Goat Rodeo's eclectic mix is bluesy and original
The four musicians who participate in 'The Goat Rodeo Sessions' somehow make the jumble of musical genres work.
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With Goat Rodeo Sessions, the latest offering from this eclectic quartet, there are so many musical styles at work that it should sound like a jumble, a curious train wreck best quietly forgotten. If music executives had come up with this Big Concept, they would have been shown the door, or perhaps shoved out the open window of the 87th floor.
Thankfully, it was the musicians themselves who found each other on their own musical journeys, and found in each other kindred spirits for making music that was fun, bluesy, and utterly original.
I’ve been to classical concerts, and I’ve spent many a fine afternoon swatting mosquitoes at late-summer bluegrass festivals. Goat Rodeo Sessions somehow encapsulates both of those worlds, and blending them into a musical whole that makes sense. All without the smell of a porta-potty.
Judging from the long line waiting to get into Boston’s House of Blues, this week, to attend a live performance of Goat Rodeo Sessions, there are a lot of people who get what it is that Ma, Meyer, Thile, and Duncan are trying to do. And judging from the crowd’s call for more – and one young fan’s unsolicited marriage proposal to Thile, wisely turned down – the crowd liked what they got.
From their first number, a bluesy number called “Quarter Chicken Dark,” you realize this is new musical territory, and there’s so much more to explore. Meyer’s bass provides the heart-beat that keeps toes tapping. Duncan’s violin provides the melody that one hums for days afterward. Yo-Yo Ma somehow manages to work in incredibly rich cello solos, while keeping it all together with eye contact with each player. Thile is the kid genius, swiveling like Elvis, and ripping through mandolin solos that would make Hendrix consider switching instruments.