Privett, bassist Jordan Medas, guitarist Carter Gravatt, and drummer Scott Milstead built up a considerable following and were soon releasing albums through their own label. Meander appeared in 1996, with Shadows in the Banquet Hall and Ether-Electrified Porch Music following in quick succession. In 2001, Carbon Leaf debuted a more mature sound with the album Echo Echo and won a Coca-Cola-sponsored unsigned band contest that landed them a performance on the American Music Awards. By this point, Carbon Leaf was also regularly opening shows for adult alternative-friendly acts like DMB, John Mayer, Guster, and David Gray, and the band documented their frequent and vibrant live shows with the 2002 double live set 5 Alive! Indian Summer appeared in 2004. Issued through Vanguard, it was Carbon Leaf's first recording for any label other than their own, and the strongest example yet of their polite, astute, and engaging sound. It was followed in 2006 by Love Loss Hope Repeat. ~ Johnny Loftus

  • ORIGIN
    Richmond, VA
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    1992

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