Sign up for newsletter

2 Aussies + 1 Brit = The Greencards

By David McPherson, July 2005

Page 2...

Probed further about what exactly it is that Paczosa possesses that enriches a recording process, Warner has no shortage of explanations.

"Gary is incredible. He hears the sound of the instrument and knows how to reproduce that sound better than anyone I have ever come across. He obviously has great equipment and knows what equipment to use to get that sound. He's also very calming in the studio and a very fun, relaxing guy to be around. You just have so much faith in him going in that you know that he's going to be able to make you sound as good if not better than you deserve."

"Especially vocally, he even further shines above anyone," Warner adds. "His vocal harmony mixing and the blends that he will get are incredible. Mind you, he's had some pretty good students to work with - when you look at Dolly Parton and Allison Krauss - to hone his skills and his craft. You can tell his records straightaway...a few bars into any record he's made, you can tell it's Gary's. There's a real sparkle to his records that no one else gets."

"Weather and Water" certainly features a lot of sparkle; the band's sophomore release is a bluegrass tour de force that mixes a collection of instrumentals and Greencards' originals with contributions from some of their Nashville peers such as fellow Aussie ex-pat Jedd Hughes and singer-songwriter Patti Griffin. Warner describes how some of these contributions came to fruition.

"The title track is a song that our mate Jedd Hughes sent us funnily enough after watching a Bob Dylan movie called 'Masked & Anonymous,'" he explains.

"It's a real fun film, and the music in it is really cool. I watched it and called Jedd and told him he had to watch it. He watched it over and over on his bus while he was on tour and later he wrote 'Weather & Water'... somehow he got inspired to write that song and sent it to us, and it became the title track."

"The Patti Griffin song 'What You Are,' we heard the first time driving through Utah at 2 or 3 in the morning heading out to the West Coast," Warner continues.

"The sound guy that was with us at the time, who works with Patti Griffin, had a bunch of stuff he was playing us, and that was one of the songs. We just loved that song, and we asked him whether she had recorded that, and he said, 'she's recorded that, but it hasn't been released.' He made a phone call the next day and let us know that Patti said we can have that song if we want."

"We were looking for specific things for the record and we wanted a real slow, stripped down moody thing that we could take somewhere, and that song just presented that opportunity for us. We are very thankful to Patti for letting us do it."

Warner has his father to thank for his bluegrass education since there was no real bluegrass scene in Australia during his formative years. His dad was not only a fan of these old time traditions, but he also played the music.

"I grew up listening to stuff like Flatts and Scruggs and Bill Monroe, as well as Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Buck Owens," says Warner.

"So, it was quite normal for me and natural for me, but it wasn't a normal thing for an Australian kid to be growing up listening to that kind of stuff. I just remember my earliest memories of dad and a few of his friends he played with having a pick around the house on a Sunday and going to the occasional bluegrass picnic with people who were in the society in Adelaide.

"In the 70s and early, early 80s there was a little bluegrass community in Adelaide (in south Australia) that would get together. But that sort of died off. My dad still plays bluegrass and country music. He's one of the only guys in Adelaide that does it anymore."

Warner also feels that this early music education helped him hone the art of pickin', which he believes is a unique skill to bluegrass players.

"It's a tough type of music to get your head around if you're not introduced to it at an early age," he says. "You don't play rock 'n' roll guitar all your life and then pick up a bluegrass record and be able to nail that sort of stuff. I'm not ditching rock 'n roll players at all, but it's just a form of music that you have to have drilled into you at an early age, and that is something I was around." Back to the current tour hanging around Willie and Bob, Warner says that it's another dream come true. "It can be a tough gig being an opening band on a show like this," he says. "It's no secret that everyone is there to see Willie and Bob. You come on first and have 30 minutes to play and if you don't win them over in the first two or three it can be a nasty 30 minutes!

"The crowds have been really excited when we walk on stage though," he concludes. "It's like a festival atmosphere. It's still daylight when we come on and there are hot dog stands, beer stands and kids running around. We couldn't ask for a better summer."

« PREVIOUS PAGE 1   |   2