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Carbon Leaf
Indian Summer
Vanguard Records

A few years ago, a good friend of mine introduced me to Carbon Leaf. At the time, they had just released Echo Echo, and I was convinced that they were a Celtic band from across the pond. They were just that good, and authentic in a modernized way. I was a tad bit disappointed when I found out that they actually hail from Pennsylvania - but of course that in no way affects the quality of their music.

The lead single from the album "Life Less Ordinary" seems a very logical choice. The song is upbeat and has the same type of groove that has plagued the AAA radio waves for the past half decade; acoustic guitars chiming over a bouncy rhythm track. However, there is far more depth to be had from Carbon Leaf than from say… Dave Matthews. The overwhelming humanitarian nature of Carbon Leaf's music is obvious on the great inspirational "What About Everything?". The magnificent lyrical poetry of the band is laced with social commentary, as well as the pure soul searching of a very literate and questing set of writers - think early U2. But, no matter how deep and exploratory the lyric, Carbon Leaf mates their words to music of immense beauty and, dare I say, joy. The songs on Indian Summer are sure to leave you feeling hopeful and full of an exuberant peaceful happiness. There are no moments on the record that are so heavy as to offset the keen sense of the joy of simply being alive, even with all the madness and daily occurrences that surround us. "Grey Sky Eyes" is a brilliant example of the ability of this music to leave the listener in a state of sharply aware relaxation, and nowhere on this record is the beauty of the vocalists' harmony more focused and perfect.

I still hold that this band sounds far more European in many ways than most American acoustic bands, and with the release of Indian Summer, Carbon Leaf is finally poised on the edge of becoming a household name in the worldwide musical community. All those years of musical integrity and amazing music is finally paying off… for them, as well as the listening public.

-L. Keane

Track Listing:
1. Life Less Ordinary
2. What About Everything?
3. Changeless
4. This Is My Song!
5. Grey Sky Eyes
6. Raise The Roof
7. Paloma
8. One Prairie Outpost
9. Let Your Troubles Roll By
10. When I'm Alone
11. The Sea

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