Interview with Kym Warner from The Greencards

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kym warner, the greencards
Kym Warner from The Greencards

Interview by Scott Preston

Four short years ago, a green card was an immigration document – now The Greencards are an acoustic music phenomenon that has played around the world, headlined major festivals, won awards, and toured with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. They’ve released three fine albums, and their latest release, Viridian, was nominated at the Grammy Awards Ceremony in 2008 for ‘Best Country Instrumental Performance’. Their label debut Weather and Water was strong enough to win them a slot on the Dylan/Nelson tour, but then they had to deliver. Fortunately, The Greencards have an ability to go out on stage in front of 20,000 strangers, and magically turn them into friends and fans. It’s happened at Merlefest, Telluride and Austin City Limits, on both US coasts, Down South and Down Under, and of course many times in Austin Texas, “The Live Music Capital of the World”, city of the band’s chance origins and initial successes. Their respect for bluegrass is very evident, but they also bend their music to include more modern influences such as Patty Griffin and Tim O’Brien, meaning you’re just as likely to find them filed under ‘Americana’ as anything else. (source – thegreencards.com)

Cincy Groove: How long have The Greencards been together? How did you meet?

Kym Warner: We have been playing together now for six years. Carol and I met Eamon in the studio in Austin. I was producing a record and needed a fiddle player. A mutual friend Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen Band) recommended Eamon. We all hit it off straight away.

Cincy Groove: What was it like to be nominated for a Grammy for “Best Country Instrumental Performance?”

Kym Warner: It was incredible! It’s something that none of us thought would ever happen. A real career highlight for all three of us.

Cincy Groove: Are The Greencards working on any new projects?

Kym Warner: Yes, we have been writing for a new record for the past 5 months or so. We are planning to get back in the studio late summer to start working on a new Greencards record.

Cincy Groove: What was it like to open for Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson a few years back?

Kym Warner: That tour was a great time for the band, thirty one shows playing minor league baseball stadiums in the middle of the summer. We were stunned to be asked to go out with Dylan and Willie, two of our heroes. The experience was invaluable, it was incredibly fun and we learned a lot.

Cincy Groove: Did The Greencards collaborate with anyone on your last album Viridian?

Kym Warner: The three of us write with people outside of the band as well as with each other. It brings diversity and freshness to the table. I find writing with the same people all the time has the potential to work great but also you can run the risk of repeating yourself or getting comfortable with a set formula. We collaborated with Jed Hughes, Jerry Salley, David Mead, Ronnie Bowman and Robbie Gjersoe on our last album, Viridian.

Cincy Groove: Did the band feel any pressure while in the studio recording the album considering the success the band has had over the previous few years?

Kym Warner: We always set challenges for ourselves and try to push each other with each new venture whether it be in the studio or live on stage. The challenge is to not make the same album twice! I guess there us a certain pressure involved when thinking about the music you are making and whether or not people will like it, but you need to back yourselves and believe in what you are doing. From my perspective the pressure is healthy in the sense that it makes you work that little bit harder.

Cincy Groove: Who do you consider some of your influences?

Kym Warner: We all have so many as individuals and as a band. I’ll do my best to think of all of us when I say: Patty Griffin, Bob Dylan, New Grass Revival, Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.

Cincy Groove: Whats the strangest thing a fan has said to you?

Kym Warner: Could you sign this burnt copy of your record please?

Cincy Groove: What does the band like to do when you aren’t performing?

Kym Warner: Carol likes to watch home decorating/improvement shows, drink lots of coffee and go shopping. Eamon runs lots of miles to get himself ready to run the Nashville City 1/2 marathon. I just kill time until the weekend when I can watch Manchester United and listen to the Adelaide Crows football team via internet radio from Australia!

The Greencards are:
Carol Young – vocals, bass
Kym Warner – mandolin and bouzouki
Eamon McLoughlin – fiddle and viola

 

Upcoming The Greencards tour dates:
for complete show details visit thegreencards.com
05-01-08 Black Oak Casino Tuolumne, CA
05-02-08 SOhO Restaurant and Music Club Santa Barbara, CA
05-03-08 Stagecoach Indio, CA
05-05-08 Little Fox Redwood City, CA
05-06-08 Sierra Nevada Tap Room Chico, CA
05-09-08 Threadgill’s Austin, TX
05-10-08 McGonigel’s Mucky Duck Houston, TX
05-14-08 The Blue Door Oklahoma City, OK
05-15-08 All Soul Acoustic Coffee House Tulsa, OK
05-16-08 Lakeview Lodge Athens, TX
05-17-08 Granada Theater Dallas, TX
05-18-08 Deutschen Pfest Pflugerville, TX
05-24-08 Farmer Song Fest Ellston, IA
05-29-08 Strawberry Bluegrass Festival Preston, CT
05-30-08 Strawberry Bluegrass Festival Preston, CT
06-05-08 Nash Arts Center Nashville, NC
06-06-08 Carnegie Hall Lewisburg, WV
06-07-08 CMA Fan Fair Nashville, TN
06-12-08 Station Inn Nashville, TN
06-13-08 Riverbend Festival Chattanooga, TN
06-14-08 Georgia Mountain Roots Music Festival Hiawassee, GA
06-15-08 Bonnaroo Manchester, TN
06-25-08 The Music Camp Spartanburg, SC
06-26-08 Crystal Bay Club Casino Crystal Bay, NV
06-27-08 Don Quixote International Music Hall Felton, CA
06-28-08 Kate Wolf Festival Laytonville, CA
07-03-08 Turley Park Carbondale, IL
07-11-08 Triad Stage Greensboro, NC
07-15-08 CHIRP, Ballard Park Ridgefield, CT
07-17-08 to 07-18-08 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival Ancramdale, NY
07-19-08 Green River Festival Greenfield, MA
08-07-08 142 Throckmorton Theatre Mill Valley, CA
08-09-08 to 08-10-08 Blue Waters Festival Medical Lake, WA
08-16-08 Otis Mountain Music Festival Westport, NY
08-20-08 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
08-22-08 SummerSounds Greensburg, PA
08-23-08 Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival Gettysburg, PA
08-30-08 Four Corners Folk Festival Pagosa Springs, CO
08-31-08 Aspen Mountain Aspen, CO
09-12-08 New Haven Folk Festival New Haven, CT
09-19-08 Walnut Valley Festival Winfield, KS