Tag Archives: Barry Privett

Carbon Leaf with The Accidentals

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine

It’s always a pleasure to see Virginia’s Carbon Leaf live. I’ve been going to their shows in Maine since 2009, and they always bring positive energy and upbeat music. Lead singer Barry Privett told us that he’d done the math, and they’ve played Portland, Maine ten times. I left my fancy camera at home so I could dance, but here are posts from Carbon Leaf shows at Port City Music Hall in December of 2013 and November of 2014 that have longer recaps and far better pictures of the show.

I love Carbon Leaf shows because the crowd is always full of great people who sing along and have a great time. Being part of a great crowd means having a great time at the show, so this is truly an important point to mention. I met a couple who had driven up from Massachusetts for the show, and we danced and sang along from the front row while Carbon Leaf played a solid 20-song set, including songs you’ve definitely heard on 98.9 WCLZ, such as “Life Less Ordinary” and “What About Everything?” “The Boxer” takes on new meaning for me now that I’m training five days a week at a MMA gym. In fact, I met my teammates at our coach’s house after the show to watch the UFC fights until the wee hours.

“Let Your Troubles Roll By” is the Carbon Leaf song that means the most to me and inspires me to lift my head when things are hard. I always think of my friend Sarah, who I met at a Carbon Leaf show at Port City in 2009 and who suffered an aneurysm, but has really come a long way in her recovery. Carbon Leaf even sent her a get well soon card when she was in the hospital. They’re great musicians, but good people, too. That stuff matters to me.

Towards the end of the night, Barry asked to turn the house lights up. Since Veteran’s Day was the day before, Barry asked all of the veterans in the room to raise their hand for much deserved recognition and then dedicated and played “The War Was in Color” for them. It was a moving moment. I’m always glad to see you when you’re in town, Carbon Leaf! See you next fall!

xo,

bree

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Carbon Leaf with Tall Heights

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine

What a fun night! I held baby Isabelle for a while after school, and then picked up Megan for an adventurous evening celebrating our Friendiversary! We met six happy years ago at Bowdoin College’s amazing annual Thanksgiving dinner. We stopped by the Maine Tweetup at Glass Lounge in the Old Port’s new Hyatt Place hotel for a bit, and then had a scrumptious dinner at Empire before heading over to Port City Music Hall for the show.

Friendiversary!

Friendiversary!

I was surprised by how big the crowd was when we arrived, but I had a press pass and was able to snag a spot just behind the barricade adjacent to the stage with room for Megan, too. We were excited to see our Carbon Leaf friend Stacey very nearby with her husband Don. It’s always great to see them for a Carbon Leaf show and Stacey and I haven’t missed a single Maine Carbon Leaf appearance together since we met at a Carbon Leaf show at Port City in 2009.

Megan, Sarah, Me, Barry from Carbon Leaf, and Stacey at Port City in 2009

Megan, Sarah, Me, Barry from Carbon Leaf, and Stacey at Port City in 2009

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I’d seen Tall Heights back in May of 2013 with Tricky Britches and The Ghost of Paul Revere at One Longfellow Square in Portland and was looking forward to seeing them again. Boston-based folk duo Tim Harrington on guitar and Paul Wright on cello impressed again with their flawless harmonies and engaging stage presence. I particularly liked “Eastern Standard Time” and “I Don’t Know, I Don’t Know.” Tim told us that Paul had just jumped into the Atlantic Ocean in Beverly, Massachusetts to celebrate his recent birthday, and Paul told us it was similarly cold in Maine while pointing out the winter hat Tim was wearing on stage. Their cover of “Yesterday” was really quite pretty, as well. Check out this story about Tall Heights’ background (including their extensive busking experience) and this live recording of “Running of the Bulls” filmed by Boston’s Sofar Sounds.

