Brick by Brick

The Greencards build a new album

Brick by Brick

They call Nashville home, but the Greencards still have a warm spot in their hearts for Austin. Now a quartet, the band originally came together here early in the last decade, and is celebrating the release of The Brick Album with an in-store at Waterloo Records today, 5pm, and a show at Threadgill’s World HQ Thursday evening.

It’s become cliché for a band to pose in front of a brick wall for publicity photos, but the bricks in this album are a different kind. They decided to test the relatively new concept of having their fans assist in financing a recording and, according to mandolin player Kym Warner, the initial results were startling.

“We knew we had a fan base of people that had been supportive over the years,” he relates. “We were confident that some of those people would come with us. What was surprising was that they supported us without hearing any music. Within the first couple of hours of accepting pledges online, we were relieved because people were responding and then after a while it was like, 'I can’t believe this many people are getting involved.' It was really touching and provided a great energy for us to take into the studio. It really pushed us.”

Equally surprising was the makeup of those that decided to get involved, including past business partners, booking agents, managers, and even other musicians. “One of the guys from Mumford & Sons bought a brick,” he reveals. “It gave us a real kick in the ass.”

One of the highlights of the disc is the appearance of country luminary Vince Gill on “Heart Fixer,” a Marty Robbins-influenced duet with bass player Carol Young, who claims she learned to sing harmony by listening to Vince Gill records.

“What was special about it,” Warner claims, “was that he agreed to sing on a song that we wrote. I don’t think he’d want to sing on a crap song. That meant a lot to us.”

When I spoke to Brian Beken from MilkDrive last week, we spoke about the young quartet recording a couple of Warner’s songs for their debut, Road From Home. The Australian mandolin player explained that he didn’t write those songs specifically for MilkDrive.

“I had about 40 songs before we started recording and we were only going to use 12 or 13," he says. "I felt the songs weren’t a good fit for the Greencards. I think they did a really great job with them. We just write a lot. You always need songs. They’re not all good, I can assure you of that. There are some shockers that will never be heard by anybody other than us.”

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