Some mutual musical curiosity led four adventurous musicians into a Goat Rodeo last year.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Chris Thile of Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers, fiddler Stuart Duncan and bassist Edgar Meyer joined forces for "The Goat Rodeo Sessions," blending the classical, bluegrass, folk, country and other roots music styles into what they all say was a good time for all concerned.
"You look at it on paper and it's like, 'Gee, how comes these people are getting together?!" Yo-Yo Ma recalls. "But we clicked immediately -- and partly because we basically share the same values. We're all interested in the world around us and in all different kinds of music.
"So when we got together it was such an excitement of, 'Gee, tell me more stories about Bill Monroe or the Stanley Brothers...' It's a typically American phenomenon that you can have a group of people who didn't grow up together or go to school together, but because they like one another and have certain values, they find a way to work together."
The roots of "The Goat Rodeo Sessions" were planted when Thile and Meyer began working together more than a decade ago. Meyer suggested that Yo-Yo Ma bring Thile on board for his 2008 holiday album "Songs of Joy and Peace," and the cellist expressed an interest in working together again. Thile and Meyer suggested Duncan as a fourth ingredient, and the ad hoc group gathered first at Yo-Yo Ma's house in Cambrdige, Mass., and then for two separate one-day recording sessions last summer, adding guest vocalist Aoife O'Donovan of Crooked Still.
Their schedules make it tough to plan a tour, but a special live performance at the House of Blues in Boston will be simulcast live to movie theaters around the country at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. check www.FathomEvents.com for locations.
Meanwhile, the musicians are hoping this will be more than a one-time event.
"I think we'll see it through," Thile says. "It's such a good hang and we're having so much fun making music together. We're born to do this thing; I get that feeling a lot playing with these guys. It's fun to be involved with people like that, so I'm completely humbled to be involved."
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