The Greencards

Record review

Phases & Stages

The Greencards

Weather and Water (Dualtone)

On their 2003 debut, Movin' On, the Greencards' hat trick was a lo-fi traditional approach and use of the powerful folk trio formation to create a magnificently contemporary bluegrass sound. That title was prophetic enough, but didn't presage their sophomore effort, Weather and Water, being as dynamic as it is. The 12 songs represent the Nashville trio's remarkable growth from Austin brunch buzz band to international aspirants. In 2005, it's apparent that the Greencards have three sounds that blend exuberantly: yearning songs with the dulcet voice of Carol Young ("The Ghost of Who We Were," "Don't Want Forever"), rootsy tunes sung by Kym Warner and Eamon McLoughin ("Bordered on a Breakdown," "Like a Melody"), and vibrant instrumentals ("The House on Vine Street," "Almost Home"). The Greencards can do no wrong here, rendering Patty Griffin's "What You Are" beautifully and brandishing murder ballads like Rich Brotherton's "The Ballad of Kitty Brown" with panache. This is music so rooted in American culture yet so clearly shaped by Young, Warner, and McLoughlin's Australian and English background that the result is swooning near-perfection. The elements, Weather and Water, will blow you away. (Waterloo Records, Wednesday, July 27; Shady Grove, Thursday, July 28; Saxon Pub, Friday, July 29)

****

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