The Greencards are determined to make history, not just repeat it. They’re off to a good start. Though they’re steeped in the tradition of bluegrass, The Greencards weave influences as disparate as Bob Dylan, Newgrass Revival and Patty Griffin into a compelling sound that starts in Bluegrass, but moves far beyond it. They honor the past, but refuse to live in it. That’s why they continue to push at the boundaries while developing their own style of music. Their willingness to color outside the lines has earned the band accolades from critics and fans alike. In their relatively short existence, they formed at the beginning of 2003, The Greencards have hauled in a Best New Band award at the 2004 Austin Music Awards and been nominated for Best New Emerging Talent at the 2004 Americana Music Awards. The Houston Chronicle praised their performance as one of The Top 5 Houston concerts of 2004, ranking them with luminaries such as George Jones, David Bowie and Simon & Garfunkle. They were also selected to open all 30 dates of Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson’s 2005 Summer tour. The Greencards rapid rise to the top of the acoustic scene has been as natural and organic as the music they make. It all began in Austin, Texas, when Kym Warner (mandolin) and Carol Young (bass) met Eamon McLoughlin (fiddle) in a recording studio to work on a project for another artist. The connection was immediate and based on a shared love of traditional acoustic music. The trio decided to work together after jamming around and realizing they knew an inordinately large number of songs. They joined forces to try to crack the Austin music scene and landed a regular Sunday gig playing three-hour sets of bluegrass and country cover tunes. “You have to start with something,” says Warner. “We knew all these songs and wanted to play out so that’s what we did. Part of the reason we all moved to the States was because we didn’t have very many opportunities to play this kind of music in Australia and England.” Ah yes, that’s the ironic part of the story—one of the hottest bands in America, making distinctly American music, is comprised of two Australians (Warner and Young) and a Brit (McLoughlin). That’s also why The Greencards music is so uniquely original. They learned traditional acoustic music because they loved it. Their passion was so strong they crossed oceans and continents to chase down the driving rhythm and high harmonies of bluegrass in the land where it was born. But, because of their backgrounds, they couldn’t help but infuse their brand of bluegrass with a different, more global energy. Austin Insite magazine summed up their sound by saying, “Their brand of bluegrass is a heartfelt hybrid of the purest forms of American acoustic music. In the course of one show or recording, you’ll feel the festive atmosphere of a barn dance, the fog of mountain music, hear melancholy ballads, and the sounds of a good ol’ campfire jam. But there’s also Irish, Western European, and a Southern Hemispherian flair.” “We each have listened to so many kinds of things and that comes into the music we create,” says Warner. “I listen to a lot of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. But as a band, our sound is probably most influenced by New Grass Revival, Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss.” “When I was a kid I listened to Ricky Skaggs almost exclusively,” adds McLoughlin. “I really shunned pop music. As I grew up I realized how much of an influence Irish music was. My parents are Irish and I spend a lot of time there. I try to add some of that into what we do. As I got older, especially after I moved to America, I began listening to more English music—The Beatles, Richard Thompson. Maybe I’m getting hip in my old age.” Hip is exactly what the Austin music scene thought about The Greencards. Their Sunday gig began drawing crowds and before long the band was working four and five nights a week at various bars and restaurants. They were also quickly accumulating their own songbook of original material—enough to record an album.