By the time Anaïs Mitchell, Josh Kaufman, and Eric D. Johnson first convened as Bonny Light Horseman in 2018, each member already had the kind of career about which they once only dreamed. Mitchell, for instance, had made a string of fetching albums at the vanguard of modern folk songcraft, even before her musical Hadestown became a Broadway runaway. As a producer and multi-instrumentalist, Kaufman had worked with a dazzling array of heroes and peers, from Bob Weir and The National to The War on Drugs and Josh Ritter. And for nearly a quarter-century, Johnson had penned intricate indie pop as Fruit Bats. But Mitchell had never been in any band that wasnt playing only her songs. Johnson had long been focused only on his band (assorted collaborations like The Shins notwithstanding), its sole constant member. And Kaufman largely worked to enhance the visions and hopes of others bands. Bonny Light Horseman the band, then, offered that very rare adult opportunityto learn something new with new friends, with a safety net waiting beneath as needed.