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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Zac Johnson