Yonder Harvest Fest 2011 - Do NOT miss the Greencards
This is a first. In all the years I've been doing this, we've never promoted a specific show for a band. However, for those of you attending this year's Yonder Mountain Harvest Fest, this is the ONE set you do NOT want to miss.
I first met The Greencards at SxSW a few years ago. Unlike most of the bands I encounter, I actually met them before I got to see them perform. I picked up Viridian off iTMS and listened to it on the way down to the interview. It was excellent. However it didn't even begin to prepare me for their live show.
Comparisons to Union Station are inevitable, not so much in terms of the songwriting and style, but the sheer perfection of their live delivery. Tight doesn't even begin to describe it.
The chops are insanely ludicrous. Beyond bad ass is an almost miserable failure to do them justice.
Here's a band that's toured with Dylan and Willie, been nominated for not one, but two Grammy's. They have a fairly rabid following in what I tend to call the "golf clap bluegrass" set, yet few outside of that arena have ever heard of them. I find this odd, because they can tear it up with the best of em. Kym Warner (mando and a mess of other stringed widgets) is one of the best mando shredders I've ever heard. Carl Miner won the Winfield International Flatpicking championship some years back, and with good reason. He's so good it borders on ridiculous, and is one of the most consistently outstanding guitarists I've ever encountered. This guy just doesn't have a bad night. Ever. Beyond having devastating fiddle chops. Tyler Andal just drips talent. A while back he entered a flatpicking guitar contest at a festival on a whim (he doesn't even play guitar) and won. And then there's Carol Young. She's brilliant on any number of levels. Her voice will totally melt your face and leave you in a puddle on the ground.
Beyond their formidable musical prowess, they're just wonderful folks across the board. Some of my favorite memories of the last few years have been hanging out with them for post show picks in green rooms, hotel lobbies and living rooms.
They played the main stages at Winfield 7 years in a row, which is probably why most of you haven't seen them, because most of you don't even go into the venue any more. I get that, I only went in once this year and that was for Hot Club of Dogtown. Maybe they need to do a set on Stage 5 next year.
As far as the material goes? It's solid. Well written, clever, tight and polished harmonies, and all over the map from slick grooves with killer hooks to ballads that have an uncanny ability to cut right through to your soul. If you're familiar with the Podank's buddies Milk Drive (they hung out at Winfield last year playing the hell out of Coconut Rum with Thomas Trap) then you've heard Kym Warner's writing. He contributed a couple of his songs (I just love Stepping Stones) to Milk Drive's latest album.
That said, I'm always puzzled as to why most of the people I run into aren't familiar with them. Maybe they just haven't got in front of the right crowd yet.
So that's why I'm so incredibly thrilled that they're playing this year's Yonder Harvest Fest.
They're on the Backwood stage, Friday night, from 6:30-7:45. Most of my favorite bands in the last few years have been discoveries on the Backwoods stage at Yonder and Waka. If you haven't seen them live before, maybe it's time you add them to your personal Backwoods stage discovery list.
Live Show Photos - I know, I'm way behind on getting current stuff up for these folks.