3hattrio was born when violinist Eli Wrankle was 15 years old. They got together when
Eli’s family held a small recital in their home to raise funds for his high school orchestra
to perform at Disneyland. After the rehearsal, family friends and veteran musicians Greg
Istock and Hal Cannon asked if Eli wanted to jam. He had never played music that way
before but agreed. When they finished, he asked for more. The group was born purely
out of friendship, localness, and musical chemistry.
If you ask most people what Western music is you are likely to hear the response,
cowboys and Indians. 3hattrio has great respect for these music’s but they also believe
the vastness of the American West deserves much more. Musicians identify with things
larger than themselves. Music is often identified with place, like the Delta and its blues
or Appalachia and its mountain music. The 3hattrio inspiration comes from the deserts
of southern Utah, thus, their genre, American Desert Music.
Their songs are mostly original and even their old-time cowboy and pioneer songs have
an unusual twist. Living in the same isolated place, surrounded by an inspiring
landscape of red cliffs is what makes this group thrive. Their first album, “Year One,”
was hailed by Baxter Black as a “profundo Gregorian sagebrush chant.” Since then
they released a second CD, "Dark Desert Night." Their third album is titled "Solitaire,"
and their 2018 release is titled, “Lord of the Desert.”
3hattrio hails from Zion Canyon in Southern Utah and includes Hal Cannon who is a
singer and plays banjo and guitar. He is also a scholar of cowboy music and poetry.
Greg Istock plays acoustic bass and foot percussion. He has a Caribbean music
background and is also a visual artist. Eli Wrankle, is classically trained violinist who
studies at Southern Utah University and comes from a family of artists.
3hattrio lives in a place that has a great and lasting indigenous imprint on it. They don’t
attempt to perform the music of the nomadic Native peoples who have lived here for
centuries. They are modern day settlers in a place where settlement is not all that old.
Folklorist and musician Hal Cannon says, "From our vantage we are not all that different
from other pioneers who came from diverse places to make community. From our
varied musical backgrounds something truly American can be made out of the necessity
to find sociability in an isolated place and to come with the intention to create something