Play ball! Double Header Turns Volcano Room Into Musical Field of Dreams
There’s always been a special connection between bluegrass and baseball. Bill Monroe knew that
when he fielded a team of Blue Grass Boys barnstorming with his tent show in the 1940s. Both
endeavors require tight interplay and closeknit teamwork, each player assigned a special role,
whether you’re a left-handed pitcher or tenor-singing mandolinist. And after muddling through
the winter months, everybody - fans, bands and teams - comes outside to play in the spring.
So it’s fitting that this month, Bluegrass Underground, the bluegrass festival equivalent of a
covered stadium, hosts a double header with two very different headliners.
April 20, it’s the progressive Greencards. The band got its start in Austin but, after various
personnel and musical changes, now calls Nashville home. Singer Carol Young remains the
focal point with a voice that commands attention. She made a name for herself back in her native
Australia, where the fanatical love of country, bluegrass and American roots music is second to
none. Just ask our friends at Music City Ro
ots, who took the show Down Under a few months
back. Back home, she won Australian Independent Country Artist of the Year in 2000, after
charting two No. 1 singles, "True Blue Fool" and "Part of the Past."
With the Greencards, Young has continued breaking boundaries with a dynamic approach that
brings folk, Celtic and acoustic rock into the bluegrass/ roots mix. And Young’s voice isn’t
the only draw. In 2008, the Greencards’ intricate picking earned the band a 2008 GRAMMY
nomination for Best Country Instrumental for their “Mucky the Duck.” The following year, they
released their acclaimed Fascination on Sugar Hill before leaving the label for their next project.
With the same maverick attitude they bring to their music, The Greencards paid for their latest
album, 2011‘s Brick, with a self-financing campaign through their fans.
Opening the show is Great Peacock, a progressive folk-rock band with a huge, freewheeling
sound. In March, Great Peacock played one of the big finale of Music City Roots’ winter
season. They were the rookies of the night, but everyone I spoke to at the show, from the
audience to the artists, seemed to have the same slack-jawed reaction: “Did you see those guys?
Amazing!” So get there early and prepare to be amazed.