What do you get when you combine a globally beloved classical cellist, a respected Nashville fiddler and banjo master who’s backed everyone from Dolly Parton to George Strait, a versatile bassist who’s done time with Bela Fleck and plenty more, and a personable multi-instrumentalist and mandolin master who’s fronted Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers? Well, if you’re Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, you get a couple of Grammy Awards for your stunning and eclectic first album The Goat Rodeo Sessions. And then you get together again to make this equally gorgeous and award-worthy followup, whose nimble performances and freewheeling approach once again gently tag the sweet spot between and betwixt classical, jazz, Celtic, Americana and a whole lot more. Then you get singer Aoife O’Donovan to come in and deliver more of her dulcet tones. In other words: You do more of what worked so well the first tie. And you don’t worry about trying to fix what ain’t broke. Get it? You should.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Not Our First Goat Rodeo is the long-awaited follow-up to the Grammy-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. Both sets of Goat Rodeo sessions combine the talents of the four solo artists, each a Grammy-winning talent in his own right, to create a singular sound that’s part composed, part improvised, and uniquely American. The music is so complex to pull off that the group likens it to a goat rodeo — an aviation term for a situation in which 100 things need to go right to avoid disaster. Both the first album and the new recording also feature the voice and artistry of singer-songwriter and fellow Grammy Award-winner Aoife O’Donovan, who rejoins the group as a guest on Not Our First Goat Rodeo.”