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Blitzen Trapper: Portland Folk Rockers are Stretching in New Directions

Saturday 10th, June 2017 / 14:00
By Jodi Brak


CALGARY – Fresh off of a string of performances of their latest musical project, Portland based folk rockers Blitzen Trapper are setting off on a short western tour that will see them in Alberta on June 17 and 18.

The group delivers the sort of high-energy folk rock that listeners may have come to expect from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, full of the same fiery passion for life, though with a touch more grit and distortion. Driving beats and soulful guitar licks underscore crooning vocals that are punctuated by the occasional impassioned shout or haunting harmony. Extremely melodic tracks laced with keys and slow-picked acoustic notes round out their sound when the tempo goes down. Over a career spanning 15 years and seven albums, Blitzen Trapper has explored many deeply personal stories and themes with their brand of folk music, seasoned to taste with rock influences.

Though perhaps a little different from the standard rock show, Blitzen Trapper has been exploring a new aspect of the stage in recent months as part of a musical theatre project called Wild and Reckless, a combination of music and storytelling that frontman Eric Earley says has been a great experience for the band.

“I think it stretched us in all kinds of ways for sure, the way the show was going, the songs were deconstructed, songs would be merged together with other songs, we had an overture that was like five songs merged into one. It was the kind of thing you don’t usually do with a rock show unless you are queen or something,”

Early says. Though Calgary fans of Blitzen Trapper’s music may not be getting the full experience of the Wild and Reckless musical, they will be playing many songs written for the project during their upcoming shows, along with plans to put several of the tracks on an album sometime in the coming year.

Earley says the group will be playing some lengthy sets filled with new material written for the project during the upcoming tour, as well as reviving some classic tunes from their back catalog that haven’t seen the stage in a while.

Blitzen Trapper will be playing June 17 Commonwealth (Calgary) and June 18 The Starlite Room (Edmonton).

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