The Greencards: Bluegrass from the Land Down Under

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 11, 2011 7:20PM

2011_4_8_greencards.jpg
David McClister

Australia is probably one of the last places one expects bluegrass music to take hold. But it isn't surprising, given the music's roots in English and Irish folk music. Carol Young and Kym Warner, the driving forces behind Nashville-based the Greencards, both come to bluegrass honestly and with solid pedigrees. Bassist/vocalist Young won the Australian Independent Country Artist of the Year award in 2000 and was nominated by the Australian Country Music Association for Best Female Vocalist. Warner is a multi-instrumentalist (and master mandolin player) whose father was one of the men who pioneered bluegrass music Down Under. Young and Warner both worked in Kasey Chambers's band before migrating to Austin and, eventually, Nashville.

The Greencards style of bluegrass is rooted firmly in the progressive "newgrass" style popularized by Nickel Creek, Yonder Mountain String Band and Crooked Still, which adapts songs from other genres and some electric instrumentation into the music. The Greencards add elements of Latin music, gypsy jazz and Celtic influences into their style. Their 2009 release Fascination was, to our ears, the Greencards' most focused work yet. They bring their live act to Mayne Stage Thursday to preview songs from their upcoming release The Brick Album, which they financed through a unique marketing campaign where they solicited advance copy sales of the final mixed CD, a digital image of the album artwork, video updates of the recording of the album and a thank you in the album credits in order to self-finance the record without taking a record company advance.

The Greencards with special guests Charlie Parr and Amanda Shires play Mayne Stage Thursday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets ($15) are available online here.