On ropeadope records recent release of Tin Hat Trio's Rodeo Eroded, there is often a sense of delight and wonder listening to the rich and colorful sounds which dance through the air and into the listening mind. At times, images of European street performances might mingle with that of more dressed-up theatre, and even operatic symphony. The instrumental voices collected in each piece on this album shine, crackle and dance. The amalgamation of style and influence, which gives way to a larger sense of musical and individual freedom, celebrates the heritage of a cast of nations and cultures.

Ropeadope should be commended for their effort, not only in releasing this new and interesting music, but for not falling into any one sound which represents who or what they are as a record label. As we can gather from their list of artists, and the music that they believe should be heard, ropeadope records is attempting to take our hands as listeners and gently lead us into a realm of brighter, more colorful musical imagination. More and more, it becomes clear that the mantra of RAD is simply, "No rules". Here we have a group of inspired music lovers who are fighting an uphill, albeit, righteous battle.

If you enjoy grass-roots enterprise and art for the sake of itself, support ropeadope records and their artists by picking up a copy of Tin Hat Trio's Rodeo Eroded. You will find even stalwart members of our more common 'jam' genre, like Medeski Martin and Wood's Billy Martin and Phish's Jon Fishman, contributing their efforts on a handful of tracks. Having said that, it would be errant not to mention everybody's favorite outlaw, Willie Nelson. To be sure, Willie, in particular, offers some of the most beautiful vocal work one might hope for. The song "Willow Weep for Me" deserves to be included with his Stardust collection. Whoever is responsible for tapping this masterful bard deserves a raise and slap on the back.

For information on all things ropeadope, hit http://ropeadope.com and tell them Craig sent you. They surely won't know who the hell you are talking about, but I have always wanted to say that.

Viva la ropeadope!

Craig Judkins
JamBase Worldwide
Go See Live Music!


[Published on: 9/30/02]

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