classical grass: Ma, Meyer, Thile & Duncan to Release The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Yo Yo Ma

Classical music and Americana music might draw different crowds, but it’s not rare for the two to cross over…and when they do, it’s usually pretty amazing. Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology, the critically acclaimed album released in 2001 with best of bluegrass, folk and classical musicians like Yo Yo Ma, Alison Krauss, Mark O’Connor playing songs of Appalachia, is an album that any fan of this blog should own. Just a couple years later, Mark O’Connor  released his Thirty-Year Retrospective featuring Chris Thile, Bryan Sutton and Byron House, followed by a tour which included a performance at the Iridium Jazz Club that is easily in my top five most jaw-dropping shows ever.  O’Connor, Meyer and Ma joined forces again last summer with the release of Appalachian Journey.

Earlier this month, Sony Masterworks, began teasing the release The Goat Rodeo Sessions, a project of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolinist Chris Thile and fiddler Stuart Duncan to be released on October 18.   

According to  the press release…

A goat rodeo, according to Urban Dictionary, “is about the most polite term used by aviation people (and others in higher risk situations) to describe a scenario that requires about 100 things to go right at once if you intend to walk away from it.” Meyer first heard it used by his longtime music copyist in reference, he recalls, to “a very chaotic situation where a lot of agendas are kind of confused, and it’s hard to tell up from down.”

While the band is a mixed bag, its not a group of strangers. Ma and Meyer are longtime friends, as are Thile and Duncan, and they each wanted to work together. Meyer and Thile have joined forces before and Duncan appeared on the Thile’s first solo album when he was only twelve years old.

Much like O’Connor’s Retrospective, “Attaboy”, the song released via various online video sites on the day the project was announced, is like a journey of music and left me drooling for more. I’m not sure that we’ll get all of these guys together for a tour, but am praying that they at least do a NYC performance. Pre-order the CD on Amazon (if you like CDs). More to come.

P.S. A shout out for my friend and flawless audio specialist, Brian Losch, who was involved in the production of this classy project.