Music » Livewire

The Greencards/Kasey Chambers

With the Greencards. Saturday, August 13, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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First came the "newgrass" revival. Then Alison Krauss. Later, Nickel Creek showed up. Now, the Greencards are traveling the path blazed by the aforementioned acts and others that have given bluegrass a few original twists, keeping the music fresh and helping bury the yee-haw stereotype.

What sets this Austin-based trio apart is that none of the members of the band, which plays uniquely American music, is a Yank. Singer-bassist Carol Young and mandolin player Kym Warner are Australian. Fiddler Eamon McLoughlin is English. Their love of American roots music brought them to Texas, where they've interwoven Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles with Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff. They've released two well-regarded CDs, featuring mainly originals, along with covers of songs by Gillian Welch, Robert Earl Keen, and Ray Wylie Hubbard.

This Saturday at the Beachland, the Greencards will open for another non-American artist making American-sounding music. Kasey Chambers, 29, became a superstar in her native Australia by doing her best Lucinda Williams impression. Chambers is a remarkably gifted rock, folk, and alt-country songwriter. Sure, you'll have to get past her whiny, high-pitched vocals, but hasn't the same thing been said about Williams?

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