When the Greencards formed four years ago, the bluegrass trio, consisting of bassist/vocalist Carol Young, mandolin player Kym Warner and fiddler Eamon McLoughlin, grabbed what they needed and took it to the big stuff on the Americana music scene – oh, except for one vital thing – a name.
“It was quite comical,” said Warner, who says the band played their first gig without even considering a name. Later, upon reviewing all the taken band names, they settled on the Greencards.
Since that decisively defining moment, the band, composed of two Australians and a Brit, has since gone on to become the first international act to have a number one album on the Billboard Magazine’s Bluegrass Chart with their latest album, Viridian, which dropped in March.
To top it off, the band won the Emerging Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association in 2006, which they were nominated for in 2004 along with the New Artist of the Year for their debut album, Weather and Water.
For the Greendcards, recording Viridian was a huge step forward from their last album, says Warner, who also said that instead of constantly making corrections, the band just went with the vibe of every song. The results, according to Warner, were the creation of a livelier album and as he puts it, sounds like a real band.
“We’ve evolved in our craft,” he said.
The Greencards have also been recognized by music legends such as the likes of Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan. The legends asked them to be their opening act during their minor league ballpark tour.
“It was a really great experience, just really incredible,” Warner said. “It definitely got our name out there to the fans.”
Along with Dylan and Nelson, the band also names other Americana artists like Alison Krause and Tom Petty as influences and Sam Bush of the 70’s progressive bluegrass band, New Grass Rival, in particular, who they received the opportunity to work with.
“We not only listen to a lot of their music, but we consider them good songwriters and singers,” said Warner.
The band will be playing at Krannert Center – outside at the UI Research Park – on Friday August 17 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and all age groups are welcomed. Despite their accolades and growing fan base, Warner and the band remain humble. “Any recognition is still nice,” he said.