Tall Heights: Tim Harrington on guitar and Paul Wright on cello

Tall Heights: Tim Harrington on guitar and Paul Wright on cello

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Virginia’s Carbon Leaf took the stage as an enthusiastic crowd cheered them on. Lead singer Barry Privett welcome us and they launched right into songs played frequently over the years on 98.9 WCLZ including “Life Less Ordinary” and “What About Everything?” There were lots of folks in the crowd singing along to all of the songs all night long. “Desperation Song” was a big hit with Barry on penny whistle. Carter Gravatt debuted a new guitar that sounded great and Barry joked that if Carter sold half his gear the band could retire tomorrow.

Carbon Leaf's Barry Privett

Carbon Leaf’s Barry Privett

Terry Clark

Terry Clark

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Jon Markel

Jon Markel

Jason Neal

Jason Neal

Carter Gravatt

Carter Gravatt

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Barry and Carter were joined by the rest of their bandmates—Terry Clark (guitar), Jon Markel (bass), and Jason Neal (drums)—around a single microphone to sing a handful of songs, including a couple a cappella. Their harmonies are incredible—clearly the product of nearly twenty years playing together. Barry told us about their newest independently released album, Constellation Prize, and the re-release of their 2004 album Indian Summer, which had been the property of their former record label, but now belongs to them in the form of Indian Summer Revisited, which inspired their current 50 city tour.

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The guy running stage security was particularly nice and even offered to create a path for me to get to the center of the room so I could take photos from another angle. I turned down his very kind offer, but took my camera and ventured over to the center of the room. I couldn’t believe how great everyone in the crowd was! It’s been a while since the crowd at a show was so lovely. People literally moved out of my way with smiles on their faces like I was Moses parting the sea. Even the guy standing front and center at the stage gladly moved aside to let me in to take a few shots. Maybe the crowd was so wonderfully kind and easy going because the guys in Carbon Leaf are down to earth and friendly themselves? Just a hypothesis.

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Barry told us that we could take home a recording of that night’s show on USB (which is an awesome idea that I wish more bands would borrow). He told us about the music festival they curate at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, Virginia called Carbon Leaf’s Ragtime Carnival in May (in case anyone’s up for a road trip). The guys gave a shout out to WCLZ for always supporting them and for sponsoring the show and a Studio Z earlier in the day. They wrapped up the evening’s encore with one of my very favorites, “Let Your Troubles Roll By,” which was the last song I heard live in 2013 at my last Carbon Leaf show. Energized by the show, Megan and I turned to leave, and I ran into my cousin Jake on the way out, which was a big bonus! Megan was so enthused by the show that she spent part of the ride home downloading more Carbon Leaf music. She was especially taken with “The War Was in Color” during the show and downloaded a couple of versions as we talked about how much fun we had. We’re already excited for our next Carbon Leaf show! Thanks, guys! (Check out more pictures below!)

xo,

bree

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Carbon Leaf with Sarah Blacker

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine

It’s been a crazy week and a half since I saw my last concert of 2013. I’ve taken refuge at my boyfriend’s place to have access to power and the Internet. My house is covered in ice and is without power and heat. I’m packed for my trip to Hawaii tonight. Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to make my way Westward despite airport delays. Yes, I know these are first world problems. I suspect this will be my shortest blog post ever since I’m getting picked up in less than 90 minutes. Let’s see. (Nope, I’m still long winded even when I’m in a hurry!).

I was really happy to finally see Boston’s Sarah Blacker. She emailed me almost a year ago to invite me to a show in Maine, and even though I couldn’t make it, I checked out her website and really liked her crystal clear voice. I got in touch about this show, and she was kind enough to invite me again. Sarah was incredibly comfortable and interactive with the audience at Port City Music Hall, which I’m always a fan of, and she can really sing. I loved her cover of “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” She told us about an upcoming video for “Shiver” that was filmed outside in icy weather while she wore a flimsy dress.

