Blitzen Trapper at Stopover
10 p.m. Friday at Ships of the Sea.
Read more of Do's Stopover coverage HERE.
Formed in the year 2000, Blitzen Trapper continues to hit highs in the most unexpected places.
Blitzen Trapper (Eric Earley on guitar/vocals; Erik Menteer on guitar; Brian Adrian Koch on drums; Michael Van Pelt on bass; and Marty Marquis on keyboards) is a band with tons of experience, dancing between the lines of hitting it big in the mainstream yet remaining a well-kept underground secret.
“I make the records that I wish to make,” Earley said. “I never think of a song becoming a hit. When I don’t try, they do become a hit.”
In November, the Portland, Ore.-based band was asked to create a cover version of “Man of Constant Sorrow” for the popular “Fargo” TV series. The producers wanted a version of the song with Blitzen’s vibe as a way to connect the Coen Brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Fargo,” Earley said, “since season two of the series draws and incorporates from other films and the creative universe of the Coen brothers.”
“The song has been done by many; there are so many versions of it, including the one by Bob Dylan, an artist that continues to be one of my biggest influences,” he said. “We transformed the sound of it.”
The transformation is clear, from an old folk song to a soulful 1970s Southern rock tune. Blitzen Trapper injects a “grooviness” that’s reminiscent of bellbottoms and platform shoes that will have you boogieing.
Like many of the artists at Stopover, Blitzen Trapper is heading up to SXSW, where this year they will get to play at Willie Nelson’s ranch in Luck, Texas. It’s a place that feels more like a movie set than an outdoor concert area, and Blitzen is one of the headliners, along with Nelson.
“We play so many places while we travel. Many of them are small places in the mountains. Our music gives us that ability,” Earley said. “Stopover is en route for us, which benefits many of the traveling bands.”
For fans of Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Blitzen Trapper’s elements of Americana, old Southern rock and mountain music should fit the bill.