Blitzen Trapper Trapped My Heart

By: Sierra Voss

It was a sleepy Tuesday night in Boulder when Blitzen Trapper took the stage at The Fox Theatre. The Portland based group rolls five members deep, and were accompanied onstage by two flags repping their Oregon State stomping grounds. Blitzen Trapper has been crushing out music for the last fifteen years, with seven full-length albums under their belt. Their most recent release is a 10-track studio album titled, All Across This Land (2015). The group’s dynamic musical styling, insightful lyrical conquests, and laid back vibes are worth getting out of bed for, even on the sleepiest of weekday nights. So I did.

Blitzen Trapper's genre is definitely eclectic. The members of the band clearly have a deep love and profound respect for 70’s and 80’s classic rock. However, their songs also incorporate bluegrass, folk, soul, psychedelia and metal elements. All of these sounds are then umbrellaed by a feeling of Americana. Lead singer and guitarist Eric Earley put it best when he said: “We like to explore. And sometimes that’s not so easy for people to deal with. But we’re going to just keep on doing what we do.” And no one is complaining. It is this type of exploration, grounded in foundational classic artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Led Zeppelin that truly capture the hearts of Blitzen Trapper’s fans.

Watch the music video for Blitzen Trapper’s “Furr”:

One of the things I respect most about this band is their consistency in delivering an epic show, and Tuesday night’s performance was no exception. Blitzen Trapper is all about subtleties. You will fall in love with the small and quirky moments of their shows. Earley boyishly smiled and chuckled between songs while Erik Menteer (guitar/keyboard) fist bumped the sky after a ripping guitar solo. And Marty Marquis (guitar/keyboards/vocals/melodica) patted his chest close to the mic as a form of stripped-down percussion during the encore set, filling the quiet venue with a heartbeat during their cover of "Helplessly Hoping". It was my favorite moment of the show.

 Blitzen Trapper at The Fox. Photo per the author.

Blitzen Trapper at The Fox. Photo per the author.

The band laid down some incredible covers throughout the night including “Cinnamon Girl”, “Knockin On Heavens Door”, and their newly recorded version of “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow”. They played a wide sampling from their new release, including my two favorites: “Rock and Roll (Was Made For You)” and “Love Grow Cold”. Classic Blitzen Trapper songs were also featured in their set: “Black River Killer”, “Love The Way You Walk Away”, “Wild Mountain Nation”, “Not Your Lover”, “Sleepy Time In the Western World”, and there was a powerful audience sing-along to their most well-known song, “Furr”.

I highly recommend taking some time to follow the musical journey of Blitzen Trapper’s seven albums. It’s an impressive collection, to say the least. Oh, and do yourself a favor: don't miss their next show!

-Sierra

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.