by Kurt Gottschalk
The Tin Hat Trio has made itself a supergroup of sorts, with Willie Nelson and Tom Waits guesting on its recordings and with a variety of individual projects outside the band. Carla Kihlstedt and Rob Burger have both released discs on John Zorn's Tzadik label, Kihlstedt is also a member of the avant rock outfit Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and Mark Orton has toured with Bill Frisell, the Lounge Lizards and Mr. Bungle. The trio has established a reputation as a ...read more
by Alex K. Fong
When an individual crosses America by starting on either coast to later arrive upon the other, that intrepid explorer will notice the vast expanses of land and open skies that divide the many bustling cities. And should this person listen to the native music along the way, he or she will notice a similar spaciousness in the nation's dusty folk songs, rustic boogies, and cosmopolitan jazz. The Tin Hat Trio's approach to American music on their new album, Book of ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
...Music for Music’s Sake...
Artists who defy standard categorization have been making their way to Ropeadope Records, who, in turn, have been embracing them with open arms. One of the most recent bands to sign with the eclectic label is the genre polyglot threesome, Tin Hat Trio. How fortunate this is for the label and us. The Tin Hat Trio had two previous recordings ( Memory is an Elephant and Helium ) on EMI’s classical subsidiary, Angel, where the band ...read more
by Celeste Sunderland
The Tin Hat Trio held two people captive one recent evening on New York State's Taconic Parkway. An orange crescent moon in the western sky followed the rental car, while the chug of a dobro and the sad lament of violin mingled with accordion drifted around the air-conditioned interior. The road was long, but the evergreens were endless, and the city seemed an eternity away.
The San Francisco group's third release The Rodeo Eroded is a tangle of seductive Eastern ...read more
by Jim Santella
The talented San Francisco bay area Tin Hat Trio folds a considerable segment of American ethnic music into their acoustic, chamber jazz setting. European history has provided the jazz world with a specific reference for harmony and instrumentation as well as a comprehensive library of folk and classical music. The trio’s original compositions draw upon these concepts to produce swingin’ scenes that tend to conjure up images of ancestral costumes and regional dances. Their Width of the World," for example, ...read more
by AAJ Staff
The press release accompanying this CD states that the Tin Hat Trio is America's premier chamber-jazz ensemble", and this after only making two records together. So, Tin Hat must be the best thing since cornflakes, right? Well, that depends on your point of view. The trio consists of accordionist and pianist Rob Burger, violinist Carla Kihlstedt, and guitarist Mark Orton. All are classically trained, and technically proficient, and all have experience playing a wide variety of styles, including folk, jazz, ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Following up their critically acclaimed Memory Is An Elephant the “Tin Hat Trio” extend their unique blend of grassroots Americana and Chamberesque interaction with jazz-based rhythms and acute improvisational prowess on Helium. The musicians combine folksy themes with fervent jazz chords supplied by guitarist Mark Orton on the title track, “Helium” as applied rhythms coalesce with Rob Burger’s cheery lead accordion lines and Carla Kihlstedt’s sonorous phrasing performed on violin. Throughout, the musicians go genre hopping yet the overall sound ...read more