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The Rodeo Eroded

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Album Review

San Francisco's nearly un-catagorizable Tin Hat Trio deliver another set of improvisational accordion-fueled Eastern European spaghetti western epics on their third album, The Rodeo Eroded. Mixing a Tom Waits-esque broken carnival feel and quietly sweet melodies, the trio waltzes their way through 15 tracks, occasionally augmenting their standard guitar-accordion-violin lineup with tuba, harmonica, celeste, banjo, and any number of instruments. Waits himself did a guest appearance on 2000's Helium, and this album follows the blueprint of their previous release, featuring a starkly beautiful vocal from Willie Nelson rediscovering the standard "Willow Weep for Me" accompanied by harpist Zeena Parkins. Other tracks range from the warmly jovial ("Happy Hour"), across the sprawling ("Bill"), to the chilling ("Nickel Mountain"), and feature high-profile guests like Jonathan Fishman from Phish, Billy Martin from Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Deep Banana Blackout tuba player Bryan Smith. Like their prior excellent releases, the euphonious The Rodeo Eroded offers more of the same perplexing music for perplexed people; unsettling and comforting in the same tentative breath.

Customer Reviews


Tin Hat Trio's unique blend of guitar, piano, and violin generates a sound that is both weeping and waltzy, swaying and eerie. Most people have noted that their music would work nicely as a score, and it would, but that is not to say that it doesn't work well standing alone. I find that music usually has to be stronger in structure when elliminating vocals and most, if not all of the time, forces the musicians and writers to be more creative with the order in which they present their sounds, generating a very specific way in which the music unravels. I think that "The Rodeo Eroded" is a great step forward for this quirky and sophisticated trio. Some of my favorites are "Bill," Happy Hour," and my favorite "Night of the Skeptic." If you enjoy this album you might also like Yann Tiersen's "Amelie," "Les Retrouvailles," "Good Bye Lenin," and "Rue Des Cascades." He is an outstanding composer. Another similar composer is Nina Rota, most recognized for his work with director Federico Fellini. "8 1/2" is my fovorite of his work. Also, the great great Jon Brion bares similarities to Tin Hat Trio. He is most recently recognized for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" soundtrack.

The Rodeo Eroded

A fascinating mix of instrumentation and vocal styles, rich in character, upbeat and fun to listen to. Really enjoyable to listen to. It makes me smile.

Amazing from Michele Paiva

Incredible. I was OCD as soon as I heard one track. Bought the CD right at the producers office, right off their desk. Consider myself a fan now, telling everyone.


Formed: 1997

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Transplanted from New York to the Bay Area, the chamber jazz group Tin Hat Trio consists of accordionist Rob Burger, guitarist Mark Orton, and violinist Carla Kihlstedt. The group's unique blend of structure, improvisation, and contemporary classical, folk, world, and jazz elements reflects each member's other performing experiences. Kihlstedt majored in classical violin performance at the Oberlin Conservatory and went on to become a prominent performer in both classical and improvised music, playing...
Full Bio
The Rodeo Eroded, Tin Hat Trio
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Sep 10, 2002

Customer Ratings