The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Anytime you learn that Chris Thile is involved with a new project, you can expect it to be fun-filled and unbounded. Seeing Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan in the lineup suggests an interesting push/pull between the bluegrass, classical and new acoustic genres. And finding the peerless Yo-Yo Ma on the bill takes the virtuosity quotient up an order of magnitude.

That is what we have with The Goat Rodeo Sessions, due in October from Sony Masterworks, their primarily classical imprint for whom both Ma and Meyer record. From what little information is available, it appears that the music on the album is original and highly-improvisational, much of it written collaboratively in rehearsals or in the studio.

For the uninitiated, a “goat rodeo” is a term used to describe a chaotic situation where a multitude of disparate factors are required to converge in great precision… or it all falls apart. It’s applied here in a humorous way to reference these musicians’ attitude of flying without a net in the studio. Of course, it’s a safe bet that nothing goes wrong with these master musicians, as you can see in this pair of promotional videos.

First up, the guys in the studio recording the tune Atta Boy, launching with a poly-rhythmic tour de force before sliding into a Celtic romp, and then back again.

Followed by a brief interview with the players.

Look for The Goat Rodeo Sessions on October 25. Pre-orders can be placed now online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.