One of the most talked about recording projects of 2011 was the combining of acoustic greats Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan, Yo-Yo Ma, and Edgar Meyer for their Goat Rodeo Sessions. It’s not straight bluegrass, but it’s not straight anything else either except good acoustic music.
Alan Light, a frequent contributor to the New York Times and Rolling Stone, says in the liner notes that, “The music that’s emanating from the four sets of strings feels both new and familiar – it’s composed and improvised, uptown and down home, funky and pastoral. It is uniquely American.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Fans of this extraordinary project (and I know there are many), will be happy to know that there are some new tracks from this groundbreaking string quartet. Many may have attended a local movie theatre to see the live stream of their concert at the House of Blues in late January. Whether you got to see it or not, a sampling of the concert has been made available for everyone to enjoy. The Goat Rodeo Sessions Live From The House of Blues EP features five songs from that show. Aoife O’Donovan is a special guest vocalist on this project, as she was for the original Goat Rodeo Sessions album.
More From The Goat Rodeo Sessions has been recently released as well. These two new songs have never been heard before, and one would assume they were cut from the original album release.
Many traditionalists may criticize the project for being a type of bluegrass/classical hybrid. I find that to be one of the project’s strengths. I’ve never been much of a classical music fan, but I throughly enjoy the music found on The Goat Rodeo Sessions. I know the same is true for others who wouldn’t classify themselves as bluegrass fans, but appreciate the bluegrass influences incorporated into the music.
On top of that, Stuart Duncan’s fiddle has one of the most powerful voices in our music today, and he holds nothing back on these tracks. That alone is reason enough to dig into this melding of musical styles.
More From The Goat Rodeo Sessions can be digitally downloaded from both iTunes and Amazon Music. The Live From The House of Blues EP is found exclusively through iTunes.