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As the lead guitarist of Carbon Leaf, Carter Gravatt has successfully toured and recorded since 1992, crossing paths with huge names in the music business (Dave Matthews, Blues Traveler, the Avett Brothers, and many more). What’s especially fascinating about Carter is that he performs not only on electric and acoustic guitars, but also on an incredible number of other instruments including mandolin, banjo, violin, cello, lap steel, pedal steel, bouzouki, hurdy gurdy, dobro, and probably more! In part 1 of 2 of this interview, Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick enjoy talking with Carter about his story, Carbon Leaf, musical influences, and gear.
Carter tells the guys about Carbon Leaf’s efforts to release an album every 8 months and their history with record labels and FM radio. Joe asks how Carter became such a phenomenal multi-instrumentalist. The guys talk about practicing and how musicians used to learn music before the days of YouTube and the internet. Carter talks about the technical difficulties of touring with his many instruments: huge amounts of gear (multiple pedalboards, amplifications systems, the instruments themselves) and maintenance is required to keep everything working properly. The discussion includes insights into acoustic amplification, guitar amps, getting overdrive from amps vs. pedals, the complications of switching between instruments during shows, and different picks.
Fun facts: In 2002 Carbon Leaf won an American Music Award for their song “The Boxer.” They featured Katy Perry in their 2006 music video, “Learn to Fly.” They recorded music for the 2009 film Curious George 2. In 2002 their music was featured on national commercials for the Pontiac Vibe. They have played with/crossed paths with other major acts including Dave Matthews, O.A.R., The Avett Brothers, Sister Hazel, Big Head Todd, Blues Traveler, Jason Mraz, and many others.
Find out more about Carter and Carbon Leaf at: https://www.carbonleaf.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carbonleaf/
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