I can't listen to Blitzen Trapper without thinking of swamp-rock innovators Creedence Clearwater Revival. The comparison has little to do with musical similarities and is more concerned with region-defiance. CCR sounded like they crawled out of some dank Louisiana delta. In reality they hailed from the decidedly non-backwoods El Cerrito, California. Alt-country band Blitzen Trapper straddles a similar line, positing a Nashville upbringing when Portland Oregon is where they call home.
Perhaps an even better touchstone is The Band; one of the most American sounding group's music has ever had that just so happened to come from the Great North. The Band is recalled in the rural-funk of "Coming Home", an outtake from last year's VII. Organs yowl like they're in the midst of a Baptist revival. A muscular horn section shoulders the weight of the groove, while banjos and harmonica strut around the center of the smoldering campfire. Eric Earley offers up "don't you lose your way" like it's an oral history. Registered in his earnest, Jerry Garcia whine it makes the advice autobiographical. Blitzen Trapper may not call of any of these locales home, but they've lived the life.
VII is out now through Vagrant Records and you can download "Coming Home" here.