Third outing from San Francisco based group. Their musical potion blends tango, bluegrass, contemporary classical, and Eastern European folk traditions with an avant garde edge. Featuring Willie Nelson, Jonathan Fishman, & Billy Martin. 15 tracks. 2002.
Like good musical ramblers, the Tin Hat Trio traveled around the world on their first two albums, Memory Is an Elephant
. Theirs was a tango that could fill classical music's archways. A jazz that melded continents. With The Rodeo Eroded
, the San Francisco-based threesome heads home. Rob Burger's accordions, piano, and myriad acoustic keyboards, Carla Kihlstedt's violin and viola, and Mark Orton's twangy guitar and Dobro take the Rodeo
on a Great American Music Tour. "Bill" opens the album with a bluesy, waltz-like slow jam that Kihlstedt violins through with long-stroked dramatic flair. From there, Rodeo
has the feel of a great, cinematic drama. Drunken, percussive piano marks "Holiday Joel" before a woozy take on "Willow Weep for Me" emerges from the mist with Willie Nelson
(!) emoting atop a sagebrush orchestral mesa. A horse clip-clops in the form of Orton's guitar on "The Last Cowboy," just as Morricone
might have envisioned. There are great, wobbly chase scenes, circus tumbles, and a host of Americanisms that bounce in, kick it up, and split with a sonic impression of the desert's parched stretches and the boundless madness of a simply warped community dance. --Andrew Bartlett