With Indian Summer, Carbon Leaf takes the leap from "America's preeminent unsigned band" to a member of Vanguard Records' roster. Hailing from Richmond, VA, vocalist Barry Privett, multi-instrumentalist Carter Gravatt, bassist Jordan Medas, drummer Scott Milstead, and guitarist Terry Clark concoct a solid pop/rock sound filled with lots of acoustic and electric guitars and good harmony. The opener, "Life Less Ordinary," reveals that despite Carbon Leaf's D.I.Y. background, the band is quite capable of making radio-friendly tracks. Even with a large arsenal of non-pop/rock instruments -- mandolin, lap steel, and bouzouki -- the overall blend works in accord with the vocals on catchy tracks like "What About Everything?" and "Raise the Roof." The instrumental firepower also gives the band and producer John Morand lots of elasticity in matching the arrangement to the mood of each song. There's the nice acoustic underpinning of "Let Your Troubles Roll By," the heavy guitar work on the bridge of "Changeless," the guitar runs and steady backbeat of "This Is My Song!," and the heavy bass that anchors "Grey Sky Eyes." Of course, none of this would work so well without good vocals, and Carbon Leaf is blessed with more than one good singer. A solid entry into the mainstream, Indian Summer seems to promise more good things from Carbon Leaf.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.