Telluride Bluegrass: The Greencards

Telluride Bluegrass: The Greencards

[click “Play” for Eamon McLoughlin interview]

Pressmini_vert02 According to Telluride Bluegrass Festival regular and Grammy winner Tim O’ Brien it’s all about recycling: he describes what he does musically as “making something new out of something old.”

Tim is not alone. Linking the past, present and future is also what the relatively new band, The Greencards, is all about.

The aptly named Nashville-based trio – a green card identifies the bearer as an alien with permanent resident status in the United States – is comprised of two Australians, Kym Warner (mandolin. etc.) and Carol Young (vocals, bass) and an Englishman, Eamon McLoughlin (fiddle, violin, viola). The primary reason for moving to the States was to find opportunities to play their brand of high energy acoustic music not much in demand at home. Somewhat ironically, the group, which just opened shop in 2003, is already one of the hottest new bands in America, making distinctly American music.

The Greencards’ sound weaves together influences as disparate as Bill Monroe’s brand of bluegrass, Americana (a hybrid of country, folk, bluegrass and swing), Bob Dylan, Ricky Skaggs, and The Beatles. The result: the driving rhythms and high lonesome harmonies of pure bluegrass goes global.

 Texas music legend Robert Earl Keen famously said of The Greencards: “It’s the best bluegrass I’ve heard in 20 years.”

The general public seems to agree. The Greencards hauled in a Best New Band award at the 2004 Austin Music Awards and were nominated for Best New Emerging Talent at the 2004 Americana Music Awards. In 2006, after tours with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, the trio was named “Emerging Artist of the Year.” Last year, they earned a Grammy nomination for “Best Country Instrumental Performance” for “Mucky the Duck,” a track from their Viridian album in 2008.

For three consecutive years, Planet Bluegrass has invited The Greencards to perform on its festival stages, including two appearances at Rockygrass. When they return to Telluride Bluegrass, The Greencards is scheduled to play the new FirstGrass show – and it’s FREE – in the Mountain Village, and Carol is doing a workshop at Elks Park (possibly with her old friend Kasey Chambers).

Telluride Bluegrass is the perfect venue for an innovative group with its head in the past and its heart in the future. Let me whisper something sweet into your ear: Sam Bush and New Grass Revival.

(publicity photo by David McClister)

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