Evolving Greencards Keep the Music Going
The Greencards started out as a bluegrass band and evolved into a modern acoustic band, “not genre specific,” as their mandolin player Kym Warner likes to point out. They’ve been touring with the likes of Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, invited to play huge fests like the Joshua Tree Roots fest and Bonnaroo and on June 6, they’ll be playing at Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg. For more info, check out www.thegreencards.com.
Graffiti: What are your latest projects?
Warner: We’re kind of writing for a new record. We spent a few nights in Australia. We’re going to be in the studio in the summer, recording a new CD. It’s an exciting time! We’re starting our touring for the year.
Graffiti: You have skyrocketed to fame. What was your first big break?
Warner: It was a few things. We were playing in Austin, little bars, four to five nights a week. Robert Earl Keen took an interest in us and it was a nice thing. Then, we got asked to go on tour with Kelly Willis. After that, we were asked to go on the Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson tour for seven weeks, which was a huge stepping-stone.
Graffiti: How did you get picked for that tour?
Warner: Who knows how these things happen? Bob Dylan had wanted an acoustic, bluegrass band to open for him. Our agent submitted us, along with many, many others, I’m sure.
Graffiti: Though you are Australian, you grew up with American roots music in the house?
Warner: I did. My father is a bluegrass-country musician. He was always playing Elvis, the Everly Brothers, early rock and country music.
Graffiti: Who are your musical influences?
Warner: I would say, old bluegrass. But when I heard a band called “New Grass Survivor,” that’s when I decided I would play mandolin. I like the singer-songwriters, anyone who builds the song themselves from the ground up. I listen to Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty.
Graffiti: What CDs are you listening to these days?
Warner: The Raconteurs, the Everybodyfields — they’re friends of ours — Neil Young, Tim O’Brien.
Graffiti: Nashville songwriters must be pitching you constantly. What do you look for in a new song?
Warner: First and foremost, it has to say something. Not necessarily political, but it has to have a message. Carol has to be able to sing it. When I was younger, I listened to the band on a CD. Now, as I get older, I listen to the lyrics. The lyrics sell the song; if they don’t say anything, we can’t sell it.
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