Carbon Leaf debuted as an independent college band in1993, 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. The band’s 2004 radio single “Life Less Ordinary”, received considerable airplay and reached a broader audience nationwide, peaking at #5 on AAA radio and #28 at Hot AC. The increased exposure put the band on the road for 250+days in2004 and 2005. Between 2007-2009, the band collected a series of songwriting awards, including the International Songwriting Competition’s first prize honor for ‘The War Was In Color”. Missing the autonomous flexibility of their earlier years, the band decided not to extend its contract for a 4th release under the label, and as 2009 came to a close, Carbon Leaf once again embraced it’s independent roots. Energized by the renewed freedom, Carbon Leaf built it’s own recording space, Two-Car Studio, and began writing and releasing on their own again. The band’s creativity accelerated in this new environment and 6 independent projects were released between 2010-2013, including two EPs (How The West Was vol. One and Christmas Child); alive album and acoustic concert film (Live, Acoustic…and in Cinemascope!); two full-length albums (Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle and Constellation Prize) and the soundtrack for Universal’s Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey. “We’ve been gifted an opportunity to write and perform in front of a live audience,” said Barry Privett, while reflecting on the band’s 27 years. “We are lucky to have fans on the other end of that long road, receiving what we create. Our audience has been what sustains us. And what compels us forward. It’s not something we take for granted.” 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).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 to the songs themselves. Fans eagerly supported the three re-recordings, and with the newly completed versions (Indian Summer Revisited, Love Loss Hope Repeat Reneaux and Nothing Rhymes With Woman 16), Carbon Leaf regained the publishing rights to 100% its song catalogue.
After taking a much-needed break from touring in 2016 to focus on things back home and in the studio, the band returned 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 with extensive U.S. touring.2019 was spent writing and recording songs for a new EP(Gathering 2: The Hunting Ground) and a 27-song video project filmed on location at a beach house on the Atlantic Ocean (Carbon Leaf Cottage: Songs By The Sea)