The three-piece 3hattrio debut their latest song, “Pilgrim,” off of their upcoming Lord of the Desert album, exclusively with C&I.
A blend of Wild West, psychedelic rock, and exotic folk fusion, 3hattrio’s latest track, “Pilgrim,” is hard to nail down to one specific genre. It’s eccentric, otherworldly, and chaotic, but overall fascinating to the ears.
The song’s many instruments adapt and meld together into a finely tuned aural dance, a combination of wildly different sounds, one never dominating another. The effect is something like a spiritual musical experience. The song transports as surely as a pilgrim journeys.
3hattrio’s music incorporates all sorts of traditions — the band’s website describes the music as “spacious, atmospheric, mirage-like, spiced with old-time cowboy, classical, jazz, and Caribbean overtones” — and adds up to something they call “American Desert Music.”
The band takes its name from its personnel. They’d have you imagine “three hats on a rack” (three hat trio), two well-worn and one new: lead singer, banjo player, and guitarist Hal Cannon; Eli Wrankle on violin; and Greg Istock on stand-up bass and foot percussion.
The music takes its inspiration from the landscape they live in: Zion Canyon in rural southern Utah — and from Cannon’s deep intellectual ties to the historical and contemporary West (he’s the founding director of the Western Folklife Center and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada).
“I wrote ‘Pilgrim’ thinking about the old days and the westward flow of humanity,” says cowboy-music scholar Cannon. “Also the flow of water in the desert is important and how people can be changed living in brutal environments. To travel across vast dry country then come upon a major river like the Colorado is amazing. In the 19th century there were few places to cross and travelers relied on crude ferries to take them over rivers to continue their journeys — places like Lees Ferry.
“I then thought about the bitterness that can build up living in such isolation and how that anger can ignite. One line I really like is where the protagonist ends up dead in the river turning to soap. Saponification is one of the three ways that bodies decompose in water — strange but true.”
Prepare to be schooled in the most musical way possible when 3hattrio’s upcoming album, Lord of the Desert, comes out February 23. Take a listen below to the track “Pilgrim,” off of what promises to be another highly original and inspired album.
For more information on 3hattrio and to preorder their upcoming album, Lord of the Desert, visit their website.