The Greencards

Viridian

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    8
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The Greencards have titled their third album Viridian, probably in reference to their name, which is inspired by their immigrant status (Carol Young and Kym Warner were born in Australia, Eamon McLoughlin hails from the U.K., and these days they all call Austin, TX home). But the name also fits as a reference to the simple beauty of the group's natural sound -- much of Viridian sounds so organic and spontaneous that one imagines it could have grown rather than been recorded. Not that this music feels haphazard or ruled by chance; Young's vocals, which sound rich and downy sweet at once, dovetail so beautifully with McLoughlin's fiddle and Warner's mandolin and bouzouki that their musical communication seems nearly telepathic, but they achieve this without a moment sounding forced, and on Viridian, the open space around the music communicates as eloquently as what the musicians actually play. (Their approach is aided tremendously by Doug Lancio's sympathetic production and Jason Lehning's crisp engineering.) The Greencards use their very impressive chops to serve the songs rather than forcing the music to become a platform for their egos, and between the tunes they wrote themselves and the contributions from Kim Richey and Jedd Hughes, this disc quietly but impressively communicates a whole world of emotions and moods through the trio's precise arrangements and lovely harmonies. (And though Young takes on the majority of the lead vocals here, both Warner and McLoughlin are quite impressive when they step up to the mic.) Few acts in bluegrass or acoustic country are making music as soul satisfying as the Greencards, and Viridian captures them in lovely, affecting form.

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