Goat Rodeo, the supergroup featuring famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan, and Edgar Meyer performed “The Trappings” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Friday night.
In addition to Ma, former Live From Here host and mandolinist Thile, bluegrass fiddle royalty Duncan, and bassist Meyer form Goat Rodeo, which also welcomed vocalist Aoife O’Donovan to the fold. The song comes from the group’s sophomore album Not Our First Goat Rodeo, which came out earlier this year and debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s Bluegrass and Classical charts.
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“The Trappings” finds a satisfying mix of bluegrass and classical influences, much like the rest of the Goat Rodeo catalog. Kicking off with a heated mandolin intro from Thile, the song is quickly softened by the presence of Duncan’s fiddle and Ma’s cello. Once O’Donovan’s vocals drop into the piece, it has already become a completely different kind of song, as all of these musical styles come together in a cross-cultural combination.
The vocals eventually evolve into a three way conversation as O’Donovan, Thile, and Duncan trade line after line, coming together as a chorus for thoughtful lyrics, “Love’s at the loom we are the spools of thread/Being woven into and out of our element.” Just as the words get too heavy and the music is about to boil over, Ma diffuses the situation with elegant and soothing cello leads.
Watch Goat Rodeo perform “The Trappings” on Colbert from Friday night.
Goat Rodeo — “The Trappings”
[Video: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert]