By Barry Gilbert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


July 5, 2005

"Weather and Water"
Dualtone Records

The band name Greencards makes wry sense when you discover that the trio performing this most-American-sounding acoustic music is made up of two Aussies and a Brit.

"Weather and Water" is their first CD made for a real record label after the band sold a stunning 10,000 copies of its debut, "Movin' On," out of a van at shows. That could be a clue that seeing the group live is the way to go.

For while "Weather and Water" is certainly exquisitely played and lovely to listen to, it really doesn't rise above a crowd of equally talented and committed newgrass and fauxgrass bands inspired by the queen of this music, Alison Krauss.

The Greencards even used engineer Gary Paczosa, who has worked with Krauss and Nickel Creek, and bassist Carol Young's voice is reminiscent of Krauss'.

That's not to say that Young, mandolinist Kym Warner and fiddler Eamon McLouglin, the Brit, are copycats.

The trio draws from a variety of influences, melding them into their original songs. The fine "Long Way Down," for example, boasts a chorus Tom Petty probably wishes he had written.

Other standouts include the title track, written by singer Jedd Hughes; the instrumental "Almost Home"; the harmony-rich "Time"; and "The Ballad of Kitty Brown," which draws on the Irish roots of this music.

Based on this CD, the Greencards should have no fear of being musically deported.

The Greencards are scheduled to open for Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson on Friday at GMC Stadium in Sauget.