The lovely Sarah Blacker

The lovely Sarah Blacker

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Sarah met Carbon Leaf in South Carolina and they’ve been friends since. She was gifted a beautiful ukulele named Leo (my uke is named Alice) and played a couple of songs on it for us. I was really impressed with Sarah’s banter when she introduced “The Most Beautiful Thing” to us—she said it was about someone she was dating who died in a car accident to memorialize him, but also to forgive the sobering moment and to keep drinking. I absolutely appreciated her song “Perfectly Imperfect” about trying to give up the idea of being perfect. Throughout her set she was incredibly sweet and personable. She also really knows how to make the most of her solo sound by beating on her guitar when she needs some percussion.

Sarah plugged Material Objects next door and told us she’d gotten her whole outfit, including grey cowboy boots there earlier in the day. It was a perfect segue to her song “Cowboy.” She closed with “These Summer Nights”—thinking back to warmer times, and said goodnight to us. I said hello to Sarah before I took off that night and she really was a dear. I’m always happy when good musicians are also good people.

Virginia’s Carbon Leaf took the festively decorated stage to an enthusiastic crowd, welcomed by 98.9 WCLZ’s Ethan Minton. My friends Don and Stacey joined me in the happy crowd, too. We met three years ago at the same venue the last time Carbon Leaf played Portland and have been in touch ever since. It was so great to see you guys!

Carbon Leaf concert friends Don and Stacey

Carbon Leaf concert friends Don and Stacey

Carbon Leaf's setlist

Carbon Leaf’s setlist

There was an especially enthusiastic band of folks in the first few rows who knew a lot of Carbon Leaf’s songs by heart. We sang a whole verse for Barry on “One Prairie Outpost.” Someone in the front was using FaceTime to bring a female friend along for the experience and Barry grabbed the phone and took her on a quick backstage tour and then set the phone up on stage for a song as well. Apparently she was home sick but had really wanted to be at the show. It was adorable. Barry also gave Ethan Minton a well-deserved shout out for playing their music on 98.9. He also apologized because it had been three years since they’d played Portland.

WCLZ's Ethan Minton introducing Carbon Leaf

WCLZ’s Ethan Minton introducing Carbon Leaf

Barry using FaceTime

Barry using FaceTime

I always like the gospel feel of “Raise the Roof.” All of the guys surrounded one mic in the center of the stage for a handful of songs, including “Red Punch, Green Punch.” We sang along on “Comfort” and Barry told us how nice it was to hear that we knew the words. He then moved into the sales portion of the evening. Carbon Leaf left their label in 2010 and is releasing music independently. He joked with us that they’ve put out two albums this year that most of us haven’t bought. After the Portland show, they had four shows left in a 50-city tour. Carter was featured on “The Fox and the Hare.” I’d forgotten how talented the guys in this group are because I hadn’t seen them in such a long time. They wrapped their set with “The Boxer” and really whipped the already appreciative crowd into a frenzy.

Carbon Leaf's Barry Privett

Carbon Leaf’s Barry Privett

Jason Neal

Jason Neal

Terry Clark and Barry

Terry Clark and Barry

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Carter Gravatt

Carter Gravatt

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Bassist Jon Markel on lead vocals

Bassist Jon Markel on lead vocals

The guys came back out onstage for an encore and had bassist Jon Markel set up the story behind his song “Carter’s Christmas Beard.” He joked that Carter’s beard is his favorite muse. It’s nice to see a band that clearly likes each other a lot. We laughed through the song with the guys. They played “Tombstone vs. Ashes” and then left us with “Let Your Troubles Roll By,” which is easily my favorite Carbon Leaf song. I thought as I left after the show how that was a really good last live song to hear in a year. I turned on my car to head home and Carbon Leaf’s “What About Everything” was playing on 98.9 WCLZ. This was a solid end to a fantastic year of live music. Thanks to everyone for your support of whatbreesees.com in my first two years! I’ll be back in 2014!

xo,

bree

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