Tin Hat Trio The Rodeo Eroded

Occasionally a group comes along that change the rules. And it's as if Tin Hat Trio's third chamber acoustic album, The Rodeo Eroded, is trying to make instrumental music tangible, what with their sensual instrumental vignettes enacted with everything from accordion and viola to pump organ and fire extinguisher. The San Francisco trio (with added guests Willie Nelson, Jonathan Fishman and Billy Martin) routinely stretches composition into improvisation with avant garde fervour that finds them scaling the timeless walls of European folk traditions, prospecting rural Americana and sitting comfortably in some classical jazz continuum. Sounding at times somewhat like their northern cousins Zubot and Dawson, Tin Hat Trio's originality and breadth of musical vocabulary never lets up over the album's 15 selections. One of the best, "Holiday Joel," is a song Philip Glass could have written, Tom Waits would be proud of and Mike D would want to rap over. (Ropeadope)